Ecotherapy

A large body of research is demonstrating that spending time in nature has numerous health benefits including stress reduction, improved mood and an increased sense of meaning.  I have always found solace and healing in nature so I was excited to offer the Gaia Girls Hiking Group in the summer of 2017.  Please check back in the spring for future offerings.  

GAIA GIRLS HIKING GROUP

Gaia is the personification of the Earth.   In this group we will draw from the healing and restorative powers of nature to reduce stress, improve mood, and align body, mind &  soul.  In addition to non-strenuous hiking in nature the group will include:  Mindfulness and guided meditation, experiential activities designed to build insight for overcoming obstacles, expressive arts and journaling, some basic yoga poses and learning yogic breathing techniques, and equine guided learning.

This is not a traditional “process” therapy group so it is not necessary to attend every session.  Each meeting will include experiential learning and in the moment healing, tools for on-going stress management, a facilitated positive social experience, and inspiration for creating healthy life patterns.

Location:  We will meet at the Golden Gate Dairy Stables in Muir Beach

Surrounded by miles of protected open space in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and nestled in the heart the Redwood Creek watershed the unique location of the Golden Gate Dairy Stables will offer us a launching point for countless opportunities to connect with the natural world and explore this beautiful coastal ecosystem.  The stables is managed by the non profit organization Ocean Riders of Marin, a 501(c)3 that offers community outreach programs to under-resourced youth and strives to support the next generation of environmental stewards.  A portion of Gaia Girls proceeds will be donated to the community outreach programs of Ocean Riders of Marin.

Research demonstrates that time in nature is associated with:

• reduced levels of stress

• reduced levels of depression

• reduced levels of anxiety

• increased resilience

• increased engagement with learning for children and adolescents otherwise

disengaged from the education system

• improved self-esteem

• increased capacity to engage socially


Some great articles that summarize recent findings on the healing powers of nature:

The Mental Health Benefits of Nature Exposure, Psychiatry Advisor

How Walking in Nature Changes your Brain, The New York Times

“Forest Bathing”, The Washington Post