Outdoor Therapies combine psychotherapy with movement and the inspiration of a natural environment. Research has shown that movement, along with connecting with nature and animals not only increases our overall health and wellness, it also encourages healthy lifestyle habits. We offer Equine Facilitated Therapies, Mindfulness in Nature and Walk & Talk Therapy.
Walk and Talk
Our Walk and talk therapy has all of the advantages of traditional counselling with many more positive, life-affirming elements just waiting to be discovered. Processing of life’s challenges, worries, grief, pain, relationship issues, addictions, stresses, can all be done while walking and connecting with the countryside, fresh air, nature and the weather! As long as we are prepared, we can take the next step toward health and enrichment in our lives. Invest in yourself. We cannot always walk this journey of life alone.
What to expect – Just as it sounds, we are outdoors, walking side-by-side for your therapy session, instead of sitting inside an office. Our initial consultation together will take place at our office, so we can discuss working outside, agree where we meet, how we manage time, what we do if the weather is bad etc. All initial consultations for each therapy offering are the same, as its important to take into account your feelings and whether you have any particular concerns or not, ensuring you’re comfortable working with us.
Research has now shown that exercise can significantly impact anxiety and stress while improving overall mood. Walking is not only good for your physical health but also good for your mental health.
Walks will be at a pace that suits you but we can sit down along the way if necessary. Each walk takes approximately 50 minutes and will take place in the beautiful countryside around the Warfield area, unless we agree different. We offer options for longer walks, up to 3 hours and group walks.
Sessions are conducted “rain or shine.”
We will simply reschedule if the weather is extreme.
Equine Facilitated Sessions
As strange as it seems, adding a horse to the psychotherapy and learning equation may be the missing piece you’ve been looking for! The use of horses in therapeutic approaches is continuing to grow worldwide due to the amazing outcomes that can be achieved. Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy is a developing treatment in which humans interact with horses in their natural environment as a tool for emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between the Client, a qualified Equine Facilitated Practitioner and the horses.
Equine facilitated psychotherapy often helps clients change and grow more effectively and quickly than traditional clinical and psycho-educational approach.This is because people typically learn best by doing. Life lessons take deeper root when individuals both understand them in their heads and experience them in their bodies. Working with horses is engaging and hands on. The experience is immediate and fully felt. This helps clients to learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, then discussing and processing feelings, behaviours and patterns.
Horses are non-judgement and non-confrontational
They are sensitive, especially to intent, can detect human emotions and will mirror the human’s emotions through their own responses and behaviours
They can provide immediate and honest feedback
They don’t lie or hold grudges
The horses allow the therapy to be conducted in a gentle way, with the focus on the horses and their behaviour rather than solely on the client themselves. This helps to reduce anxiety and allows the client to explore their difficulties in a very supportive, calming, grounding environment.
They are large, powerful and generally amazing!
Jo-Anne was on This Morning in 2019, along with Sarah where they discussed and demonstrated this approach to therapy; scroll down to watch the video and find out more.
Practicing mindfulness is natural, simple and accessible to us all. All we need to is our body, an open mind, patience, and commitment! Mindfulness is ‘coming back to life’ and embracing our existence authentically, with kindness and curiosity. It’s a way of being in touch with our experience of life in each moment – exploring life as it unfolds. We have all experienced this already – it’s only natural.
The first part of mindfulness is noticing our direct experience – our breath, our body, our thoughts, our feelings – and what we can see, hear, touch and smell in the world around us. We become aware of these different aspects of our experience (whether pleasurable or not), without seeking to label them or achieve anything – we simply observe them.
The second part of mindfulness is about how we notice. Being mindful involves cultivating a non-judgmental, open, kind and playful approach to life. Left unchecked, our conscious minds automatically label our experiences as good or bad, right or wrong, fair or unfair. Mindfulness is becoming aware of this, taking a step back, beyond these judging narratives.
To truly understand what mindfulness means, we need to put it into practice. An important word to remember when practicing mindfulness is the word ‘NOTICE’.
By using the environment around us we notice that using mindfulness in nature allows clients opportunity to keep noticing openly, without trying to change anything, without judgement, without expectation. This allows us to notice thoughts, feeling, how our bodies feel, what we can see, hear, smell, touch or taste.
The benefits of connecting with nature are known to prove mental well being, increase concentration, reduce stress, boost self esteem and improve mood. Our Mindfulness with Nature sessions allow clients to experience mindfulness in a rural location and develop skills they can take away to use in their lives.
In May 2019, Jo-Anne and Sarah were invited to take part in The Pursuit of Happiness on ITV’s This Morning.
Both Sarah and Jo-Anne train others to become Equine Facilitated Practitioners through LEAP Equine Limited, one of the UK’s leading organisations in this field. You can find out more about courses and workshops by clicking here