One of my biggest passions in life is being outside surrounded by nature. As well as counselling people in the woods at Wrexham I run Mindfulness in the Woods events at Wrexham, Chirk and Hawarden, I also teach children to connect with nature through Forest School.
I believe in the power of nature as our greatest healer. I also believe that good quality therapy can do wonders for people and should be available to everyone.
Talking therapy has helped so many people make positive changes in their lives and I will still work in this way, however, I don’t want to limit my therapy to just this, I want to expand the potential for different ways of working to suit all the diverse and unique individuals that might come for therapy.
Woodlands offer such a therapeutic environment, there is growing evidence on the benefits of spending time in woodlands.
I host regular courses focused on Nature Therapy and Mindfulness in Nature. To find out more about the courses and workshops I offer, click here.
The evidence for mindfulness based cognitive behaviour therapy in a forest setting suggests that participants suffering from depression who took part in the studies saw an improved rating on their depression score and also a decrease in salivary cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
Another study by Zheng Chen, Yujia He, and Yuguo Yu, funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China compared brain cognitive functions with a group of participants in a natural environment to a group in a built environment or highway, the results suggest that a natural environment may promote a better brain performance than a built environment.
In Japan, there is a growing trend around spending time in forests for health and wellbeing and its ability to provide relaxation and stress relief. They call it Shinrin-yoku, which can be translated as ‘taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing’.
Another study in Japan measured the mortality rates due to cancer in relationship with people who live in areas with lower forest coverage to those who live in areas with higher forest coverages. The findings indicated that “increased forest coverage may partially contribute to a decrease in mortality due to cancers in Japan” (Qing Li*, Maiko Kobayashi and Tomoyuki Kawada)
One-to-One Counselling in Wrexham
Through my work with Woodland Classroom I am now fully at ease with taking my counselling practice outside. I have seen first hand how being out in nature can reduce anxiety, help us feel at home with ourselves and allow us to open up to options and choices where before they were hidden.We can connect with our true nature, learn about our selves more deeply and develop a new appreciation for life.
When we connect with our natural selves and all the wonders of the natural world we may come to a point where we never need to feel alone again.
My job as a Counsellor is made so much easier when we meet in the woods, I become the facilitator of a process of reawakening, the development of a truly wonderful and healing relationship between client and Mother Nature.
This is a path of renewal and a most satisfying life.
I offer counselling in The Garden Room, Ffrith, Wrexham and nature therapy in Wrexham while walking in the woods or sitting by a fire. Each individual therapeutic relationship can be tailored through the contracting session to suit the needs of the client. The focus of the sessions can develop and change as trust and confidence grows in each other.
I have taught clients how to light their own fire, use an axe to chop their own wood and use old technology to create a spark, all this so we can sit with the warmth of the fire while discussing their issues. This has proved to be a truly empowering and transformative experience, all enhancing the overall experience of self development.
Working with Groups
If you’re looking to give your colleagues or staff practical methods for reducing their stress, lowering anxiety and increasing their productivity, then Mindfulness in Nature can help. I can put together a unique package for your group. I can offer Nature Therapy or Mindfulness in the Woods sessions. These can be delivered for individuals or in larger groups, depending on what you need. These sessions have been successful with groups of vulnerable young people, team building and CPD days as well as stress management for company staff.
I can deliver workshops alone or I can connect with other professionals who can be brought on board to my programme to deliver a high quality workshop for a larger group.
James Kendall: Bushcraft Instructor, Social Forester and Forest School Leader.
Roger Saxby: Physiotherapist and accredited to lead Breathworks Mindfulness for Health & Mindfulness for Stress Courses. Practitioner of Mindfulness in a Woodland Setting.
Kay Ribbons-Steen: Trained as a Ranger in environmental conservation, Forest School Leader and Social Forester, having worked for a number of years in Eco-Therapy and trained in Mindfulness in a Woodland Setting. Ambassador for the National Autistic Society, and autism awareness speaker.