A six-month course delivered online through bespoke one-to-one tutorials.

Nature psychology builds on traditional psychology. It adds newer forms like Environmental Psychology, Ecopsychology and Social Psychology to help us understand how outdoor experiences of nature make us feel, think and behave.

The particular focus of Nature Psychology is how such experiences can contribute to our health and wellbeing - and to that of the planetary ecosystems upon which we all depend.

This course provides bespoke learning and resources custom designed to fit your specific interests, aspirations and schedule. Through six, one-to-one tutorials and extensive learning resources it will enable you to delve deep into the theory of Nature Psychology. 

Tutorials are supported by personal online notes, private library access and email. The majority of readings are instantly available as PDF downloads.

The subject is Nature Psychology but the specific content of the course depends on you. Some like to focus on guided reading while others prefer an emphasis on dialogue or project work. Self-guided outdoor activities, creative projects, and collaboration to design new nature-based applications have all featured in the past. The course is designed around you every step of the way.

By the end of the course you will:

  • know what nature psychology is and how it fits with other types of psychology;
  • learn some foundational nature psychology ideas and theories;
  • design your own transformative outdoor experiences and explore how to facilitate them for others;
  • examine the impacts of contemporary industrial culture on how we interact with nature;
  • see how nature psychology can be applied to a range of professional contexts for example, coaching, psychotherapy, organisational development, policy, leadership and social change programmes;
  • understand how language impacts our ideas about, and experiences of nature;
  • unearth formal evidence that outdoor experiences improve wellbeing and encourage pro-ecological behaviours;
  • explore how to integrate nature psychology into other areas of study. For example, if you are an academic student or researcher.
  • gain insights into how to research and evaluate outdoor experiences and their impacts;
  • examine what nature psychology means for you own sense of identity;
  • find connections between nature psychology, philosophy and spiritual traditions;
  • explore how nature psychology relates to diverse cultures and world views.

The course has been developed through over 20 years of international research, development, post-graduate teaching and hands-on professional practice.

This course starts from the position that you cannot have healthy people on a sick planet. Living within the Earth's limits and working to restore our relationships with the rest of nature are essential to our health and wellbeing. Ensuring our own health and that of the planet’s ecosystems are the same task.

Nature psychology explores this dynamic with a particular focus on the many ways that time outdoors can contribute to the health of people and planet.

 

You can start the course whenever you like. During your first tutorial, a learning plan is agreed according to your specific interests. We then follow the plan together – and any new directions that emerge – over the following tutorials. Tutorials take place via Zoom. Readings, your learning plan and notes are administered via Google Drive.

You do not need to be a psychotherapist or counsellor to attend this course. It is for anyone interested in working with the therapeutic potential of time spent outdoors - from urban parks to designated wilderness. 

This includes healthcare practitioners, outdoor leaders, social workers, youth workers, rangers, conservationists and educators - as well as those interested in commissioning, or referring into, therapeutic outdoor programmes.

It is recommended that you bring around five years experience in some related form of professional practice - working with groups or one-to-one, indoors or out. However, each application is considered individually, so please do ask if you’re not sure.

Please note: 

  • this course is for those seeking to work therapeutically in nature and is not intended as a personal therapeutic intervention. 
  • it is likely that a basic level of outdoor leadership training will be required to work ethically and professionally outdoors, depending on the type of environment you want to work in. Please be aware that this course does not qualify you as a professional outdoor leader, which usually requires specialist training and assessment in your home region.

The course is delivered entirely online so you will need a computer with reliable broadband internet access. You will also need Google and Zoom accounts.

NZ$1995.00

Includes: 6 hours of bespoke contact time on a 1:1 ratio, online course notes updated after each session; access to a private online library of over 500 PDF downloads, a CPD certificate and email support.

Excludes: All information technology and equipment, internet costs and any full-text books that are referenced during the course.

To make sure the course is right for you, enrolment is by application. If you would like to have a chat about the course before applying please do get in touch.

Start Date:Anytime - you choose.
Duration:Six-months
Format:Six one-to-one online tutorials by arrangement to suit your schedule.
Contact time:Six hours
Approx. reading time:24 hours
Location:Online via Zoom and Google Drive
Certification:A Continuing Professional Development Certificate for your final number of hours can be issue upon course completion.
Price:NZ$1995.00

Janine Finlay

Dave’s course was the beginning of my journey with this incredible work.

I learned a lot about myself, and this has ultimately meant I can work with other people with a much deeper understanding of change processes. I loved that the course was self governed – for me this meant I could go on my own exploration, and pull on the threads that interested me.

Dave is very attentive and flexible toward personal needs, it is less ‘teacher-student’ focused and more collaborative and supportive, which I feel is exactly what is needed in this world.

I would do the course again and again.

Organisation:Fin Films Ltd UK & The Good Nature Project

Keith Hackwood

I heartily recommend David’s work to anyone wishing to deepen their understanding and experience within the broad purview of ecotherapy. The bespoke nature and pacing of the work, together with David’s extensive experience, strong companionship and challenge gives a blend of embodied practice with imagination and study, making for a profound synthesis and optimal conditions for deep change.

For me it was a tremendous vessel in which to simmer and steep, one that promoted the risky business of leaping, that served encountering the nobly camouflaged layers of self and led me to “be able to stand in the wreckage of what used to be (my) certainty” and have that be a flourishing of wild and previously unseen truths.

I recommend David, the man and his work, to anyone with heart enough to commit and head enough to set the compass.

Organisation:Synthesis Wales

Joanna Kitto

I really enjoyed this course which I did over a year.

David is very knowledgeable and experienced and provided me with access to a wide variety of resources which we would then discuss within the sessions. Because they were individual sessions, David was able to tailor them to my interests and what I wanted to explore.

This is a very flexible course and very worthwhile.

Organisation:Living Psychology

Janani Eswar

David has a brilliant way of guiding you on exactly the paths you want to traverse. He was able to help me follow my questions to new and interesting resources to learn from.

I work to connect children to nature in India and his course has helped me build language and structure around my work in order to better communicate with others around me.

I have also greatly benefited from his library. The resources available there would be very hard for me to find elsewhere.

Organisation:GRIN (Growing in Nature)

Danielle Levy

I am pleased that I decided to do this course with David. I got a lot out of the experience. I appreciated the open and flexible style of our sessions, and enjoyed the diversity of our valuable discussions.

David made me feel seen, heard, and supported throughout the journey. He is a true wealth of knowledge – and customised the course to meet my personal interests, by providing plenty of useful study resources.

Sandra Cunningham

I have worked with Dave since 2014, firstly through the online Nature Psychology course and more recently by engaging with him as my coach. He has a richness of knowledge, wisdom and experience that I feel so lucky to be able to access – and my only wish is I had found him sooner.

His grounded, open and, I think, quite modest style heartens me greatly in a world where humility often seems scarce. I leave every session with Dave feeling energised, inspired, renewed and hopeful on this emergent journey of mine. To anyone who wants to understand what it really means to climb down from our human superiority and truly inhabit the world as nature intended – and lead others in doing so – I can’t recommend Dave enough.

Organisation:Walking Coach