This ecotherapy training course will equip you with the basic skills and knowledge to design and facilitate therapeutic outdoor experiences.
Get started as an ecotherapist, or dig deeper into your existing ecotherapy practice. The course is based on extensive research and over 25 years of hands-on professional practice. It is delivered over three months through a mixture of live group webinars (recorded to watch again/later), and one-to-one online tutorials.
Gain an overview of the various ecotherapy approaches currently being offered internationally and explore some foundational theories underpinning this type of work. Learn about facilitation styles and techniques and see examples and case studies of therapeutic outdoor programmes. Understand issues surrounding liability, insurance and risk, and where to access resources and networks. Work out your next steps towards professional practice, or towards further enriching your existing practice.
Please explore the course information below for more details. If you have any questions or want to discuss things, please book a free intro session.
The course has been scheduled to be accessible in the maximum range of time zones.
By the end of the course you will have:
- an overview of the various different ecotherapy approaches currently being offered internationally;
- made connections between personal, social and ecological issues and their roles in creating pathologies;
- understood some of the foundational theories underpinning this type of work;
- explored basic facilitation styles and techniques;
- discovered how to select conducive outdoor spaces to work in;
- understood how to create ‘safe space’ and boundaries outdoors;
- developed your own therapeutic contract for working outdoors;
- found strategies and techniques for self-care and supervision;
- reviewed some examples and case studies of therapeutic outdoor programmes;
- learned how to design your own programmes;
- explored issues around the confluence of ecotherapy practice, culture and indigene;
- developed your understanding of ethics and professionalism in ecotherapy practice;
- examined outdoor risk and how to manage it;
- gained an overview of the issues surrounding liability and insurance;
- found where to access resources and networks;
- worked out your next steps towards professional practice, or towards further enriching your existing practice.
For most people who work and play outside, it is obvious that time spent outdoors is therapeutic. Despite this, the idea that it might be offered as part of formal healthcare has struggled to take hold.
In the last five years however, the engagement of mainstream healthcare with outdoor approaches to therapy have exploded. In the UK for example, several programmes have been piloted to provide outdoor experiences by prescription. These have been extremely successful, outperforming conventional therapies and pharmacology in both health outcomes and cost efficiency.
But providing this kind of service is not easy. This is due mainly to the lack of people who can supply safe, professional and effective therapeutic outdoor experiences.
The course has been developed through over 25 years of international research, development, post-graduate teaching and hands-on professional practice. This includes the design and delivery of a government-funded programme in the UK which offered therapeutic outdoor experiences by prescription.
The excellent health economics and proven efficacy of outdoor approaches to improving mental and physical health means that - without doubt - demand for practitioners will continue to increase. Given the scale of mental health and well-being issues globally, there is going to be an increased demand for professionals who can provide safe and effective outdoor therapies.
This course aims to help provide those professionals.
This course starts from the position that you cannot have healthy people on a sick planet. Ensuring our own health and that of the planet’s ecosystems are the same task. This reciprocal perspective is different to many others currently being offered, which tend to focus only on the benefits to humans of spending time outdoors.
Working with reciprocity, the course explores how outdoor experiences of nature can awaken us to our ecological reality. This is intrinsically healing because it reconnects us to a stable and clear sense of self, rooted in our own ecology. It also compels us to want to live sustainably, because we realise we are a fundamentally interdependent part of nature. Together these two realisations complete the therapeutic loop.
The course runs over three months, plus the Christmas Break. There are eight sessions made up of two, one-to-one tutorials and six, 90-minute live group webinars.
Session 1: One-to-one online tutorial (1 hr)
Session 2: Group online webinar - Context (1.5 hrs)
Session 3: Group online webinar - Theory (1.5 hrs)
Session 4: Group online webinar - Design (1.5 hrs)
Session 5: Group online webinar - Facilitation (1.5 hrs)
Session 6: Group online webinar - Discussion (1.5 hrs)
Session 7: Group online webinar - Professional Practice (1.5 hrs)
Session 8: One-to-one online tutorial (1 hr)
The course includes 11 hours of total live contact time on a maximum 1:12 ratio including,
- nine hours of live group webinars, recorded to watch again;
- two hours of one-to-one contact time;
- access to an instant-access private online library of over 500 PDF downloads;
- a comprehensive online Course Guide;
- access to a private email group;
- CPD certification; and,
- email support.
If you have access to professional practice opportunities, these can be integrated into your learning process. If you are yet to start practicing, then advice about gaining experience is offered.
You do not need to be a psychotherapist or counsellor to participate in this course. It is for anyone interested in working with the therapeutic potential of outdoor experiences - 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 of experience in some related form of professional practice - working with groups or one-to-one, indoors or out. However, this is not always essential, so please do ask if you’re not sure.
- this course is for those seeking to work therapeutically outdoors and is not intended as a personal therapeutic intervention.
- it is likely that a basic level of outdoor leadership training, including outdoor first aid, 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 nation.
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.
Please note that it is very difficult to participate with only smartphone access and/or using Zoom from shared spaces or public environments.
Includes: 11 hours of contact time on a maximum 1:12 ratio, two hours of contact time on a one-to-one ratio, access to a private online library of over 500 PDF downloads, an online Course Guide, access to a private email group, a CPD certificate and email support and; GST in New Zealand.
Excludes: All information technology and equipment, internet costs and any hard-copy, full-text books that are referenced during the course. Additional one-to-one sessions can be purchased if required.
|Format||Two one-to-one tutorials and six 90-minute live group webinars, plus reading and optional assignments.|
Maximum group size: 12.
|Dates:||Webinar 1: 16th April 2024 at 08:00 to 09:30, NZDT|
Webinar 2: 30th April 2024 at 08:00 to 09:30, NZDT
Webinar 3: 14th May 2024 at 08:00 to 09:30, NZDT
Webinar 4: 28th May 2024 at 08:00 to 09:30, NZDT
Webinar 5: 11th June 2024 at 08:00 to 09:30, NZDT
Webinar 6: 25th June 2024 at 08:00 to 09:30, NZDT
Tutorials: Scheduled at a time convenient to you, subject to time zones.
All webinars are recorded so you can watch them again, or catch up if you miss one.
|Contact time:||11 hours|
|Approx. reading time:||40 hours|
|Location:||Via Zoom and Google Drive.|
|Certification:||A Continuing Professional Development Certificate for up to 51 hours can be issued upon course completion.|