Counselling & Psychotherapy
(Outdoors – Indoors – Online)
- Are you feeling overwhelmed by the Covid-19 pandemic?
- Going through a personal issue that’s troubling you?
- Dreaming of a deeper and more meaningful connection with yourself?
- Are you going through a difficult time in your relationship?
- Wondering how to connect with & process your feelings in order to feel more emotionally resilient?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, then perhaps Nature-based Psychotherapy could be of help.
We live in a changed world
In March of 2020, our lives changed in an unimaginable way. We all experienced how, overnight, we lost the ability to connect with our friends and family in a meaningful way. Even though we are now more used to living with Covid-19, many people are struggling to cope on the inside. There’s only so long one can maintain this type of “holding pattern” before cracks begin to develop. We’re simply not built to withstand this type of stress or uncertainty for long periods. Coivd-19 has exposed so many of our vulnerabilities and the fragility of our society. People are taking a risk and seeking out professional support and healing.
What is Nature-based Psychotherapy?
Working therapeutically in nature is not a new concept. It has been around for many years. I do notice however, largely as a result of the pandemic, that more people are seeking out different ways to connect with, and be, in nature. Ecotherapy, as it’s sometimes referred to as, is finally reaching the mainstream. It couldn’t be happening at a better time. Not only are we faced with a pandemic, we’re also struggling to cope with an environmental crisis on a global scale. Part of the invitation with Ecopsychology or Nature Therapy, is to reconnect with both our internal and external natural worlds. There is much to be healed in most of us and part of that healing journey can be to “re-attune” ourselves with nature. Ultimately, we are a part of nature itself. Seeing ourselves as different or as more evolved than the “other-than-human” world is a huge part of the reason why we’re in this mess.
Why have a counselling session outside when I can comfortably see a therapist indoors?
Why not? ! We spend most of our lives indoors, leading an often sedentary lifestyle. We all know about the benefits of taking a walk by the sea or in the woods. Even the medical model of treating mental illness is realizing the positive effects that nature can have on our wellbeing. While most of us, thankfully, do not suffer from a diagnosed mental illness, there is no denying the fact that spending meaningful time in nature helps us to feel better within ourselves. With all that is happening with Covid-19, nature is quickly becoming peoples “safe place”, a space to connect with themselves, or just tune-out from all the fear and stress that they’re experiencing.
Is counselling outdoors the same as meeting a friend for a chat in nature?
No. Meeting friends for a walk is a fantastic way to support your self-care. Ecotherapy is different. As an accredited psychotherapist, I’m a trained listener. I’ve also taken part in specialised training to see clients in nature. I’ll listen to whatever you have to say, wherever you’re at, with kindness and compassion. You’ll have the unique freedom to share with someone without judgement. What you share with me is confidential, so there is no risk of someone betraying your inner world. While friends have their place, sometimes things are just too personal to discuss with someone whom you know.
I wonder if this could help my relationship. Do you see clients for couples therapy?
Yes. I also see clients for couples therapy or marriage counselling. I can see you from my office in Navan or in nature just outside Slane. Clients also travel from Drogheda. For more information, please visit the couples counselling page.
We live in Ireland – what if the weather is bad?
Get an answer to this and many other questions by visiting the FAQ page.
What should I expect in the first Nature-based Counselling session?
We can have an initial telephone conversation either before or after you make an appointment. This will help me understand what’s troubling you and you can also ask more specific questions about Nature-based Counselling and Psychotherapy. You will also get a sense of me. This is important to help you make the decision on whether you’d like to see me as your counsellor or therapist. You can also get a deeper sense of me and how I work by visiting the series of videos across the website.
For the first session, I’ll greet you at the car park and guide you into the woodland. We then sit by the fire on a pair of tree stumps. Don’t worry, I bring cushions!
You can also bring a camping chair if you’d find that more comfortable. As far as I’m aware, I am currently the only psychotherapist in Ireland who sees clients by a campfire. This is truly a unique and nourishing experience in itself. That being said, I have a fantastic group of colleagues who are trained therapists, dotted across the country. You can meet them all here.
If you’d like to avail of “walk and talk” therapy, just let me know as it’s something I can also offer on request.
Only a moderate level of fitness is required to access to the woodland. Bring a bright torch and dress warmly in layers. You will also need a pair of wellingtons to walk through a wetland. We can discuss all this in more detail over a phone conversation. In the interests of Covid-19, I invite that you follow a “leave no trace” philosophy by bringing your own bottled water and tissues. There are of course, no toilet facilities in the woods, so please go before you arrive!