I am an experienced Integrative Therapist and Life Coach helping to improve well-being and discover self through the means of the outdoor space. Working integratively means I drawn on different theories and approaches providing flexibility with each client. I work in the sector of well-being through both talking therapy and outdoors working for the UK's biggest Surf Therapy Charity, The Wave Project, improving young people's emotional and physical health through surfing. I started my therapy training journey over 7 years ago and have experience in working with clients with ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, Depression, Self esteem and confidence and other mental health problems.
Outdoor therapy – Nature based rediscovery of self (Eco Therapy) Outdoor Therapy is nature based talking therapy, using the environment and natural space in place of a counselling room or online platform. Many therapists now practice online due to COVID and other practicalities, however as I have gained insight over the years of counselling and coaching, I have since developed my approach to be in the outdoors. It can also be described as Eco Therapy or Nature Therapy. My sessions are 1 to 1 in an outdoors setting amongst nature, to explore self and to get in touch with the natural world. As I develop my practice further, I am connecting this with Adventure Therapy, which is programs or services that utilize outdoor activities and experiential learning exercises to help individuals manage their psychological issues. This could be climbing, kayaking, surfing, SUPing, trekking, hiking and more. The aim is to use these activities as a catalyst for enabling change, to motivate and inspire. It also encompasses a mind and body connection, working as one, and creating space for challenge and growth within an individuals’ stretch zone, which is pushing ones self out of their comfort zone with the support of a qualified individual. I have completed training in Wilderness Therapy, taking place in the Pyrenes in Spain. I learned experiential approaches to helping clients facilitate meaning and connection to self and life in the outdoors. Wilderness Therapy is defined as a form of residential treatment, primarily for young people and may include trekking expeditions or base camp models with a focus on immersion in a wilderness location. Outdoor therapy invites in the natural elements to the session, connecting to the space around us, relating emotions to the natural world, and finding yourself along the way. My therapy approach is humanistic, meaning sessions are led by the client, and have a foundation of trust and rapport through an authentic way of connecting, whilst drawing on study in positive psychology, CBT models and Psychodynamic training. I combine these to enable depth and flexibility with each client and tailor my sessions and approach to fit the individual. Our connection with nature has been lost and rediscovered anew for many over the past two years of the pandemic. With this, I have been searching for the best approach for the time we now live in to facilitate improving wellbeing through a natural space, rather than indoors or over an online platform. We often forget the power of nature, even a short walk in the woods has been scientifically proven to enhance our wellbeing, reduce cortisol (our stress hormone) and improve our cognitive hibitions and improvement in memory function. Start your journey today by getting in touch with me. Safety and Risk Management: During Outdoor Therapy sessions, I help facilitate meaningful experiences through walking, talking and connecting in nature. The spaces I conduct Outdoor Therapy are the South Downs and Southwick Beach. These areas are carefully considered and risk assessed before a session takes place, to ensure confidentiality and safety at all times. Areas are mapped out pre-session, but the client leads the pace and route, to enable flexibility, autonomy, directiveness and freedom. All sessions are fully confidential, with the exception of supervision, which all counsellors attend to discuss their work and improve their practice, but this is anonymous. Sessions will take place in weather appropriate conditions. The exceptions are any risk or warnings forecast by the Met Office ahead of the session, such as very strong winds or thunderstorms. Other than these exceptions, sessions will not be cancelled in events such as light rain. This is due to the weather and environment being a part of the sessions and process, connecting to the flow of nature and seasons within the therapeutic process.
I have a Diploma in Integrative Counselling and Therapy, with training in CBT. I am an insured and registered member of BACP and abide by their Ethical Framework. I have had training and experience with Autism, ADHD, Ecotherapy, Young people’s mental health and experiential Wilderness Therapy Training. I am also a qualified Life Coach providing sessions in Sussex working with clients to achieve goals, improve their mindset, confidence, self esteem and well-being. I also have experience with counselling patients through a GP in Surrey. Further to this I have volunteered as a Telephone mentor for the Brigitte Trust during COVID and at The Mary Frances trust with adults with mental health issues. I have experience with young people in counselling at The BRIT School and life coaching, from ages 13-20. I work with this age group in the same setting, but with parent/guardian consent.