Natalia Clarke Counselling and Psychotherapy in Harefield, Uxbridge

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"Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better". Albert Einstein

“Whenever I have found myself stuck in the ways I relate to things, I return to nature. It is my principal teacher, and I try to open my whole being to what it has to say. “ –Wynn Bullock

Nature around us be it a woodland, waterside, an open field or mountains can offer us:

- Incredible support
- Emotional release
- A feeling of well-being
- Affirmation of our own qualities
- Deep insight
- Physical energy
- Sensory and spiritual connection
- Help support us while we work through anxiety, depression or loss

Psychotherapy is a space where we often explore our relationships to others and ourselves, a holding environment where we seek to make sense of difficulties that we experience in life. Nature therapy/psychotherapy outdoors is where through relating to the natural world, wilderness and engaging with outdoor activities we learn to relate to ourselves. As we connect more to ourselves our relationships to others transform.

Let me as a therapist along with nature be containers for your material and a space to express your feelings, explore your behaviour, patterns of relating and come to a place where unconscious becomes conscious through insights and connection with the natural world.

Outdoor therapy offers us an opportunity to ‘come back home’, return to ourselves, to reflect on our place in the world, illuminate the meaning of our lives and reaffirm the value of connection to everything around us.

I am passionate about nature therapy and my work has been inspired by my own profound, spiritual and psychologically healing experiences in nature. I take ideas from the fields of Ecopsychology, Ecotherapy and Environmental therapy. Over the years I have built a deep and sacred relationship with nature through observing the seasons and allowing nature to reflect what needs attention within.

I offer one-to-one psychotherapy sessions outdoors, in nature with an aim:

- to promote mindful observation of surroundings, engage correct breathing and groundedness
- to release and open space for expression of emotions and connecting deeper to yourself
- to learn and take away ways of being with yourself in a more 'whole', balanced way
- to bring into awareness what might be unconscious
- to begin develop and connect with our spiritual and ecological self

More specifically there are areas outlined below that you might choose to focus on in your work outside:

1. Senses Walk
Connecting to yourself through experiencing nature through senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste

2. Mindfulness in Nature
Learning how to be more present. Can either be sitting down or a walking practice

3. Metaphors of Self in nature
Connecting with the four elements and their qualities within (Air, Water, Earth and Fire) within through their outside representation.

4. Creativity in Nature
Working with a chosen theme, topic we explore its meaning seeking to transform, obtain insight through engagement in creative activities in nature

5. Spiritual walk, beyond 'self'
Seeking and connecting to a mysterious, divine, 'other than' in natural environment

6. Seasonal exploration
We work with an explore seasonal aspects and its qualities and how they operate within you

There are THREE options to start your therapeutic journey in nature, outside:

1. You might want to incorporate all six areas of exploration listed above in a 6-weeks meetings. We meet on a weekly basis for up to 2 hours to explore all of the above.

2. You can choose to work with and explore a specific area (see above) as an one-off session or a number of sessions.

3. We simply walk and talk and have our usual session but taking it outside.

Working outdoors might suit clients experiencing:

- depression
- anxiety
- bereavement
- a life crisis or transitions
- a loss of self
- purpose and meaning seeking
- a particularly difficult theme or dynamic, e.g. family and other relationships

Prior to starting we meet for an assessment session to discuss your preferences, requirements and goals and assess your suitability for working outdoors. It is also an option for current clients, who sometimes might feel like taking therapy outside.

I have access to natural wooded and open areas within walking distance from my home, a place I know well. Alternatively we could meet at a place of your choice, a park or woodland. Please inform me of the place in advance, as a separate assessment by me might be needed for safety and suitability.

All traditional aspects of counselling/psychotherapy apply to working outside, such as observation of boundaries, confidentiality and a therapeutic relationship. Please contact me by phoning 07710 490239 or send me an email by clicking HERE
I look forward to hearing from you to arrange a consultation and discuss your requirements.

Benefits of Nature Therapy

- connecting to your physical body through experiencing the elements outside, walking as a way of exercise
- improving mental, emotional and physical well-being
- experience a connection with the natural world and seeing your place within the whole system
- getting in touch with your spiritual self and finding a deeper meaning and purpose for your life path
- getting to know yourself better and become aware of innate qualities as reflected to you by nature

Nature's Therapeutic Roles

- Nature as a healing modality: feeling supported, nourished, at ease
- Nature as a container: feeling safe, at home, held
- Nature as a resource: providing immediate experience and connection, of metaphors, myths, stories, energies
- Nature holding and reflecting the life cycles, seasons (life and death, rhythms of seasons and weather)
- Nature as a connector to deep feelings often difficult: senses are sharp and inner voices are clearer, emotions are heightened and easier to express, exploration of shadow material and fears
(framework as outlined in Ecotherapy by Martin Jordan)

On the edge of the world, at the edge of the land,
Standing facing the sea, I look down to my hand
It's brown with the wind, the sun and the rain,
It's wrinkled and lined with sand, ingrained
It's lined with a life that I thought I knew best,
All my hopes and my fears and a sum of the rest
I look up to the sea and take a sniff of air.
As the waves crash in, I am remembering where
I grew up and who I've been,
Who I've touched and what I've seen.
How I've cried and laughed and joked,
What I thought and what I spoke.
A gull soars past, flying high,
Which takes my eyes towards the sky,
There clouds billow in, pushed along by the wind,
a mix of whites, greys and blues,
And when the sun sets, a hint of rouge.
I've been here before, on the edge of the world,
Standing facing the sea, calling out without words,
Looking towards a curved horizon,
Something for me to rest my eyes on.
Somewhere for me to relax and remember,
A place for then, for now, forever.
Now I know where my boundaries lie
Where the waves touch the sky.

(from Ecotherapy by Martin Jordan & Joe Hinds)

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