Although Ecopsychology and Ecotherapy have been around for nearly 30 years, the field of psychology in general still seems to ignore both our understanding of ourselves as nature and the repairing of our widening disconnection from the rest of nature in its conception of mental health and wellness. Why is this and what can we do as mental health professionals? This break out session invites mental health professionals to come together and discuss how we can facilitate the integration of forest therapy and other nature therapy practices into our work, as well as bring this perspective to our colleagues in order to create a true paradigmatic shift. We can also consider together what forest therapy looks like in a clinical setting versus simply taking our therapy outdoors.
Julie Brams, MA, LMFT, LPCC is a psychotherapist, meditation teacher, writer and Certified Forest Therapy Guide in Los Angeles. Her psychotherapy practice integrates traditional therapy, the latest advances in neuro-psychology, meditation and ecopsychology practices. She offers monthly Forest Therapy walks and workshops taking people into the woods as a way to reciprocally heal themselves and the rest of nature. She has presented on the topic of ecopsychology and the neuro-science of nature for the treatment of anxiety, depression and optimal mind-body health at California State University Northridge, The American Public Health Association, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, as well as churches and synagogues. She is dedicated to social change and environmental sustainability through re-establishing our intimate connectedness with the rest of nature.