Date of Award
Project (696 or 796 registration)
Master of Science in Counseling
Aaron Suomala Folkerds
ecotherapy, narrative therapy, women living with depression, group therapy
The field of nature-based therapy treatment is rapidly expanding. With an emphasis on healing the disconnectedness of the modern world through experiencing interconnectedness with the natural world, this modality is particularly useful in treating symptoms of social isolation and hopelessness within populations living with major depressive disorder. The literature highlights emotional and biological benefits of mental health counseling in a natural setting with key therapeutic factors. Researchers highlighted these factors as the natural environment itself, the element of challenge, nature as a third-party influence on therapeutic relationship, and expansiveness and interconnectedness of the natural world (Naor & Mayseless, 2021). Within nature-based therapy, or ecotherapy, these factors may not provide a clear, linear treatment plan for specific diagnoses. This group manual was developed to provide members with these therapeutic factors while incorporating a narrative modality for a more structured approach to treating depression. Group members will re-story limiting beliefs through overcoming challenges in nature, finding a sense of shared belonging, and dissecting “problem-saturated” stories they may live by.
Anderson, Cora, "Nature-Based Group Therapy for Women Living with Depression Through a Narrative Lens" (2023). Dissertations, Theses, and Projects. 786.
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