Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Counseling


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

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.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.