Ecotherapy 

Group and individual work in the natural world

Scroll down for individual sessions and counselling outdoors

I wanted to introduce you to Ecotherapy East. My partner and I and two other directors set up as a Community Interest Company in 2021 in order to develop and expand our work.

 

We have been rewilding and increasing biodiversity on a lovely 12-acre meadow we steward in Bramfield, in Suffolk with the help of community and volunteers since 2020. We have planted and been looking after over 300 trees, wildflower patches and we have a pond we manage. We are reducing the use of machinery on the land by for example scything the grass. We created a land labyrinth.

We are fundraising for some basic infrastructure. We are seeking funds to provide a reliable and safe water supply and secure storage on the meadow. These things will help us to look after the land, our volunteers and community that comes to tend the land.

We also want to offer nature-based activities and ecotherapy workshops, which Rob and I have been running in other venues in East Anglia since 2016, on our land. We feel a sense of urgency about offering this work more widely given the huge benefits it can have on our wellbeing, mental health and our relationship with the natural world.

We have 3 broad goals:
- To promote well-being, personal growth, and healing through nature-based activities and ecotherapy workshops
- To increase awareness of the natural world and our relationship with it using walks, talks and active learning
- To help regenerate natural ecosystems and biodiversity employing practical tasks on and with the land.

Find out more about our team, watch our video and read more about our vision on our page.

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR PROJECT BY DONATING OR CLAIMING A REWARD HERE: https://crowdfunder.co.uk/p/ecotherapy-east

Many thanks and gratitude from Sebastiana, Rob, Marisa and Nick (Ecotherapy East) and the natural world on the meadow and beyond

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Events in 2022

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Land Care and Community Day
Saturday 21 May, 11-4pm
Church Farm Meadow, Bramfield, Suffolk

Free


Come and join us on the meadow that we have been rewilding since 2020 with the help of friends and volunteers.
We are planning a gentle day clearing any weeds and grass around the young trees. We will be also weeding the labyrinth so wildflowers can take off. If time we will cut down any bramble and clear space for wildlife. Most importantly it is an opportunity to enjoy the land, fresh air and each others' company.

 

To join contact us: ecotherapyeast@gmail.com
 

Wise Nature
Ecotherapy and Mindfulness Summer Retreat
 

Friday 8 July to Wednesday 13 July 2022

Stay 2, 3 or 5 days

Tuttington, North Norfolk

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"Sebastiana and Rob created a fantastic space and atmosphere.  It was welcoming, relaxing, calming, mindful and nurturing." Andrew, 2021

Come and enrich yourself and your relationship with nature on a beautiful meadow in North Norfolk with ancient trees and adjacent woodland area. 

We will be:

  • practicing mindfulness and self-compassion – slowing down, grounding ourselves, becoming more embodied and receptive

  • meditating to more deeply engage our senses and imagination

  • connecting to and opening ourselves to the beauty and wisdom of the human and more-than-human world.

  • exploring ecotherapy and relating to the natural world with reciprocity and gratitude 

  • movement, creative writing, mark making and other expressive practices

  • sharing together in community, gaining support and insight

  • letting the natural world guide us, understanding what we can give and receive

 

During your stay in the community we create for practice, we will immerse ourselves in and build a reciprocal relationship with the natural world. Often this helps us to gain clarity, strength and increase a sense of wellbeing and connection. Add to this regular mindfulness and self-compassion practice and we become more intimate with our mind, release tension and become kinder to ourselves and others. And then when we weave expressive arts into the tapestry we start to process our experience and unearth what may be outside our consciousness. Over our time together nature helps us restore balance and deeper connection reminding us to take care of the natural world that supports our everyday existence.

 

Programme (provisional):

Friday

arrivals from 4pm (please arrive early to set up and settle before dinner)

6:30pm-dinner

7:30pm-9pm -  welcome, introductions, orientation

Saturday 

8:30am – meditation (optional)

9-9:45am – breakfast

10am-1pm – morning programme

1-3:30- lunch and break

3:30-6:30 – afternoon programme

7pm- dinner

8pm – evening programme – mindful movement and dance (with Katy) and sauna

 

Sunday 

8:30am – meditation (optional)

9-9:45am – breakfast

10am-1pm – morning programme

1-3:30- lunch and break

3:30-6:30 – afternoon programme

7pm- dinner

8pm – evening programme – time round the fire- ritual (with Katy) and sauna

 

Monday 

8:30am – meditation (optional)

9-9:45am – breakfast

10am-1pm – morning programme- Dance Movement session in nature (with Katy)

1-3:30- lunch and break

3:30-6:30 – afternoon programme

7pm- dinner

8pm – evening programme TBC

Tuesday

8:30am – meditation (optional)

9-9:45am – breakfast

10am-1pm – morning programme

1-3:30- lunch and break

3:30-6:30 – afternoon programme

7pm- dinner

8pm – evening programme TBC

Wednesday

8:30am – meditation (optional)

9-9:45am – breakfast

10am-1pm – morning programme

1-3pm- lunch and clearing up, departure

Robert and Sebastiana are both registered integrative counsellors, ecotherapists and mindfulness and self-compassion teachers. They draw on many threads, including Bill Plotkin's work with the soul in nature, Mark Coleman's meditations in nature and some aspects of forest bathing therapy created by Amos Clifford.  They use expressive arts when working in nature to facilitate a deeper participation and connection. Robert has a keen interest in bird watching, and also mindfulness meditation, supporting us to become more sensitive to our deep connections. Sebastiana will engage you in a more embodied relating with the natural world, using movement and voice, opening our sensitivity to both the inner and outer landscapes. Katy Dunne who will be looking after our evenings at the weekend and facilitate the somatic ecotherapy workshop on Monday morning is a local dancer, dance movement psychotherapist and community artist.

 

Facilities: 

  • Outdoor shelter from sun and light showers. 

  • Workshop space with a wood-burner for when it is raining a lot and for evening dance. 

  • Fire to enjoy in the evening and to heat kettles. 

  • Kitchen with utensils and gas stoves. 

  • Compost loos, hot showers and a sauna. 

  • Plenty of space for camping.

 

Options for stay and cost:

1. 2 days: Arrive on Friday evening and leave on Sunday afternoon

Choose the level that corresponds with your ability to pay:

£195 Supporter of those needing concession; £170 Basic;  £145 Limited number of concessions

Includes facilitation, breakfast, dinner and camping. Bring your own lunch and anything else you require.

 

2. 3 days: Arrive on Friday evening and leave on Monday evening

Choose the level that corresponds with your ability to pay:

£270 Supporter of those needing concession; £245 basic; £215 Limited number of concessions

Includes facilitation, breakfast, dinner and camping. Bring your own lunch and anything else you require.

 

3. 5 days: Arrive on Friday evening and leave on Wednesday afternoon

Choose the level that corresponds with your ability to pay:

£405 Supporter of those needing concession; £380 basic; £355 Limited number of concessions

Includes facilitation, breakfast, dinner and camping. Bring your own lunch and anything else you require.

Food: Vegan dinner will be cooked together. Breakfast - porridge with seeds, nuts and raisins. Teas, coffee and vegan milk will be available throught the day. If there is anything else you require, please bring your own supplies. Bring your own lunch.

We will be living together as a community. Everyone will be invited to help with food preparation, cooking, washing up, keeping the fire going and facilities clean.

Accomodation: If you live locally, you can sleep at home and come back each morning. However, if you can, we recommend you stay and camp with everyone to make your retreat experience more valuable.

Spaces Limited (up to 15 participants). Please book early.

Becoming Nature: Rewild Your Mind 2
Saturday 8 to Sunday 9 October 2022
Tuttington, North Norfolk

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Nature is a special kind of mirror that helps us see hidden parts of ourselves. Often in the supportive presence of the natural world our minds start to settle and insights crystallise. As our mind begins to ease over two days of mindfulness in nature, a rich internal world becomes more accessible. In this workshop we will make a deeper dive into our internal world with the help of a nature-based map of our human wholeness. We will look at the East and West qualities and aspects of our selves. 

We will follow the call to adventure into nature and psyche and
learn these tools to support this process of self-discovery.


• We begin with mindfulness, embodiment and sensory awareness. In order to engage with the natural world we have to be sensitive to our world and ourselves.
• Other parts of ourselves will become more obvious as our mind begins to settle. Self-compassion will be useful to us as we navigate this.
• We will venture out onto the land and meet other natural beings. If we pay attention in particular ways we can learn much about ourselves and our lives.
• Deep imagery and expressive arts practices will helps us explore and digest these learnings.
• Group sharing will support us to uncover insights.
• We will introduce a simple map to help us understand what goes on inside us.

 

Programme:
Saturday
Morning 9:30-12:30am
Mindfulness, self-compassion, sensory awareness practices
Afternoon 2-5pm
Learn a map of the psyche and start to explore your inner landscape

Dinner 6:30pm

Evening Programme

Earth Day celebration (optional)


Sunday
Morning 9:30am-12:30am
Explore dreams, expressive arts exercises, how is your inner world?
Afternoon 1:30-3
Consolidation, intentions for next steps

£140 - supporter of those needing concession; £120 - basic; £95 - limited number of concessions
Includes vegan dinner, camping, facilities (showers, sauna), facilitation, refreshments. Bring your own lunch and breakfast.

Camp on or off site.

We will have an outdoor shelter in the event of showers and an indoor space with a woodburner in case of heavier rain.

Spaces limited (up to 8 partipants). Book early.

Individual Ecotherapy Sessions- nature-based therapy

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The natural world, with its different cycles and seasons, often reflects our own internal world and experiences. Consciously being in nature supports us to connect to ourselves, regulate our emotions, feel more grounded and find what needs attention within us. These environmental opportunities can not be found in a therapy room. Ecotherapy provides a safe way to take your therapy session outdoors, into the natural world and tap into its wisdom and healing potential.

 

The natural world can serve as a mirror to the challenges we face and guide us to gain insight and the resources we need. Whether we walk or sit, with the help of our senses we can establish a reciprocal connection to nature around us and learn something from it. There are opportunities to be inspired, to feel, express and make sense of.Everything in nature is unabashedly, unashamedly itself and tends towards wholeness, towards its unique and powerful expression.”* Nature teaches us many lessons; being in nature moves us towards our own wholeness and unique expression.

We can also work with ecotherapy indoors. It involves connecting with natural items, pictures and plants, imagining and visualising different aspects of the natural world and bringing this imagery into your therapy and  creativity.

*Ryan Van Lenning

How does it work?

For the first few sessions we will meet indoors in order to establish a safe therapeutic relationship, explore your goals and make sure you feel ready for our outdoor sessions. Together we will decide how often we will meet outdoors. Indoor sessions can serve as an opportunity to process the time spent outdoors as well as to focus on other goals you may have for your therapy.


In an ecotherapy session, like in a counselling session, I will be guided by your needs and process. I will offer ways to bring the natural world to your awareness. I may invite you to become aware of both your internal and external world. You can learn mindfulness and sensory awareness practices that will settle your mind, invite you into a deeper relationship with yourself and the natural world, and create nourishing bonds with your favourite more-than-human beings and natural spots.

I will send you an introductory email before our first session outdoors, explaining where we will meet and other practicalities you might need to know.

I work in a couple of locations in Norfolk and Suffolk: a woodland in an urban part of Norwich and a private field in Suffolk. However, I am also open to exploring other natural locations with you. Please do contact me with any specific questions you might have about this and I would be happy to help.

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Benefits:

In this digital age we live in, many people have become disconnected from the natural world. Ecotherapy invites you to reconnect to the power, ease and regenerative potential of nature and heal this disconnection.

Research shows that ecotherapy, and generally being outdoors more, has numerous benefits including:

  • Feeling less isolated and more connected

  • Decreasing anxiety and depression

  • Finding resources in the natural world to feel more grounded and supported

  • Calming of the nervous system and lessening of symptoms of ADHD/ADD

  • Developing greater body awareness and embodiment

  • Finding consolation and soothing when working through grief

  • Addressing sensory integration difficulties while awakening the senses

Past Events

Becoming Nature:
Rewild Your Mind 1
Saturday 23 to Sunday 24 April 2022
Tuttington, North Norfolk















 

Emerging from Winter Darkness

 

Sunday 6 February 2022

10am-4:30pm

Tuttington, near Aylsham,Norfolk

early bird £45 until 16th January,

thereafter £60

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"Rob and Sebastiana led the various activities with warmth and kindness, guiding us into a deeper awareness of ourselves through being present and alive to the natural world. A nourishing oasis in a busy life!"
 

In this nature immersion workshop we will have an opportunity to tune into winter and the first signs of spring, and sense what most needs attention within us. Under the earth seeds are starting to notice longer days and the germination process will be beginning to ignite. We will be based indoors in a cosy space with a woodburner, and venture out to explore our relationship with the natural world and the seasons. Using mindfulness, ecotherapy practices and creativity, we will find ways to connect with ourselves, our senses and the more-than-human-world and seek answers for our most pressing questions. We will be at one of our favourite venues, on a meadow with adjacent woodland.
 

During the day we will:

  • Embody the Indigenous and Ecotherapy principle of reciprocity with the natural world

  • Practice and develop mindfulness and ecotherapy in the natural world

  • Connect with ourselves, our senses and more-than-human world

  • Engage in creativity and nature connection to uncover insights

  • Work skilfully with our emotions

  • Share in a community of like-minded people

No experience necessary. Everyone is welcome. Booking essential, spaces limited.

In case of extreme weather we will postpone. Receive a refund with any Covid-related absence.

Awake In The Natural World

 

17th October 2021 | 10:00-16:00

On a spacious meadow near St Michael South Elmham, Suffolk

£45 Early Bird (before 1st October)

Full rate £60 - Concession £30

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Rob and Sebastiana led ... us into a deeper awareness of ourselves through being present and alive to the natural world. A nourishing oasis in a busy life!"

 

Using our popular and powerful combination of Ecotherapy and Mindfulness practices you will have an opportunity to deepen and develop your connection to yourself and the natural world. Settling your mind and opening up your senses will allow you to be guided by the natural world in autumn, receiving insights and discovering new ways of being. We will hold space to nourish what most needs attention in your life, whilst attuning to what the natural world may be asking of us.

We will be outdoors, sitting round the fire or if it is raining under a shelter. The day will include walking meditations, sit spots, awakening senses practices and other experiential ecotherapy and mindfulness exercises, as well as time for sharing in the group and digesting experiences through creativity (creative writing, image making).

The meadow we will be on has compost loos and running water. Parking is available and lift share will be organised if necessary. More information on booking.

 

“Robert and Sebastiana led us by the hand into a different way of thinking and being...

No experience necessary. Everyone is welcome. Booking essential, spaces limited.

In case of extreme weather we will postpone.

Free Ecotherapy Taster Workshops

Awake in the Natural World

Saturday 25 September 2021

10:30am-12:30pm

FarmShare Farm

Whitlingham Nurseries, off Whitlingham Lane, NR14 8TZ

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"Wonderful morning full of surprise, joy and connection and very uplifting." R Collins., June, 21 (FarmShare Taster)

 

The natural world offers us much guidance and nourishment if we are awake to it. In this introductory workshop you will discover some practical ways to connect with the natural world and yourself, using Ecotherapy and Mindfulness activities. As the seasons change, we can let go and welcome what is ahead of us.

Booking essential. Spaces limited.

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