Environmental Arts Therapy

This offers a playful, reflective process working with natural materials to gain greater understanding of an individual's story, their journey, potential obstacles and resources.

Imagination in and with nature

Environmental Arts therapy offers a playful, reflective process working with natural materials to gain greater understanding of an individual's story, their journey, potential obstacles and resources. We work in natural locations, with natural themes and the yearly cycles. As with other forms of arts therapy, the therapeutic goals remain paramount, however the context and references are inspired by the natural world. Environmental Arts Therapy is multimedia in its approach using visual arts, movement, drama, voice work and play.

The work facilitates a greater felt connection with oneself and nature through the changing year using metaphor, ritual, story making, myths and traditions.

By connecting with and taking meaning from what is going on in the outside world, we are able to begin to understand how this process mirrors what is also going on in our inner worlds.

Creative use of natural materials

It may be appropriate to introduce this work by first bringing natural objects in to the therapy space and in time make the journey outside together. A thorough risk assessment will be made by the therapist in this process to ensure participants are safe.
With an increased connection to the natural world, empathy, understanding and a reciprocal relationship can develop. Environmental Arts therapy can develop and re-ignite wonder in the natural world. For many of us, as children the very earliest play took place outside, creating sand castles, splashing in puddles and using found objects to play with. This connection to nature and relationship to natural objects and creatures with in it may have been missed by many, including those experiencing Adverse Childhood Experiences. By making significant connections and relationships in and with nature, aspects of an individual's psyche may be preserved- keeping it intact, healthy and resourced.

With an increased connection to the natural world, empathy, understanding and a reciprocal relationship can develop. Environmental Arts therapy can develop and re-ignite wonder in the natural world. For many of us, as children the very earliest play took place outside, creating sand castles, splashing in puddles and using found objects to play with. This connection to nature and relationship to natural objects and creatures with in it may have been missed by many, including those experiencing Adverse Childhood Experiences. By making significant connections and relationships in and with nature, aspects of an individual's psyche may be preserved- keeping it intact, healthy and resourced.



Environmental Arts Therapy can offer:

• A supportive therapy for both individuals and groups
• empowerment for clients to have a voice with which to be heard and witnessed using stories and a multi -media approach
• the building of relationship to oneself and to nature
• autonomy in the therapy process, as a client has a wider choice as to where they wish to work outside and with which natural materials to work with.
• an anchor in the process of loss and grieving, finding context and holding in the metaphors of the natural world
• the building of resilience and courage at times of difficulty and change
• promotion of self-regulation, play and expression
• time to return to and explore the sensory world,
• opportunity for mindfulness, stillness and re-charge
• an increase in connection to nature's wonder and the synchronicity experienced there
• the potential to work with ritual, for example in marking previously unmarked significant transitions by creating thresholds in natural environments
• many benefits associated with working outside


Environmental Art Therapy is a postgraduate training, for previously qualified therapists at The London Art Therapy Centre

For more information on Environmental Art Therapy:
arttherapy.centre.com

Further resources:

''Environmental Arts Therapy: The Wild Frontiers of the Heart''
Edited by Ian Siddons Heginworth and Gary Nash. Published by Routledge (20 Nov 2019)

''Environmental Art Therapy and the Tree of Life '' By Ian Siddons Heginworth
(published by Spirits rest books 2011) 

Caz Hoar   caz@catdevon.org.uk
Gin Farrow-Jones  gin@catdevon.org.uk
   
Home 


© Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.