Part 5 : Connect (an excerpt)

amazing tree trunk and roots

Introduction….“In this section we introduce a range of administrative features and personal supports that will help grow and ensure success for your nature-based therapy program.

From the outset, when a program is being considered, having appropriate administrative structures such as comprehensive risk management processes ensures statutory requirements are met, in particular legislation around Work, Health and Safety (WHS) and Child Protection, for which we are collectively responsible. Similarly, taking (non-negotiable) time to look after yourself will help you sustain your energy levels and emotional neutrality so that you can support your group and its participants. In many similar professional disciplines, participation in a peer support system or clinical supervision is a requirement. These are strongly recommended.

Widening the community through volunteers and student placements almost becomes a responsibility of this work – sharing and including as it grows. This section also outlines some research or inquiry in nature-based therapy, using action-based, grounded theory. Some examples and ‘field-notes’ on how some projects and work environments have applied the theory of nature-based therapy are presented. This approach has proceeded tentatively, sometimes experimentally, with a spirit of curiosity, exploring how nature heals, and if so, how best to facilitate this with some groups of vulnerable people. As public interest in nature-based therapies grows, so does the research and evidence base for this work. And there is a lot taking place locally that strengthens and consolidates its place among a holistic approach to therapy, building resilience of the individual, and collectively in our communities of practice”.

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