How Outdoor Therapy Helps
Throughout the pandemic, unique approaches to therapy were developed to continue necessary mental health services while maintaining health & safety protocols.
We saw the rise of Telehealth, mobile wellness applications, and here at VCS- in order to stay ahead of the curve- we have decided to add another component to our services- outdoor therapy.
Outdoor therapy enables individuals to take a breath, connect to their environment, and allow their worries to drift away with the wind.
As a therapeutic approach, “early research suggests outdoor therapy is effective,” says clinical psychologist C. Vaile Wright, the senior director of Health Care Innovation in the Practice Directorate at the American Psychological Association. She adds that “research suggests outdoor therapy can also be useful for kids and adolescents diagnosed with a variety of mental health issues (1). WebMD suggests, “being in a green space has been linked to less anxiety, fewer depression symptoms, and lower stress levels. Spending time in nature helps people with depression and kids with attention problems think more clearly.” (2)
Although the pandemic has deeply affected everyone- our transition back to “normal” has left people with disabilities still vulnerable to the spread of Covid-19. We believe that accessibility and inclusion must be prioritized during this time, and that means adapting services and creating safe spaces for everyone. Outdoor therapy would allow the most vulnerable members of our community to access support in a risk-free environment.
Researchers have studied nature’s healing effects in a number of areas, and the results overwhelmingly suggest that the influence of our environment is a vital element of mental wellbeing. With more and more studies demonstrating the positive effects of outdoor therapy- it is something we are determined to implement once Spring rolls around.