28th February 2020
I have been lucky to have had a few opportunities to work with a patient outside due to a fire alarm and on the other occasion, you really don’t want to know!
As I grow my new practice and plan it’s future I wonder how I could incorporate what is termed in the field of psychology; Eco Therapy. I muse about the space I would like to create. I see saplings of willow and reed rooved shelters. Blankets and firepits. Moments of repair spent breathing in the fresh air and feeling the breeze blow away what is no longer needed.
I wonder how an open space affects confidentiality and intimacy. Does it affect the way we communicate if we are walking or sat in front of a fire pit. Would it enhance the therapy? Would there be any limitations?
My mind develops a therapeutic landscape, who’s location is only disclosed to patients. Patients sign an agreement that encourages them to maintain the privacy of the space. The space is enclosed by an eight foot high fence with thick planting in front of the fence all the way round.
As the patient steps through the gate, in front of them is three spaces sectioned by willow hedges. Behind the hedge is a private area for the patient and therapist under a reed roofed pagoda.
In Winter, heat, blankets, hats and gloves are on hand when needed. On the wooden table, flasks of hot drinks to consume.
I’d like to call it Forest Therapy.
In the Spring, dozens of Spring bulbs will burst through the ground displaying a colourful canvas of tulips, daffodils, iris’, crocus and snowdrops delighting the senses and calming the psyche. The birds singing their songs as they busy themselves gathering nesting material before laying their brood. The nesting boxes hung amongst the therapeutic spaces.
The Summer provides a new warmth and the planting reflects this. The water feature is buzzing with the new seasons visitors. The gentle trickling of a cascade of water calming the mind and body as the work develops. The smells from new flower heads popping open envelope the therapeutic space.
A deep sigh emerges from my mouth as I imagine working in this space. A calm and a sense of purpose for those that visit.