In relating ourselves to this dear earth: as aspects of this huge organism we stand on, we embrace a universal consciousness which interlinks us all harmoniously, as all being crucial elements of the whole.

Ecopsychology looks a how we can key our minds up effectively, with focus & resolve, to care for this planet, which we are only Caretakers of, for the children.


Hiraeth Institute offers Ecopsychology

Ancient Revival

Cultural Enrichment Programmes

Wilderness Days & Retreats

Wilderness Survival Courses

Green Health‘ Partnerships

Bushcraft, Beach and Forest Schools

Walks In Paradise

In The Sticks Theatre Company

& A range of therapies which can be conducted within the outdoor learning environment.

Hiraeth Institute offers Ecopsychology

Evidence Based Research

*Restorative effect of the natural environment

One classic study found significant effects of nature on post-surgical recovery in hospital. The  study found that patients who had a view of trees, compared to those who viewed a wall had significantly less days in hospital, fewer negative notes from the nurse and used fewer analgesics (Ulrich RS. View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science, 1984; 224(4647): 420-421). It is important to note that this study was not a randomised control trial but it shows encouraging signs as to the effect of nature on health. Another study used a complex randomised control trial to look at how different environments served to help people recover from stress. They found that walking in nature improved attention, positively affected mood and there were some indicators to suggest that it reduced stress compared to an urban environment (Hartig T, Evans GW, Jamner LD, Davis DS, Gärling T. Tracking restoration in natural and urban field settings. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 2003; 23: 109-123). -Penny Brohn Cancer Care.
*In a study conducted by Roger Ulrich, a prominent researcher in this field, heart surgery patients in intensive care units were able to reduce their anxiety and need for pain medication by viewing pictures depicting trees and water. Another researcher, Rachel Kaplan, also found that office workers who had a view of nature from a window reported higher job and life satisfaction than those who did not have such a view.
*Studies have shown, for example, that children who live in buildings with a nearby green space may have a greater capacity for paying attention, delaying gratification, and inhibiting impulses than children who live in buildings surrounded by concrete. Children who have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) display fewer symptoms after spending time in a green environment than when they spend time indoors or in non-green outdoor environments. The addition of flowers and plants to a workplace can positively affect creativity, productivity, and flexible problem solving, while the presence of animals may reduce aggression and agitation among children and those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
*In a systematic review of evidence for the added benefits to health of exposure to natural environments, Bowler, Buyung-Ali, Knight and Pullin (2010:1) concluded that ‘the studies are suggestive that natural environments may have direct and positive impacts on well-being’ with the Coaching Psychology International. © International Society for Coaching Psychology 2015 Volume 8, Issue 113 recommendation that further research was necessary ‘to understand the general significance for public health’
– Can ecopsychology research inform coaching and positive psychology practice? Stephen Palmer PhD National Wellbeing Service.

Hiraeth Institute offers Ecopsychology

*Barton and Pretty (2010), using a multi-study analysis, investigated what is the best dose of nature and green exercise for improving mental health. Their results found that acute short-term exposures to facilitated green exercise improved both self-esteem and mood, irrespective of duration, intensity, location, gender, age and health status. Somewhat surprisingly, they concluded that five minutes’ exposure duration showed greatest changes in both self-esteem and mood.
– Can ecopsychology research inform coaching and positive psychology practice? Stephen Palmer PhD National Wellbeing Service.
*Doherty (2009) noted that ecopsychology has advanced through substantial clarification and theoretical and practical development, while Winter and Koger (2004) indicated how ecopsychology can be empirically validated and used in a conventional psychology framework (e.g., Johnson & Johnson-Pynn, 2008; Vakoch, 2008). Wilson et al. (2008) acknowledged the emergence of quantitative studies evidencing positive findings to suggest that the application of nature can improve and conserve mental health, with advanced national and international policy considerations and directives (Diette et al., 2003;Grahn & Stigsdotter, 2003; Guite et al., 2006; Hansmann et al., 2007; WHO, 1997). They additionally discussed studies in which symptoms associated with trauma such as self-esteem and depression (ISTSS, 2003), are significantly observed to improve (e.g., MIND, 2007; Pretty et al., 2005; Reynolds, 2002).
– Ecopsychology: A perspective on trauma, Lisa Corbett and Martin Milton, University of Surrey, UK

Hiraeth Institute offers Ecopsychology
*Nature as therapeutic presence. Therapist variables have been seen to be important. Several researchers have concluded that it is the quality of the relationship and the therapist’s ability to form and sustain a therapeutic alliance with the client that is important to the outcome of the therapy. Working within nature adds another variable: the role of nature itself in therapeutic change. If nature acts as a therapeutic presence in the process, then the person engaging in eco- and nature-based therapy needs to form a sustaining and therapeutic relationship with nature. This falls into two aspects: passive receiving of the aesthetic and healing beauty of nature and natural environments that in themselves become places of healing and restoration; and a more active engagement whereby therapy is conducted utilising the resources of the natural environment, as in adventure, wilderness and horticultural therapy.The deep ecology movement points us towards the importance of ritual to affirm our connectivity with the earth. What is required is a ‘remembering’ of the connection and this can be facilitated by ‘intention’ to connect and re-establish contact. This idea centres on the fact that we are descended from thousands of generations who practised rituals acknowledging our interconnectedness. By placing nature in a central role in therapy we are asked to shift our perception of nature as a thing and invited to give it a form of subjectivity. If we draw upon ideas of ecopsychology, believing ‘we are nature’, the self becomes more intrinsically linked into and a part of the natural world. As most of our therapeutic trainings haven’t accounted for this connection in our psyches, we have to look further back for an evidence base for our practice.
– Society, Back to Nature, by Martin Jordan.

Evidence Based Research gathered by SAJMRM.

Hiraeth Institute offers Ecopsychology