"I am fully committed to the idea that human existence should be rooted in the earth" (Carl Jung, 1956)
If you are feeling low, depressed, anxious or stressed or if you have experienced trauma or grief, if you are struggling with the psychological impact of a physical health condition or long-term illness and this is impacting on your ability to live life how you would like to, I may be able to help.
In light of the current situation relating to the coronavirus pandemic, I will not be able to offer face-to-face appointments for the foreseeable future. Instead, I am offering hour-long online or phone appointments.
I can also offer shorter, half-hour 'check-in' slots for people who are struggling with self-isolation and need some support with managing this.
I will also be posting regularly on my Facebook page.
Please scroll to the bottom of the page for further information and costs of appointments.
What is Occupational Therapy?
If you're familiar with occupational therapy, you may wish to skip this section! However, if you would like to know more... please read on.
If you have never heard of occupational therapy before, or have perhaps come across occupational therapists through a disabled or elderly relative who has needed rehabilitation after a stroke, or through someone who has had adaptations to their home - you may wondering how this fits with my nature-based offerings.
Whilst it is true that the majority of occupational therapists work within the health and social care system in the UK, there is an increasingly important role for us in health promotion, stress management and wellbeing work outside of statutory services. Our professional skills are tailor-made for working within the remit of Social Prescribing, which is very much on the healthcare agenda at present. (Click on hyperlink to see further information from The King's Fund about Social Prescribing).
The reason for this is that we specialise in the therapeutic use and analysis of 'occupations' in the broadest sense; meaning any activities a person might do for work, study, leisure or self-care and not just occupation in the usual sense of paid employment. We understand mental and physical health issues and how they affect people across the lifespan, and we see the whole person within the context of their environment, not just the problem or medical diagnosis. Although we have knowledge of the potential impact of diagnoses and medical conditions, it's important to stress that we see the person first. We take a practical, problem-solving approach to helping people to find solutions to their difficulties.
How does nature help?
I'm sure most people would agree that you don't need to wait until you're feeling stressed or anxious to benefit from being in nature. But when you do feel overwhelmed, it can be harder to motivate yourself to get out and do the very things you know will help. And breaking the vicious cycle of inactivity and decreasing motivation can be difficult to do on your own. This is where I may be able to help, by supporting you to explore what is causing you to feel like this, to identify your own strengths and resources and to make practical steps towards changing things for the better.
According to Mind UK, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem each year and the World Health Organisation tells us that 'Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall burden of disease'.
I believe that for many of us, our hectic, busy lives are contributing to the increase in mental health difficulties. The pressure on us to perform, be perfect parents, build a perfect career, or even just earn enough money to survive can be enormous. We live in an increasingly technological and consumerist age, where most of us are separated from the land and the seasons; cut off further and further from our wild instinctive selves.
We are also now seeing the impact of centuries of 'Western' culture's use and abuse of the Earth's natural resources for human consumption which is manifesting in climate change and mass extinction of animal life across the globe. It can be very overwhelming to think about this, but I believe that the more we separate ourselves off from our true nature, the more problems we will experience, individually and collectively.
Despite all of this, I do believe that there is hope. Whilst we can't fix the problems of the whole world by ourselves, the more of us who choose to take steps towards getting help with our own issues, who start making changes in our own lives, start being kinder to ourselves (always a tough one!) and reclaiming our personal 'power', the more change will come on a bigger scale. So, if you are doubting whether you have a part to play, whether it's worth it, or wondering how you might make a difference in the world, don't doubt it. Every person who begins to address their own problems and takes steps (however small) towards their own healing is making a difference to the greater whole.
The good news is that the benefits of connecting through and with nature are becoming increasingly well-recognised. If you are interested to read further literature, Mind UK's website includes a section on the benefits of ecotherapy, and of connecting with and in a natural environment. Their 2018 publication ‘Nature and Mental Health’ identifies in detail a range of different nature-based activities that can benefit our mental health and wellbeing.
Presuming you have made it this far, please do read on below to see more information about My Approach!
My approach focuses on providing a safe space for you to stop, take some time to reflect and to consider what matters to you in your daily life. This may be done in a number of different ways, such as discussion, creative arts, through time spent mindfully in nature, walking on the beach, in the woods, or spending time with the horses. I will always be guided by your preferences and choice and although I may make suggestions, I will never impose any activity or intervention on you. Sometimes simply sitting with a cup of tea and watching the birds soaring overhead can be very healing. It never ceases to amaze me when deep insights emerge from engaging consciously and mindfully in an activity that from the outside appears to be 'doing nothing'. In these ways and more, we will explore the issues you may be struggling with in your daily life and come up with practical solutions to enable you to find your own way to self-healing.
So, if you are struggling with either diagnosed or undiagnosed depression, low mood, anxiety, stress, burnout, or are just feeling overwhelmed or unsure of how to shift out of a stuck place, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, I am not able to offer face-to-face appointments and so I will be offering hour-long online or phone appointments. These will cost £47 per hour.
After initial consultation, I am also able to offer shorter, half-hour check-in appointments for people who may be self-isolating and needing support with this. These will be charged at £25 for half an hour.
If am also offering videos and practical advice on my Facebook page, although I cannot engage in any individual therapeutic interventions on that page, due to confidentiality.
(Currently not being offered due to Coronavirus Restrictions)
Face-to-Face Session Cost: £65 per hour and a half*.
Due to the practical nature of this work, one-to-one appointments usually last approximately an hour and a half. (In some cases, depending on the activity being undertaken, timings may vary, but this will be agreed in advance).
*I am sorry but I am not able to offer concessionary rates at present.