Andy McGeeney is a UK based ecotherapist and wildlife photographer
Imagine a scene: you are on your own or with a friend and you are lying in a flower filled meadow in summer, birds are singing and you can smell wild roses nearby. Up above the sky is a deep blue and bright clouds drift across your field of view. You let out a deep sigh, letting go. And when you let go you notice more of the sensations around you. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Ecotherapy is the experience of being in Nature and feeling good. We all respond in our own way to being in nature but there are some common themes which include: being more self aware, feeling more relaxed; increased well-being, free of everyday cares, a spiritual connection to the wider cycles of life, a senses of awe and wonderment.
Ecotherapy is about creating a deeper connection to nature and feeling better for it. It has affinities with other nature based activities such as green exercise, conservation work, pet ownership, mountaineering and gardening.
Experts are not in complete agreement as to why ecotherapy works so well to improve peoples well-being but some of the explanations are given in the Evidence section.
Exploring nature based ecotherapy with people recovering from mental distress, and to scientifically evaluate it so others can do ecotherapy themselves, has become my passion (See 'How I Work').