Nature-based Play Therapy

In my practice, I join the healing properties of play therapy practices with the intrinsic and powerful therapeutic benefits of being in nature. In our therapy sessions, children play, hike, explore, express themselves and create outdoors.

What is the benefit of doing play therapy outdoors?

A nature-based play therapy session utilizes similar principles and methods as an office-based play therapy session; however, the therapeutic work is enhanced by the inherent emotional, physical and mental benefits of being outdoors in natural spaces.In the past few years, many research studies have shown that spending even a short amount of time outdoors in a natural area can settle a dysregulated nervous system; increase mental clarity; decrease symptoms of physical pain; reduce emotional reactivity; and lift mood.

Likewise, researchers have found that children who spend time immersed in unstructured play in nature are more relaxed and focused; better at problem-solving and critical thinking; have decreased depression and behavior problems; increased self-confidence and acceptance; and exhibit more cooperative behavior. These benefits are important for all children, but may be particularly powerful for those who struggle with anxiety, depression, grief and loss, trauma, sensory integration issues or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD).

By conducting play therapy outdoors, I offer an opportunity for children to experience the emotional, physical, mental benefits of being deeply and fully supported through nature as they process through their challenges.

Play Therapy 3

Most people are either awakened to or are strengthened in their spiritual journey by experiences in the natural world.

~Richard Louv

When children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.

~Maria Montessori

 

Play Therapy 2

 


Nature-Based Play Therapy
© 2016 Playful Nature
828.782.5526
khristine@playfulnature.org