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Training Focuses on Connection Between Humans and Nature and Its Impact on Mental Health

(PRWEB) November 05, 2013

How does the natural world heal psychological wounds? In what ways are depression, fear and anxiety connected to our relationship to nature? Weaving together elements of mindfulness and spirit-based practices, an experiential retreat for counselors and therapists aims to explore these questions by looking into the depths of humans’ relationship to the natural world. Dubbed “Psyche and Nature: Exploring Inner and Outer Landscapes”, the 3-day retreat from November 15 to 17, will be led by Jan Edl Stein, director of the Holos Institute, a nonprofit mental health clinic with offices in San Francisco, Oakland and Marin County.

The retreat is based on the ideas of Ecopsychology, which addresses a renewed urgency to grapple with the psychological impacts of environmental destruction and climate change. New research has helped the human–environment relationship become a recognized concern of psychology and health care, as evidenced by the success of books such as “Last Child in the Woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder.”

“As psychotherapists, we hold a responsibility to be aware of how people are effected by their environment and how they in turn treat their immediate environment,” said Stein. “There is a growing awareness of how people are affected by environment along with how they are psychologically impacted by climate change. It is imperative that psychotherapy take notice of this impact and offer guidance in resilience toward change."

The workshop will be an immersion experience blending didactic teaching and personal exploration. Stein will introduce techniques and concepts from earth-based wisdom traditions, including the traditional shamanic vision journey, as they may be applied within the context of personal growth, as well as psychotherapeutic and other healing modalities.

  •     Discover your own inner landscape and how it can instruct your path toward healing
  •     Learn fundamentals of a nature based approach to healing
  •     Interact with forces of nature and learn techniques that facilitate a deep conversation with these forces
  •     Immerse in deep nature-based contemplations
  •     Learn ways of elegant invitation to these techniques
  •     Discover applications of these practices that can greatly enhance work with clients, as well as personal growth

These tools are useful for therapists who are interested in taking their practices outdoors, or for those who seeking to deepen their own spiritual practice.

“We are unique in that we offer, along with traditional counseling services, the opportunity to take the therapy session outdoors,” said Stein. “Connecting in a conscious way, with the natural world can be a great enhancement to one's experience in psychotherapy.”

The workshop will be held from November 15 to 17 at a scenic retreat center in Petaluma, about 45 minutes north of San Francisco. For details including information about fees, visit the workshop website at

Founded in 1981, The Holos Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to offering affordable, holistically oriented psychotherapy and educational programs to people living in the Bay Area. For more information, call the Institute at 415-750-0478 or visit

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Source: PRWeb
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