Ecotherapy Practice

Ecotherapy Practice Online Course. Learn to work with nature to improve psychological and physical well-being. Study for professional development or personal wellbeing.

Course Code: BPS220
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn to Apply Nature-Based Therapy.

Study for Professional Development or Self Improvement and Wellbeing

Ecotherapy uses our affinity with nature as a tool to improve physical and psychological wellbeing.

Modern mainstream research increasingly supports the real benefits of ecotherapy.

Ecotherapy is increasingly accepted and applied by both traditional and alternative practitioners as a component in their overall treatment strategies. It is also increasingly recognised and understood as a powerful self-help tool by individuals seeking to improve their own wellbeing.

The practice of ecotherapy recognises the wide range of benefits that the natural world can offer to a person’s general health and well-being. Ecotherapy includes treatments like horticultural therapy, pet therapy, forest bathing and a wide range of nature-based activities. This course is designed to give you a detailed understanding of the full range of practices linked to ecotherapy and the evidence to support their effectiveness as treatment for both psychological and physical conditions.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Nature and Scope of Ecotherapy
    • Applications of ecotherapy
    • Ecopsychology
    • What is ecotherapy?
    • What is involved in ecotherapy
    • Using ecotherapy alongside other therapies
    • The need for mental health interventions
    • General benefits of nature on wellbeing
    • Ecotherapy settings
    • Useful terminology
  2. Theory of Ecotherapy
    • General findings
    • Ecological theories
    • Problems associated with built environments
    • Models underpinning ecotherapy
    • Nature and mental health research
    • Is direct contact with nature necessary?
  3. Ecotherapy Clients
    • General wellbeing benefits
    • Psychological benefits
    • Physical benefits
    • Understanding the body’s responses to stress
    • General barriers to getting involved in ecotherapy
    • How to overcome these barriers
    • Ecotherapy for mental disorders
    • Ecotherapy for physical conditions
    • Specific issues
  4. Intake Assessment and Ecotherapy Resources
    • Interviewing potential clients
    • Interviewing techniques
    • Determining suitability
    • Background history
    • Choosing ecotherapy environments
  5. Environment-Based Ecotherapy
    • Using the environment
    • Types of environment activities
    • Conservation projects
    • Wilderness Therapy
    • Forest bathing
    • Breathing and relaxation exercises
    • Other outdoor activities
  6. Plant-Based Ecotherapy
    • Physical ecotherapy activities
    • Psychological ecotherapy activities
    • Fascination therapy
    • Adventure therapy
    • Horticultural therapy
    • Using the senses
  7. Animal-Based Ecotherapy
    • Bird watching
    • Pet therapy
    • Equine assisted therapy and horse riding
    • Animal habitats
    • Care farming and therapeutic farm activities
    • Interacting with wildlife
    • Using the senses
  8. Indoor Ecotherapy
    • Indoor applications of ecotherapy
    • Workspaces
    • Photographs
    • Growing at home
    • Fresh flowers in the home or ecotherapy space
    • Touching nature
    • Arts and crafts
    • Creating nature indoors
    • Pets and animals indoors
  9. Creativity based Ecotherapy
    • Therapeutic photography
    • Writing therapy
    • Art therapy
    • Music therapy
    • Drama therapy
    • Dance therapy
    • The benefits of creative therapies
  10. Holistic Wellness incorporating Ecotherapy
    • Walking
    • Relaxation
    • Mindfulness
    • Counselling in nature
    • Combining ecotherapy with other modalities
    • Our connection with nature

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Discuss ecotherapy including applications and benefits.
  • Explain different theories underpinning the ecotherapy perspective which support its association with physical and mental health and wellbeing.
  • Evaluate and determine clients for whom ecotherapy may be an appropriate form of therapy.
  • Determine a broad range of resources and how to appropriately use them for ecotherapy.
  • Explain ecotherapy applications that harness the use of different environments.
  • Explain ecotherapy applications that utilise plants in a variety of contexts.
  • Explain ecotherapy applications that utilise animals in a variety of contexts.
  • Explain ecotherapy applications that can be applied indoors.
  • Explain ecotherapy applications that utilise creative and artistic activities in a variety of contexts.
  • Apply ecotherapy to formulate wellness advice that blends with other health and wellbeing initiatives.

What You Will Do

  • Explore people’s perceptions of ecotherapy
  • Identify locations suitable for ecotherapy practices
  • Critical exploration of an established sensory garden
  • Explore people’s perceptions and emotional responses to built environments
  • Explore the integration of green spaces within the built environment
  • Identify and critically examine people’s perceptions of the impact of ecotherapy on general wellbeing
  • Explore the benefits of ecotherapy on individuals presenting with a specific condition that is of interest to you
  • Create an intake questionnaire for use with ecotherapy clients
  • Conduct a risk assessment at a potential ecotherapy location of your choice
  • Initiate networking with practising ecotherapists
  • Evaluate walking meditation as an ecotherapeutic activity
  • Create step by step instructions for a combined breathing/progressive muscle relaxation activity
  • Research gardening as a past time
  • Sensory exploration of a public garden
  • Research community gardening activities
  • Examine the impact of photographs of different animals on the emotions and wellbeing
  • Practise purposeful sensory engagement with animals in nature
  • Brainstorm ecotherapy applications that can be integrated into an indoor setting
  • Gather, arrange and engage with natural objects for use in ecotherapy
  • Evaluate star gazing as an ecotherapeutic activity
  • Research techniques used when photographing nature
  • Explore the integration of writing therapy and ecotherapy
  • Research the application of mindfulness within an ecotherapeutic setting
  • Explore people’s perceptions of their relationship with nature

Who Might Benefit from this Course?

  • Anyone working in health, fitness or Wellbeing Industries.
  • Counsellors, Counsellors, Coaches
  • Complimentary Health Practitioners, Health Support Professionals
  • Horticultural Therapists, Pet Therapists, Recreation officers and others wanting to better understand Ecotherapy and how to use it in their work.


ACS is an Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching (UK).

ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

ACS is a Member of the Permaculture Association (membership number 14088).

Long-term member since 1986.

Principal John Mason is a member of the ANZMH. ACS Students are invited to join

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
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This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

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Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

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