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 CodeBPS220
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement 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.


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