Ecotherapy
(or Nature Therapy):
Recreational Therapy (RT) Treatment Technique 

​- Summers, J. K., & Vivian, D. N. (2018). Ecotherapy - A Forgotten Ecosystem Service: A Review. Frontiers in psychology9, 1389. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01389

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About Ecotherapy

What is Ecotherapy (Nature Therapy)?
  • Ecotherapy involves doing activities outdoors in nature for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of health conditions.

View Educational Video from South Dakota Public Broadcasting: 

How May Recreational Therapy (RT) Help Me Using Ecotherapy Treatment Techniques?

View Educational Video from Brigham Young University (BYU):

How We Provide Ecotherapy


  • Inclusion Therapies utilizes our Lake Travis center yard and a variety of central Texas public park locations for nature experiences including bird watching, gardening, hiking, walking, and other activities.  Clients and therapist team will follow safety policies and procedures (e.g., wear helmet for all activities on wheels, wear safe shoes, maintain hydration, etc.) and adhere to "leave no trace" practices.
  • In collaboration with the therapist team, the client will select an Ecotherapy experience of their choosing relating to their healthcare outcomes. For example, someone experiencing generalized anxiety when visiting new locations may engage in a walk at a park they have never been to (for a timed duration). 
Evidence
​- Pearson David G., Craig Tony, The great outdoors? Exploring the mental health benefits of natural environments, 
Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5, 2014 at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01178, DOI=10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01178, ISN 1664-1078.   




"We conclude that socially prescribed nature therapy can improve biopsychosocial wellbeing and is a potentially important intervention for mental illness."

 Thomas T, Aggar C, Baker J, Massey D, Thomas M, D'Appio D, Brymer E. Social prescribing of nature therapy for adults with mental illness living in the community: A scoping review of peer-reviewed international evidence. Front Psychol. 2022 Dec 6;13:1041675. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1041675. PMID: 36562055; PMCID: PMC9765656.

  • "Natural ecosystems provide important services upon which humans depend. Unfortunately, some people tend to believe that these services are provided by nature for free; therefore, the services have little or no value. One nearly forgotten ecosystem service is ecotherapy – the ability of interaction with nature to enhance healing and growth. While we do not pay for this service, its loss can result in a cost to humans resulting in slower recovery times, greater distress and reduced well-being."
  • - Summers, J. K., & Vivian, D. N. (2018). Ecotherapy - A Forgotten Ecosystem Service: A Review. Frontiers in psychology9, 1389. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01389