By: Danny Pettry, M.Ed., LPC, NCC, CTRS-BHS
Nature provides many benefits for people of all abilities.
I have the opportunity to enjoy a mindful nature walk at Barboursville Park in Barboursville, West Virginia today (Sat. 4/13/19). I took some photos and posted them below.
I had the privilege to attend a training session on the neuroscience of trauma on the brain and treatment applications. The session was provided by Carol M. Smith, PhD, LPC, NCC, CCTP at the West Virginia Counseling Association’s 2019 Spring Conference in Scott Depot, West Virginia.
Dr. Carol Smith suggested nature therapy as a treatment for people who’ve suffered from traumatic events.
Mental health counselors are picking up on what we in recreational therapy have been doing all along.
There are several outcomes for nature.
Here are some that I can easily think about:
- Emotional: I found my nature walk to be very relaxing. I enjoyed it. I found a moment of peace and happiness.
- Social: I did not take any photos of people in these pictures. However, the park had hundreds of people. I didn’t take any photos of people. People were doing a lot of different activities. They had opportunities to talk and interact. I had an opportunity to sit at the shelter with a few of my co-workers. I chatted briefly with a few people visiting the park. One kind gentleman watched over my diet pepsi while I went off to pose in a photo with my co-workers.
- Physical: There were many physical activities happening. There was a volley ball tournament and little league baseball taking place. People were taking hikes along the nature trail. People were riding bikes. Kids were running and playing. There several other physical activities at the park.
- Cognitive: I took a moment to be mindful in the moment during my nature walk. I cleared the clutter and distractions to be fully present. Some experts argue that nature increase creativity and problem solving skills.
- Leisure: People were participating in activities they found personally pleasing and worthwhile. People were walking their pets, fishing, or participating in other sports.
Here are some of the photos I took that you might enjoy.