- Erika McClung
Thoughts on nature-inspired therapy
I knew there would come a time when I would try to put into words my experience with guiding nature therapy. Right now I am grieving from the recent loss of our dear coworker and community member, and so I write to you with the honesty of tears. And I’m doing the best I can - which means quoting my tea bag: ‘The earth laughs in flowers’ –RWE.
These days we may find our verbal expression frozen by disregulation, by trauma, by overstimulation. The words that scaffold our lives become lost in the translation of our bodies’ language. So it seems fitting that we take our sessions outside. The earth will not ask: What dose? How many hours of sleep? How many depressive episodes? How long ago? How many therapists? It will not ask you to quantify your lived experience. But the earth will ask you to try, it will ask you to wonder, it will ask you to surrender, it will ask you to ask for help, it will ask you to give thanks, it will ask you to cry, to sing, to laugh, to fight, to dance, to pray, to breath, and to play.
The earth will not ask: What dose? How many hours of sleep? How many depressive episodes? How long ago? How many therapists? It will not ask you to quantify your lived experience.
And you may want to answer. And when you answer you may find yourself a creature of interdependence. You may waterfall, river, boulder, oak, bear, grasshopper, or walnut yourself into your own life. And nature therapy will re-member us back to who we were before we were our bodies, our jobs, our clothes, or our families. Nature therapy is accessible to your fingertips, the inner drum of your ear, the surface of your eyes, the buds of your tongue, to the hairs on your chin. So duck under that spider web into belonging, and let me know if you have any questions on your way.
Erika McClung is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with Asheville Integrative Psychiatry. To learn more about Nature Therapy Services, click here. Or use the button below to contact us for an appointment.