Science: Ecopsychology and Ecotherapy

Below is a list of some of the scientific research in Ecopsychology and Ecotherapy:


  • A large scale report by Mind, the mental health charity has concluded that ecotherapy is a good approach to mental health care because in addition to improving mental and physical wellbeing, it is accessible, inclusive and cost effective. In addition, ecotherapy can help people look after their own wellbeing, support people who are at risk for developing a mental health problem and help those who are currently experiencing symptoms with their recovery. (Mind (2013) Feel Better Outside, Feel Better Inside: Ecotherapy for Mental Wellbeing, Resilience and Recovery).
  • Ecotherapy is seen as a simple, cost effective way to put the Five Ways of Wellbeing into practise. The Five Ways of Wellbeing is a set of evidence-based actions that improve wellbeing and include being more active, connecting with other people, taking notice of the world, continued learning and giving something back. (Thompson, S. et al. (2011) Five Ways to Wellbeing: New Applications, New Ways of Thinking. New Economics Foundation / NHS Federation).
  • 70% of individuals taking part in the Ecominds project experience significant in mental wellbeing by the time they left the project. (Bragg, R. et al. (2013) Ecominds Effects on Mental Wellbeing: An Evaluation for Mind. New Economics Foundation).
  • Anecdotal evidence from practitioners suggest that there is an increasing interest in conducting psychotherapeutic interventions in outdoor settings. Therapists reported that this method can facilitate psychological processing, and promote a collaborative way of working. (Revell, S. & McLeod, J. (2015) Experiences of therapists who integrate walk and talk into their professional practice. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 16(1), 35-43).
  • To maximise the efficacy of “contact with nature” public health interventions for wellbeing, a collaborative approach between researchers, health boards, social services and environmental planning agencies is recommended. (Maller, C., Townsend, M., Pryor, A., Brown, P., & St Leger, L. (2006) Healthy nature healthy people: ‘contact with nature’ as an upstream health promotion intervention for populations. Health Promotion International, 21(1), 45-54).