Ecotherapy & Cultural Sustainability
Develop a deeper connection to self, community, and the larger ecosystem.
What is Ecotherapy?
Ecotherapy is an emerging idea that is predicated on this simple philosophy, that the presence or absence of nature is directly connected to individual and communal health. “Eco” is derived from the Greek word “oikos,” meaning “home.” The word “therapy” can be translated into “that which restores wholeness.” So in this sense, Ecotherapy is all about coming home into the natural world, recovering what the Indigenous have known and practiced for thousands of years. It is here that we find our innate wellness.
The Ecotherapy Certificate Program
The connection between the environment and our health cannot be overstated. Recent research indicates that interaction with nature can reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, improve memory and moods, and contribute overall to greater psychological and physical well-being. Simply taking someone into a garden or park can accomplish far more than an anti-depressant, and modern medicine is finally starting to prove it.
In Western Europe, Ecotherapy is already integrated into the healthcare system. Here in the U.S., it is now recognized by the Department of Labor as a viable occupation. On a very practical level, Ecotherapy and this growing profession has everything to do with our health and the way we choose to treat and sustain it.
The certificate program in Ecotherapy and Cultural Sustainability is dedicated to empowering students to find their place in the natural world, while activating their ability to help others do the same. Throughout a nine-month program of study, participants engage in a variety of activities that enhance their self-sufficiency and capacity for creating sustainable cultures.
These practices include:
Woodland and essential survival skills,
By accessing the balance and sustenance inherent in nature and reflected in indigenous ways of knowing, students will emerge from the program with a deeper connection to self, community, and to the larger ecosystem.
The faculty for the Ecotherapy and Cultural Sustainability Certificate program is comprised of many pioneers and visionaries in this emerging field.