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Healing outdoors with ecotherapy

Ecotherapy is popular on the west coast but is growing here in Maine

MAINE, USA — According to the American Psychological Association, there are many benefits to being outside, and therapists here in Maine are using that to their advantage.

"I do all the things traditional therapists do and also ground that in nature-based work," Freeport-based eco therapist Corie Washow told NEWS CENTER Maine.

Washow meets patients outside, whether it be sitting by the water or walking in the woods.

"Every session looks totally different and I really try to meet people where they're at. For some people, just being outside is kind of like, 'Wow this is new and interesting,'" she said.

Washow said many of the people she works with are experiencing what she calls "disconnection."

"Disconnection from their own self, and lack of trust in knowing how they want to move through the world, disconnect with relationships and other people, disconnect with the natural world," she said.

The concept of ecotherapy is still fairly new here. Both Washow and Arundel-based eco therapist Jessica Wallner got their training on the west coast.

"There's a lot of energy and excitement around ecotherapy," Wallner said.

Wallner has only been practicing ecotherapy for about a year but says she's excited to see the industry grow

"I'm really hopeful about what this means for Maine," she said.

Luckily Maine has a lot of beautiful places to go outside and heal.

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