The thousand paths of nature therapy

The thousand paths of nature therapy

by Francesca Salmeri

Kamaleonte asd aps


During the twentieth century, several forms of therapy were developed under “nature therapy.” Each of these therapies involves an intense interaction with nature to promote greater well-being and self-awareness. However, these therapies are designed differently and reflect the complex relationship between humans and the natural environment. This suggests that there is no universal methodology but rather a wide range of approaches considering different individual experiences and perceptions towards nature. Thus, while some forms of nature therapy may emphasize the physical aspect of interacting with the natural environment, others may focus more on the emotional or spiritual aspect. Furthermore, these therapies can vary in their practices and methodologies, ranging from peaceful forest exploration to engaging in adventurous mountain activities. This diversity of approaches reflects the richness and complexity of the human relationship with nature, allowing individuals to find therapeutic modalities that resonate deeply with their needs and sensitivities.

What is nature therapy?

In the twentieth century, different types of therapy were developed, collected by the term “nature therapy.” Each involves more significant interaction with nature to create greater well-being and self-awareness. However, these therapies are designed differently and reflect the relationship between man and nature.

For example, the Shinrin-Yoku, also known as Forest Bathing, is a Japanese practice that involves a relaxing walk in a forest immersed in the quiet and beauty of nature. This allows you to reduce stress and restore a sense of inner calm.

At the same time, therapeutic gardening is also considered a nature therapy. This activity involves growing plants and flowers to promote healing and well-being. Through contact with the earth and the care of plants, people can find a sense of connection with nature and an opportunity to express themselves.

Outdoor Meditation is a practice that combines meditation with the experience of natural elements. Sitting or lying outdoors in a natural environment, focusing on sounds, smells, and physical sensations, allows you to reach a state of deep awareness and tranquility.

Eco-therapy uses creative activities such as drawing, painting, or writing to explore and reflect on the relationship with the natural environment. This type of therapy encourages personal expression and fosters a deeper connection with nature.



A big part of nature therapy relates to Adventure Therapy. Adventure Therapy uses outdoor activities and adrenaline-pumping adventures for personal growth, therapeutic change, and improved mental and physical well-being.

This approach is based on the idea that physical challenges and controlled risk situations can promote positive change in people. Typical Adventure Therapy activities include mountain hiking, climbing, rafting, canoeing, survival skills and orienteering. During these experiences, participants are pushed outside their comfort zones and face physical, mental, and emotional challenges.

Therapeutic practitioners work with participants to facilitate the experiential learning process, encouraging reflection, self-awareness, and the development of coping skills. Adventure Therapy promotes teamwork, self-confidence, resilience, and awareness, providing a safe and structured environment to explore and overcome your limits.

An example of Adventure Therapy is the GAPAdventure and Psychology Group – a personal development project for young people we have carried out as Kamaleonte. This program involves outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, and team-building challenges to promote self-confidence, self-awareness, social interaction, and numerous practical hard and soft skills. You can look at the principles underpinning this project at the following link: Gapyear international experience of adventure and growth

The world of Nature Therapies offers a variety of approaches to reconnect with nature and promote mental and physical well-being. Which is the form of nature therapy that inspires you most?


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