Founder, Legacy Outdoor Adventure & Juniper Canyon
Dr Kaye Richards
Chartered Psychologist, British Psychological Society
Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH) is a well-established approach in the prescriptive use of outdoor and nature-based experiences by licensed mental health professionals to meet the therapeutic needs of clients. The OBH industry in North America has evolved and continues to build close ties to healthcare, addiction, and wellness driven organisations aligned with the vision of incorporating nature connection and outdoor experiences for the betterment of individuals and families. The UK has seen parallel developments in the growth of outdoor and adventure therapy practice, whereby similar practices have been integrated into healthcare, counselling, and psychotherapy provision.
Globally, there is a growing body of evidence supporting nature connectedness in improving mental health and well-being. The research indicates that treatment outcomes improve by increasing the consistency and frequency of Nature Connection; and that by establishing methods for differentiating the scope or dose of nature connectedness as indicated by personal or professional identification treatment gains can be maintained over time. This presentation will provide an overview of this trend and introduce a Nature Connectedness Typology that can be utilised by UK healthcare providers and communities to support strategies to build upon these research findings and support the implementation of nature connection into their practices.
Participants will leave with an understanding of the wellness and mental health benefits of nature in the treatment of addiction, and behavioural health, a greater understanding of the treatment application of Nature Connectedness, guidance on how to incorporate nature into care plans, implications for wider application in the UK in the context of current policy initiatives, and increase ability to collaborate between OBH and other outdoor / nature based organisations.
1. Become better informed about Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare and nature connection and the benefits it offers in treatment and beyond.
2. Understand how an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare approach parallels UK developments in outdoor and nature based therapeutic interventions.
3. Introduction to current research within the OBH industry as well as Nature Connection research from around the globe, including the UK
4. Practical examples for incorporating OBH/Nature Connection methods at the program or treatment level.
5. Introduce the Nature Connection Typology for assessing an individual's current relationship to nature
6. Inspire participants to join the #RXoffthecouch movement and invite collaboration for taking therapy off the couch and outside