Beach Assisted Therapy
We are fortunate to be surrounded by natural therapy in Southwest Florida. From the Everglades to the beaches and everywhere in between, our environment creates a therapeutic cocoon- inviting you to find peace in the present moment and break through barriers that get in the way. Kimberly and her clients have found therapy sessions at the beach (walking or sitting) to be highly effective. The flow of the ocean waves, breeze of fresh air, and connection to animals modeling mindfulness easily facilitates the therapeutic process with a serene backdrop.
Beach assisted therapy is a form of ecotherapy. From GoodTherapy.org www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/econature-therapy:
“Ecotherapy is based on the idea that people are connected to and impacted by the natural environment. A growing body of research highlights the positive benefits of connecting with nature. In one study conducted by psychologist Terry Hartig, participants were asked to complete a 40-minute cognitive task designed to induce mental fatigue. Following the task, participants were randomly assigned 40 minutes of time to be spent in one of three conditions: walking in a nature preserve, walking in an urban area, or sitting quietly while reading magazines and listening to music. Participants who had walked in the nature preserve reported less anger and more positive emotions than those who engaged in the other activities. In a similar study conducted by Mind, a mental health charity organization, a nature walk reduced symptoms of depression in 71% of participants, compared to only 45% of those who took a walk through a shopping center.
The beneficial effects of nature result not only from what people see but from what they experience through other senses as well. For example, in one recent study, participants recovered more quickly from psychological stress when they were exposed to nature sounds (from a fountain and tweeting birds) than when they were exposed to road traffic noise. In another study, food and fruit fragrances inhaled by hospital patients resulted in reduced self-reports of depressive mood.”
Walking the beach also creates a form of bilateral stimulation (through each foot making contact with the earth), which is a critical component of EMDR treatment for trauma and other intensive issues. We take careful consideration before offering EMDR through beach assisted therapy based on need and appropriate evaluation, with awareness of confidentiality limitations compared to office setting.
We offer beach assisted therapy to existing clients. For new clients, an initial appointment is scheduled in the office before beach assisted therapy sessions begin. Click here when you are ready to start the process…