Bringing therapy into the wild, and
wildness into therapy
Wild Therapy is an approach developed by Nick Totton, and carried forward by Nick along with (so far) Emma Palmer (previously Kamalamani), Jayne Johnson, Allison Priestman, Stephen Tame, Leonie Guest, Lucy Messervy, Fiona Hancock, Justin Roughley and Matthew Henson: for info on the facilitators go here. It is concerned with the polarised themes of wildness and domestication which run throughout human history and culture. Wild Therapy points out that mainstream psychotherapy and counselling have become too identified with domestication and associated concepts like boundaries, objectivity and control; it seeks to rebalance therapy - and in the long run, human culture - with a good dollop of wildness, spontaneity, boundlessness and passion.
For this purpose, we take therapy outdoors, to encounter the other-than-human and the more-than-human - animals, birds, plants, trees, hills, rivers, winds, dreams, ghosts, spirits. Spending time ‘in nature’ can help us appreciate that we are never anywhere else, always inhabiting and encountering our own nature in all its wondrous strangeness. Then we bring the outdoors back into the therapy room, allowing it to reshape our therapeutic practice in unexpected ways.
You may also be interested in another approach to Wild Therapy partly inspired by ours, and based in Shropshire: Farafoot
Wild Therapy workshops and courses
Wild Therapy book, 2011
Wild Therapy article, 2011
The Practice of Wild Therapy article, 2013