Nature-Guided walks are similar to the Japanese cultural practice of 'forest bathing.' Our wellbeing naturally is improved by being within nature, our stress levels and blood pressure lower, along with many other benefits.
Applied ecopsychology is applying ecopsychology methodology to provide an opportunity for an experience anywhere on the spectrum of sensing wellbeing benefits from our BEing in and with nature, to finding solutions and insights, to profound experiences of anima mundi, the soul of the world.
Deb utilizes practices to gently guide individuals to access the deeper benefits of Natures sensory gifts and wisdom.
People often report feelings of:
relaxation, balance, harmony
increased creativity and inspiration
clarity and insight
peace and joy
The practices offer tools which can be utilised over and over again...
Day/Time: Individual session dates and times on request.
Time: 90-mins - 2.5 hrs
Suitability: 16+ and adults for 1:1, families, small groups...
Location: TBA (*Travel outside of South East Melbourne area occurs an additional cost)
Inclusions: Materials as required
Fee: $110 per person/2 - 2.5 hrs. Family or small group neg 90mins + (Cash/EFT)
ZOOM NATURE-GUIDED WALK: $110/ 1hr 30 mins. A 30-min zoom or phone call starts us off and a followed up with a few days later phone call or zoom 1-hr Nature- Guided Walk in your backyard or local park. Note: A good internet connection, data and reception is essential.
Considerations: Wear closed sturdy shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather to be outdoors on the day and that you don't mind possibly getting dirty. Pay attention to any pandemic restrictions specific to your area.
Facilitator: Deborah Punton
Methods may include: Applied Ecopsychology, eco-art therapy, horticultural activities, play, mindfulness and visualization.
Register, quote, more info: Contact
A guided walk with Judith Lucy
"Tree, can I eat your leaves?" Overwhelmed & Dying - ABC Radio Podcast. (2019)
Comedian Judith Lucy is guided on a walk and we discuss being empowered by climate actions and nature mindfulness. Deb and Judith talk about how nature reconnecting is a support network and call for sacred activism.
A guided walk with Trish
On a guided walk, we follow a basic ecopsychology framework, the participants intention and creative Eco-Art therapy expression elements are may be added request. I guide through the walk using the NSTP method and prompt with guiding questions related to the intent when appropriate.
In this instance, I gained permission to record the participant on my phone to transcribe later so as not to detract from sharing this experience. Also when I am deeply present I often have very little recollection of the events.
With a strong welcoming consent, we began our walk around the lake following natural attractions.
After some time, I asked her to follow a strong attraction and a gorgeous willow tree called to her.
I softly read out the list of 54 senses and she responded if one registered within her. During the list of senses I noticed her stance with the tree, she reflected its leaning with her body shape. She noted all the ‘basic’ usual senses as being “a given.” Other responses included; “Feeling comfortable, the energy coming up from the earth, strong, pulled into the tree and aliveness… Peace tranquillity, trust, gratitude,” this tree was “an old mate.” From this exercise she identified multiple senses which to me was an indication that she was most likely in a deeply present state, riding the crest of the Greenwave. “Mother Nature has it perfect, we shouldn’t interfere” She also noted that she “will be dust and this tree will be long here… Time stands still…peaceful…”
I then spent time a distance away from her, providing space for her deeply present reflection and me time to observe her, to sense in my body what I felt. I felt her throat area, her back, her solidness, strong and solid. There was an attraction to foot meridian, grounding and supportive. I asked; "What support is needed?" The multiple attractions answered; "What strengths are found?" She looked like she was merging with the tree. I thought about her strengths but I couldn’t separate her from the tree and the strengths she mentioned.
We walked on after some time. There were 4 trees in a different area and she acknowledged she was aware of how to tune in and get the messages for herself. She described them as "An umbrella family of trees, mum, dad, kids reaching out to each other holding hands.... support protection sunlight ... tuned in. Breathing in forward and back out ... breath going out my feet." They said/sensed to her "Peace. Comfort. Calm. Branches want to hug. Comfort safety peaceful. Serenity."
I asked her to ask the trees what is jealousy? (something she felt she was struggling with in an earlier discussion) They said to her: "Waste of time" I asked; “What is a substitute for that feeling?” Trish/trees said; "patience…Be quiet and listen. Keep your mouth shut. Keep your opinion to self but listen to what they have to say. Have your own thoughts and beliefs but let them have their say.”
I asked; “What does the tree say about your thoughts and beliefs come from?” She replied; "Heart. The angels. Nature. Common sense" I questioned; “Where does common sense come from?” "Listening to others. Getting varied ideas. Having your own opinion, knowledge and wisdom that you pick up on the way...Life. Loving life, living with nature, not harming anything else" If this tree had a single message for you what would it be? "Be kind to myself ... all living creatures.... Inner peace…”
I was satisfied with her messages about jealousy and enquired a little more about loneliness which was another emotion she felt uncomfortable with. She tuned in to several other natural elements for a response:
Fern:"New growth...Sense of community and belonging are imbalanced... Need to be with more like-minded people where have reciprocal energy exchanges...it’s a need to feel useful...You nurture and give -be nurtured and receive.”
Swaying leaves: “Flow gently in the breeze”
Crow: “put out the call and see who responds”
Maple tree “Remember this is a time of transition”
Young eucalypt trees and big one: “Connect with others roots - need foundations and communicate through root networks” (like minded people/family)
Bark: “nothing ever goes to waste, there is always purpose.”
Dog: “No desire, is Being”
We concluded the session with a gratitude practice. (May 2017)
"I’m feeling that I want to touch nature now more than ever and and finding it easier to tune in to the sounds. Loving life, the wildlife is quite loud which allows for a beautiful experience for me to relax and be surrounded be the beautiful noises of the bush around me more than I could before. I feel I can connect quicker than before my session."
“What we are looking for is what is looking.” ― St. Francis of Assisi
"I felt really inspired by Deb’s passion and connection to nature and it make it easy for me to relax and connect too. I felt very supported during the session. The moment around the dragonfly was beautiful and will stay with me (apparently dragonfly’s symbolise a need to allow joy into life and create change. I would agree I need to open up to joy and make some positive changes like connecting more to nature)....I’m feeling that I want to touch nature now more than ever and and finding it easier to tune in to the sounds....a beautiful experience for me to relax and be surrounded be the beautiful noises of the bush around me more than I could before. I feel I can connect quicker than before my session.... I feel more connected to life, my environment and the people and animals in the world around me. -Jen, December 2020
“The individual practice was helpful in allowing me to feel my connection with nature. I was reminded about the inherent gifts that I have and I receive from Nature, which is empowering. I would want to do this practice regularly.
I have support from nature and the environment to help me cope.
Thank you Deb. It really helped me to calm down.... The exercise gave me a focussed way to have more nature engagement with what’s around me.”