Exploring Experiences of Nature Connection in Feminist Mental Health Counsellors
Kovach, Erica A.
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The current body of psychological literature suggests that when humans feel connected with the natural world they experience a great number of mental health benefits. Since the impact of experiencing connection to nature has predominantly been studied through quantitative measures, there is great potential for expanding on this knowledge through qualitative studies of nature connection phenomena. The limited inclusion of mental health professionals in this area of research is notable, and when their perspectives are included it is usually only to report on client experiences or practice concerns. This study sought to address this shortcoming by illuminating the nuanced experience of nature connection in six feminist mental health counsellors by employing an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology. This qualitative study interpreted the most salient themes related to the phenomenon and additionally identified how the counsellors are creating nature connection experiences for their clients. Four overarching superordinate themes emerged that clarified the most prominent qualities of nature connection, which included: Experiences of Ease, Engaging with Spirituality, The Sensory Self; and Kinship and Relations. Collectively, these themes represent multifaceted and intersecting experiences of connection to the Earth. The results offer insight into an emerging area of study aimed at the nature based psychological wellness practices of helping professionals, as well offering insights into how this knowledge can translate into intervention options to employ in professional counselling.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramSchool and Counselling Psychology
CommitteeMcIntyre, Laureen; McKenzie, Marcia; Barrett, MJ
Copyright DateSeptember 2021