Counselors may find that focusing on the human-nature connection may help clients

The concept of “ecowellness” encompasses a sense of appreciation, respect, and awe of nature that can contribute to holistic wellness. A new study described in the Journal of Humanistic Counseling examines the relationships between ecowellness measures and overall wellness among 749 participants aged 19-84 years.

Investigators found a number of strong relationships. As an example, feeling effective in or with nature and having a sense of environmental agency related to a person’s ability to effectively work through challenging life events, inspire creativity, and maintain physical health.

Counselors might integrate the findings of this study by asking clients about aspects of ecowellness and helping them find ways to be in greater physical or mental contact with nature as part of their treatment plans.

“This study provides additional insight into the possible importance of helping clients identify nature-based activity through which they can feel effective and more whole, including making a positive difference on the planet,” said co-author Dr. Ryan F. Reese, of Oregon State University Cascades.

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