How a focus on nature is changing therapy for kids

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Nature-deficit disorder,” a concept introduced by journalist and author Richard Louv in 2005, underscores the importance of access to green spaces. A growing number of studies indicate that exposure to nature benefits kids in different ways, such as by lowering stress and promoting better cognitive development.

Ecotherapy — also called nature therapy or green therapy — goes further by encouraging structured, purposeful interactions with nature to improve mental health. “You’re bringing an aspect of mindfulness and intentionality to being outdoors,” says Amy Lajiness, an ecotherapist and psychotherapist in San Diego who counsels adolescents, adults and families.

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