2022 Children's Mental Health Symposium

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The Healing Power of Nature

Nature therapy is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to “forest bathing.” The research-based framework used for a nature therapy session supports the healing and wellness that comes from connecting with the natural world, which numerous studies have shown to boost mental health, reduce cortisol, and benefit both cardiovascular and immune systems. Nature therapy reminds participants of the inherent interconnectedness between humans and the natural world. The structured sequence shared by the guide encourages creative opportunities for participants to deepen their reciprocal relationship with nature.


What to Expect: During a virtual nature therapy experience, you will be offered invitations to support your connection with the “more than human world” using all of your senses. Whether you are indoors or outdoors, you will be encouraged to let go of the notion of doing it the “right way” and just let your way be “the way.” Between invitations you will have an opportunity to share your “noticings.”   

Mitch Fournier (they/them), MSW, RSW has called Edmonton, Alberta home for over three years after living in various places throughout the U.S. (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado and Alaska). With more than twenty-five years of experience working with people of all ages, in a multitude of roles and settings, Mitch brings their passion for inclusiveness and holistic wellness to all that they do.

Mitch has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in social work and is certified as a nature and forest therapy guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy. Mitch enjoys exploring Edmonton’s River Valley and spending time outside in all seasons. 

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