Shona Macpherson Counselling

Counselling Outdoors

Counselling Outdoors

I offer counselling outdoors in Inverness.

What happens in an outdoor counselling session?

Firstly, we’ll meet in person (or online) to carry out an assessment. We’ll assess that it’s safe for you to work outdoors and we’ll also to set goals for our work. I’ll ask more about your relationship with nature.
*In some cases, outdoor work is not suitable.

We’ll create a joint agreement for how we will manage outdoor specific challenges like confidentiality and poor weather.

We’ll meet at an agreed time and place in Inverness.  We’ll walk, talk, listen and notice together. We can also have times of sitting or standing in nature. We may begin the session with five minutes to still and ground yourself with the earth and your own breath.

Nature will be a third living being in our therapeutic relationship – one that doesn’t judge and has much to offer. 

By the midway point in the session we’ll change direction and walk back towards our starting point. The session will end just before we arrive back at the car park.

I may email important themes that have come up in the session and skills to practice between our sessions.  Sessions are usually weekly.

“You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on.”
(Mary Oliver)

What are the benefits of counselling outdoors? 

Most of us feel better from getting outside in fresh air and sunshine. There’s a growing body of evidence pointing to the mental health benefits of nurturing our connection with nature.

Counselling and psychotherapy can become very thought / head focused yet we are embodied beings. Moving in nature can awaken much in us and can help us make mind-body connections. We can reconnect with the body and senses in ways which open up different channels of information or wisdom.

Being outdoors gives us a spacious perspective from which to notice and experience our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Connecting with the natural landscape can help us put our internal landscape into context.

By taking therapy outdoors we will encounter things that we don’t meet in the same way when working in a room. We may identify themes such as season change, birth, loss and renewal.

We may encounter unexpected weather, physical discomfort or self-judgement about fitness and the body.

I work in quiet spaces but there’s always the possibility of meeting other people or animals. These challenges will give us fertile ground to learn and practice psychological flexibility skills – right here and now in the moment.

Working outdoors invites curiosity about where and what we are drawn to. Where do our heart and our feet want to take us? What direction do we choose and what is getting in our way? 

“I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.”
(John O’Donohue)


To take the next steps please contact me via email, phone or text:
07738 555 763