The practice of outdoor therapy has its roots in Ecopsychology, a growing interdisciplinary movement that seeks to integrate psychological and ecological concerns. Associated developments in psychotherapy go by a variety of names, including Wild Therapy and Ecotherapy.
Taking therapy outdoors reminds client and therapist alike that they are subject to a world that is much larger than themselves. Synchronistic events might start to feel commonplace and free association tends to intensify in an environment that offers itself as a limitless source of metaphor: Will you choose the well-trodden path or beat a new track of your own through the long grass? Do you toil uphill because that is your characteristic approach to things, when all the while there has been an easier route to your desired destination? Does your path, which minutes ago seemed so clear, run out? All of these things can have meaning when the environment is recruited as ‘co-therapist’, as a mirror to one’s internal world.