research evidence for ecotherapy

As an overarching set of disciplines, ecotherapy has been compiling an impressive research record. Studies deal with the psychologically and physically healthful benefits of "green exercise," animal-assisted therapy, gardening therapy, bringing nature indoors to hospital patients, and wilderness work with at-risk juveniles, to name a few of many research directions.

Ecotherapy work has been shown to ameliorate depression, lower blood pressure, enhance self-esteem, encourage new social behaviors in dementia patients, help with impulse control in acting-out youth, and decrease post-operative recovery time. Psychotherapy clients, the elderly, people suffering from post-traumatic stress, and patients with mood disorders have all offered favorable reports about ecotherapeutic work.

A chapter summarizing this research and a bibliography sourcing it both appear in Ecotherapy.




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