Introduction

In the Scandinavian models of Forest Bathing and Forest Therapy guiding, we make an effort to use words and terms that clearly describe the theoretical framework, the methodological basis and how we operationalize our terms. By naming our methodology, we partake in the international development process necessary, as the concepts of Forest Bathing and Forest Therapy are being used more widely and with varying definitions, contents and purposes.

What is Eco Forest Therapy?

Eco is an abbreviation of the word ecology. Ecology describes the interdependent conditions and relationships that exist between organisms and their living environment. To act ecologically is, among other things, to promote a circular and positive coexistence between the human being and living nature. This aspect is at the core of Eco Forest Therapy, and to the underlying theory, methodology and guiding skills developed within the Scandinavian Nature and Forest Therapy Institute. The word Eco thus places a special emphasis on how we percieve our relationship with the natural world, including our own, human nature. Not only does Eco Forest Therapy offer significant physiological and psychological health benefits, but may also contribute to necessary human behavioural changes, the bases of resilience and a future sustainabilty for both. We thus “protect what we love”.

What is an Eco Forest Therapy Guide?

A Certified Eco Forest Therapy Guide or Eco Forest Bathing Guide by the Scandinavian Nature and Forest Therapy Institute, has an extensive training, based on a set of models informed by science, psychology, ecosophy, meditation and professional experience. At the centre we find the psychological process of the guided Forest Bathing experience; an overview of passages, leading up to nature connectedness, nature relationship and integration. It is through a deepened relationship with nature where the ecological experience may awaken; a sort of “greening of the self”, named as “Naturvaro”, loosly translated as Nature Beingness, a protected term with a specific definition. This way of spending time in the natural world opens a variety of possibilities; stress reduction and recovery, general well-being, increased empathy, compassion and a desire to protect and preserve nature. Other significant experiences is found in the existential dimension; sense of coherence, meaning and deepened connection, within and without. Eco Forest Therapy is thus a model that offers a variety of experiences in several dimensions, all of which can be considered important for the development of a reciprocal health, a restored life balance and general wellbeing