Adding Ecotherapy to your practice with Courtney Guhl Huckabay | GP 140

A photo of Courtney Guhl Huckabay is captured. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the owner of the group practice, Terra Therapies. She speaks with LaToya Smith on the Grow A Group Practice Podcast about adding Ecotherapy to your practice.

Are you curious about ecotherapy? How can ecotherapy support the therapeutic process? How would you handle confidentiality or privacy when offering walks-and-talks in your therapy services?

In this podcast episode, LaToya Smith speaks about adding ecotherapy to your practice with Courtney Guhl Huckabay.

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Meet Courtney Guhl Huckabay

A photo of Courtney Guhl Huckabay is captured. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the owner of the group practice, Terra Therapies. She speaks with LaToya Smith on the Grow A Group Practice Podcast about adding Ecotherapy to your practice.

Courtney Guhl Huckabay is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, and National Certified Counselor. She has over 15 years of experience working in various mental health settings including non-profit agencies, advocacy centers, schools, and private practice.

Supervision in counseling is a large focus for her. Growing professional, compassionate, and ethical counselors is the mission of Terra Therapies.

Visit Terra Therapies and connect on Facebook and Instagram.

In This Podcast

  • What is ecotherapy?
  • Public privacy
  • Nature supports the therapeutic process
  • Courtney’s tips for adding ecotherapy to your practice

What is ecotherapy?

Instead of sitting in an office, ecotherapy incorporates the natural light and ambiance of nature which greatly enhances mindfulness and a sense of peace.

But also, it’s nice to be in a natural setting and not such a stifling office setting, for some, to have the space to talk.

Courtney Guhl Huckabay

Be intentional about being out in free space, just like when you are outside in nature under big trees, blue skies, or soft grass. Spending time in nature can give a person the chance to feel freer and less burdened.

Ecotherapy can look like:

  • Sitting on a park bench and chatting
  • Walk-and-talk therapy around a park or in a natural setting
  • Group sessions outside

We try our best to go where it’s not as traveled and on the gravel parts or [we find space] in between the trees … it really is just about a natural place of walking and moving your body, being out in the fresh air, listening to the sounds around you.

Courtney Guhl Huckabay

Public privacy

Some therapists may be nervous about ecotherapy because it is outdoors and cannot be as easily contained and “private” as therapy in an office space.

If somebody approaches the client and the therapist while they are out during a session, the client doesn’t have to introduce the therapist.

If somebody approaches the therapist, they will not introduce the client to the person.

We do our best to avoid other people as much as we can.

Courtney Guhl Huckabay

Nature supports the therapeutic process

The outside world can offer clients the chance to look at something to calm their minds, like the wind in the trees or a duck in a pond.

It can also help them to be more physically present in their bodies while they move through and process their emotions.

They can “walk it out” and engage with what they experience more than what they could have when sitting in a chair in one room.

Courtney’s tips for adding ecotherapy to your practice

  • Aim to offer compassionate, professional, and ethical counseling, no matter how you provide counseling
  • Ensure that you are providing as much confidentiality and privacy as you can within the area that you have
  • Make sure that your clients understand the possibilities of broken confidentiality

We request confidentiality [for] anything that’s brought up, but I can’t control what other people do and say, so there’s a trust factor that we have there. Can we all trust each other to keep what’s said here private?

Courtney Guhl Huckabay
  • If you have a park near your office, offer your clients a walk down the road and see how they react to it. If it sticks, then consider exploring the possibilities of ecotherapy!

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet LaToya Smith

An image of LaToya Smith is captured. She is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling. LaToya is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

LaToya is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling and Consulting Agency in Fortworth Texas. She firmly believes that people don’t have to remain stuck in their pain or the place they became wounded. In addition to this, LaToya encourages her clients to be active in their treatment and work towards their desired outcome.

She has also launched Strong Witness which is a platform designed to connect, transform, and heal communities through the power of storytelling.

Visit LaToya’s website. Connect with her on FacebookInstagramStrong Witness Instagram, and Twitter.

Apply to work with LaToya.

Email her at latoya@practiceofthepractice.com

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