Throughout the book there are vignettes and stories about real-life clients from counselors using nature in their clinical practice. The book also includes practical and ethical considerations for clinicians:
From foraging and hunting for food to (more recently) finding solace and peace in a beautiful vista, humans have long interacted with the natural world. Though a connection to nature runs deep in our DNA, however, people of the modern age are indoors almost 93% of the day. With that said, there is a growing evidence suggests that the natural world promotes mental and physical well-being, including stress relief, improved mood, and neurological benefits. Ecotherapy, a steadily developing but lesser-known construct in mental health, explores the reciprocal relationship humans have with nature and its capacity to build strength and provide healing.
Nature Is Nurture provides an overview of the theoretical concepts and empirical bases of ecotherapy via historical considerations and recent research within the discipline. Chapters share practical ways to incorporate ecotherapy with children, adults, and veteran populations; within schools; and in group work. Descriptions of modalities such as animal-assisted, equine-assisted, horticultural, forest-bathing, green-exercise, and adventure-based therapy are also included alongside case examples, techniques, and practical and ethical considerations. In examining the impact of improved physical and mental wellness for all clients, this book provides counselors, therapists, social workers, and psychologists with the knowledge and techniques to infuse ecotherapy into everyday practice.
Dr. Megan Delaney has a PhD in Counselor Education from Montclair State University and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Professional Counseling at Monmouth University in Long Branch, New Jersey. Her research explores the influence of the natural world on our mental health and the use of Ecotherapy in clinical practice and the counselor education classroom.
Trained in outdoor leadership through the National Outdoor Leadership School, Dr. Delaney spent several years as a wilderness instructor for organizations including the National Wildlife Federation and Outward Bound. Today she infuses Ecotherapy in her private practice with clients.
In addition to her book, Dr. Delaney has published several articles and presents at national conferences on Ecotherapy and other counseling related topics.
Delaney, M. (2019). Nature is Nurture: Counseling and the natural world. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Delaney, M.E., & Gibson S. (2019). Why grant writing and research matters in counselor education: Advancing our discipline. The Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, 12(4). Retrieved from https://repository.wcsu.edu/jcps/vol12/iss4/12.
Duffy, J., Springer, S., Delaney, M. & Luke, M. (2019). Eco-Education: Integrating nature into the Counselor Education classroom. Journal of Creativity in Counseling, doi: 10.1080/15401383.2019.1640152
Scholarship in Progress
Delaney, M.E. (publication pending). Ecopsychological approaches to therapy. In Harper N. & Dobud W. (Eds.) Outdoor Therapies. Routledge International. Abingdon, United Kingdom
Delaney, M.E. (publication pending). Nature is Nurture: Our healing relationship with the natural world. Journal of Science and Healing.
Delaney, M.E., Callas, K. & Sharma, S. (under review). Developing the ecological self: An evaluation
on a nature-base art education project.
Delaney, M. & Duffy, J. (research in progress). The experiences of counselors-in-training in a semester-long Ecotherapy course.
Delaney, M. E. (2017). The relationship between counseling, social support, and depression in mothers of fragile families. The Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 39(4).
Delaney, M. E. (2016). Grant writing for the counseling professional. The Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, 8(3).
O’Halloran, K.C. & Delaney, M.E. (2011). Using learning contracts in the counselor education classroom. Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, (3)2, 69-81. 0.7729/32.0012
Renfro-Michel, E., O’Halloran, K.C., & Delaney, M.E. (2010). Using technology to enhance adult learning in the counselor education classroom. ADULTSPAN Journal, (9)1, 14-25.
Delaney, M. E. (2016). Gender identity development. In J. Schwarz (Ed.) Counseling women across the lifespan: Empowerment, advocacy, and intervention. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
O’Halloran, K.C. & Delaney, M.E., (2012). A first year student’s struggle with identity. In Stage, F.K. & Hubbard, S.M. (Eds.). Linking theory to practice: Cases studies for working with college students. (pp.189-191) New York, NY: Routledge.
O’Halloran, K.C. & Delaney, M.E., (2012). Student and academic affairs collaboration in academic advising. In Stage, F.K. & Hubbard, S.M. (Eds.). Linking theory to practice: Case studies for working with college students. (pp. 124-127) New York, NY: Routledge.
Shook, M. (Producer). (2017, July 19). Ecotherapy: The healing potential of nature in counseling with Megan Delaney. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://thethoughtfulcounselor.com/2017/07/eco-therapy-the-healing-potential-of-nature-in-counseling-with-megan-delaney/