Introducing the principles and practice of Environmental Arts Therapy:
2nd June 2023

WARNING! This event has passed.

A one-day CPD event lead by Will Secretan and hosted by CAT Scotland June 2nd 2023

It was notable at last year’s ACAT conference in Newcastle, that CAT is readying itself to make yet another integrative leap by recognising that our relationship with nature is fundamental both to our well-being and indeed to our survival as a species.  This was a heartening sign to us of the relevance of offering this training to a CAT audience.  We hope it might help us all in thinking about how we might best address this looming emotional, psychological and physical crisis.

Environmental Arts Therapy has its theoretical roots in Dramatherapy, Arts Psychotherapy and Eco-Psychology, spanning Jungian analytic work at one end and Object Relations at the other.  It deals with that most fundamental relationship – that with the world we are part of.  It is distinct from Eco-psychotherapy which is a broader church of nature-based work.  This training day will be specific to Environmental Arts Therapy. 

Our trainer, Will Secretan, qualified originally in Dramatherapy and more recently in Psychodrama.  He is currently studying Jungian psychotherapy whilst running a year-long training in Environmental Arts Therapy in Devon. It is a tribute to the quality of his clinical work that he was the first drama-therapist to be appointed as a Principal Psychologist in the NHS in England.  He currently heads up a steering group in his NHS Trust (Devon) for clinicians doing nature-based work: this includes staff in CAMHS, in perinatal care, in secondary level clinical services and in inpatient facilities.  As part of his own practice, he runs an outdoor psychotherapy group for adults in secondary tier clinical care.  It is through his work that staff in his trust have begun to engage with this approach in increasing numbers. 

Foundational to this approach is the awareness that a new paradigm for all psychotherapy (CAT, CBT, analytical work etc) is necessarily emerging, one which will change the way we do therapy, one rooted in the ineluctable but hitherto ignored fact of our relationship with nature, one in which we realize that we are part of nature, rather than users of it, and one in which we can learn to be with the feelings that come up when we realise the extent of the crisis our out-of-relationship behaviours have landed us in. 

His outline plan for the day is:  

  • Introductions to one another and to the work (we wilstart at 10.00am with refreshments served from 9.30am.)
  • A practical experience of  Environmental Arts Therapy, exploring what it’s like to work outdoors in nature, engaging with the seasons and with the natural world,  followed by discussion of personal experience and exploration of the group process. (Please dress for all weathers!)
  • Lunch and a chance to catch up with colleagues
  • Theoretical input and discussion on the roots of this work, and how and why it works, followed by an exploration of how it works in NHS clinical settings: the challenges faced (e.g. managing safety, containment, boundaries), the benefits gained, the types of nature-based practice, how it might fit with CAT theory and practice etc. 
  • 5.00pm Close. 

The planned venue is the millennial oak woodlands at Dalkeith Country Park just a few miles from Edinburgh and the A1.

For more information and booking please


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