Few can deny the healing power of a walk through the woods. Regardless of the season, there’s something about being submerged in the verdant growth of nature that replenishes our spirits, cleaning us of all the buzz and furious panic of “city life.” An age-old remedy for depression and anxiety, a brief walk in the woods is good for many things. But would you believe that nature is changing the face of therapy? How are progressive therapists using flora and fauna to reach their patients?

Amanda StarbuckAbbie Hausermann, a pioneer in the world of therapy and an enterprising trailblazer, has made the great outdoors her office. Trading her leather couch for the smell of freshly fallen leaves, Abbie takes her patients on long trail hikes in any number of parks. After opening her doors in May, the response to her innovative program was unanimously positive. Offering several options to explore the wilderness with her clients, Abbie may have just unlocked the latest trend in therapy.

Offering hikes for those who enjoy opening up on their feet, Abbie’s services are more than just a walk in the park. With overnight nature adventures and camping trips on her roster, Abbie hopes that offering more than just one option for those looking for more “natural” therapy can be the key to reaching those deeply rooted issues.Beyond the benefits of being outdoors, Abbie suggests there is a subconscious mechanism that allows us to work through our problems while moving. The act of forward motion fights the notion of stagnation, literally and figuratively allowing us to move on.

Will we see more therapy sessions conducted outdoors because of Abbie, who knows? The future of nature therapy remains somewhat uncertain as a branch of treatment, but we can be sure that those willing to walk with Abbie into the wilderness may find themselves changed by the time they leave.