Environmental Psychotherapy- Psychoterrapia- The new type of Psychological Therapy- Cultivating Minds

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I had the chance to attend one of the talks of Dra. Valeria Uga, Psychoterapy practicer in Florence, Italy. She gave a talk about the new concept of Psychoterrapia, starting from its origins to its use in the day to day lives of ordinary peoples.

Dr. Uga explains Pshychoterrapia is based on the combination of two main elements: the principles of Psychology and Biodynamic Agriculture.

Pshychology involves the study of the human (individual and group) behaviour as well as the psychological properties that cause certain behaviour either through symbology or other inductive methods. On the other hand Biodynamic Agriculture refers to refers to the practice of agriculture as a whole, not only focused on producing goods but also focused on the process itself, where effort is also invested in ensuring diversification, health, fertility and balance; thus crops are grown with as little contamination as possible, to end up with healthy systems and also to ensure healthy consumers. (more info in: https://www.biodynamics.com/biodynamics.html).

Thus in this case Psychoterrapia entails a type of psychological treatment that encourages the wellness of the person using alive, natural systems. Thus it involves both intervention (treatment of the patient) and practice (involvement of the patient him/her self,) entailing the active involvement of the patients. This therapy is also known as “green care”.

Dr. Uga explains this new type of practice is IMPORTANT because it is based on the CONNECTION between NATURE AND SOCIETY. By being involved with and in nature, you are able to discover you are PART OF A LARGER WORLD. “By practising ‘green’ activities your mental state is directly influenced” (Uga, 2014). It is this sense of connection with the natural world that it can stimulate the human mind, bringing very positive results. Examples of treatments include:

-Orticulutura: practice of agriculture, either by helping in building and maintaining gardens, reserves..etc.

-Intervention with animals: constant interaction with other non-human living beings

– exercise in the green space

– wildness therapy: total immersion of the individual in wild nature

-farming: farm activities to promote health and other agricultural activities

Dr. Uga explains the reason why these practices promote well-being is because of the analogies that the patient can make between the natural systems (healthy, living, bright, beautiful..etc.) and the patient him/her self. The patient’s sense systems will be stimulated, and thanks to symbolism he patient will eventually find recovery. Furthermore these therapies also distance patients from our BIGGEST TEMPTATIONS of contemporary life: materialism, consumerism, profit, capitalism… and instead finds a place of spirituality and inspiration. “with Psychotherapy we can CULTIVATE MINDS” (Uga, 2014).

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