After interviewing Mika McLane on episode #4 of the podcast, I found myself so smitten with the idea of incorporating more nature into my sessions. I’ve been on a mission ever since and have noticed beautiful outcomes from incorporating nature in some way.
Mika’s story about bringing snow into the hospital made such an impression on me, especially since I work with children who suffer from medical trauma. Oftentimes this means they are limited physically and getting outside isn’t always an option. One of my clients has a life-limiting medical illness and if often stuck inside due to her inability to independently move around. She popped in my mind when thinking about incorporating nature, but I wasn’t sure how she would respond. Armed with a pumpkin, river rocks, paint, and the “Nightmare Before Christmas” soundtrack, I laid out these options at our next session.
BEST. DECISION. EVER.
Not only did my client completely light up at the sight of the pumpkin and the rocks, but the shift of (energy? interpersonal connection?) between us was so drastic that I was beside myself for a moment. This client talked more in the session, at her own discretion, then in almost all of our previous sessions. The client readily discussed relationships, both prompted from the music (Jack & Sally 4-eva!) and also within her own life. The client decided to paint the characters from the movie on the rocks and is saving the pumpkin for a later time.
It’s a small thing that I’ve taken for granted a thousand times over. The ability to just walk outside. To pick up a rock. To grab a pumpkin. To smell the leaves. To look at the trees. To hear the wind. Moving forward, I hope to not take those simple things for granted as often, to fully acknowledge and understand the limitations of my clients, and to continue working on building those bridges.
How have you used nature in your sessions? I’d love to hear your stories!