The Diploma of Ecotherapy (newly approved by IICT International Institute of Complimentary Therapies) is being first taught at a series of retreat style workshops across the beautiful nature and wilderness of Aotearoa, from October 2018 - October 2019.
Begin, Broaden or Change your Career!
Or you can simply retreat: if its a slowdown to river-time, on the Otaki river, you need, or forest bathing in the kauri and punga’s on the Coramandel Penninsula, near Hot Water beach, (where you can dig yourself your own hot pool under the moonrise! ) Perhaps it’s the magnificence of the Southern Alps, to realise your enormous smallness, the retreats centers are chosen for their location in nature, and gourmet, healthy cuisine ( lots grown on site and some organic/bio-dynamic.) There is a world class labyrinth at Te Moata and all have lots of walking trails in nature. Of course you can join the teaching workshops for the Diploma, as you like, for creative and beautiful immersions in and with nature.
Cost of Retreat : $545 NZ Early bird - (book by September 20)
includes all gourmet, organic /biodynamic food ( scroll down to see sample menu) and accommodation
Approved by INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF COMPLIMENTARY THERAPIES
earthart by Kelly Jarvis
And here are trees and I know their gnarled surface, water and I feel its taste. These scents of grass and stars at night, certain evenings when the heart relaxes – how shall I negate this world whose power and strength I feel?
20 years of experience in community, teaching and environment is condensed into an innovative and experiential diploma crafted to prepare you for the changing world of work opportunities increasing as the field of Ecotherapy and Earth/Nature based therapies emerges. Action research on the need for this Diploma of Ecotherapy, has informed inspired and indeed encouraged, the creation and the writing of this course along it’s way, with practioners and prospective employers of Ecotherapy programs, were consulted. The Diploma of Ecotherapy blends vocational needs with a strong theoretical and evidence base, designed to assist you in forging and making the most of work opportunities in the growing field of Earth/Nature based Therapies.
The Diploma of Ecotherapy consciously develops the holistic leadership required of you, forging your professional identity as an Ecotherapist, and the confidence in your ability to create and develop opportunities for the work of Ecotherapy. The retreat based workshops both inform and nurture this from the beginning of this course of study. This is a Diploma that truly enables you to and to be a part of and indeed shape the evolution of what Thomas Berry called the great work and Joanna Macy calls “the work that connects;” being the change Gandhi exhorted.
Beautiful, Affordable Nature-Immersed Locations
Each of the retreat centers is chosen for its earthbased ethos and respect. The food is mindful and delicious vegetarian fare, (some bio-dynamic) with fresh produce sourced from gardens on site. Each is located in /near the beautiful bush, streams, beaches, rivers and mountains of Aotearoa. There is opportunity for walking, mediation, reflection and all have their own unique accommodations and provisions to enhance your stay (Te Moata has a world class labyrinth and glowworms!) Most is twin share or dorm style to keep prices cheap and cheerful 😊 (If you prefer your own room, this can often be arranged.) Camping is an option at some of the retreat centers.
( & the food!)
A peek at Riverslea Retreat Cuisine:
"We are delighted to provide in-house catering to meet your requirements. We specialise in delicious Home-made Organic Vegetarian meals, using produce from our bio-dynamic garden and local growers (where possible); most of the ingredients will be organic. Our menu is seasonal ..."Below is a list of just the salads, breads, spreads and dessert at the Riverslea Retreat Centre, Otaki. Much of thier food is grown on site and bio-dynamic. For a full menu go to www.riverslearetreat.co.nz
Roasted pumpkin & feta
Red cabbage/carrot/hazelnut coleslaw
Crunchy carrot salad (with walnuts & yoghurt)
Crunchy curried egg salad (with apple)
Roasted root vegetable salad with sesame seeds
Chickpea, beetroot & nut salad
Carrot and sesame salad
Warm asparagus & potato salad
Mediterranean lima bean salad
Broccoli & Cranberry salad
Sprouted mung bean salad
Asian inspired brown rice salad
Rosemary & sea salt focaccia, Tomato & oregano focaccia, Walnut bread, Onion & rosemary flat bread, Potato flatbread with feta/olives, Southern corn bread, Socca Bread (GF, V), Irish Soda Bread, Mixed Seed Bread Rolls, Cheese or Plain Scones
Hummus, Riverslea Pesto, Kale Pesto (seasonal), Sundried Tomato Tapenade, Quark, Spinach/yoghurt/garlic dip.
Choose 1 option – all served with Home-made Ice-cream Raspberry and Apple-Crumble Chocolate Brownie
Banana Cake Berry Crumble Cake Baked Lemon Cheesecake Sticky Date Pudding & Butterscotch Sauce
Italian Fig and Apple cake Self-Saucing Chocolate Cake Almond Honey Spice Cake Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
+ 12 more! V = Vegan, GF = Gluten Free, DF = Dairy Free, NS=No Sugar
Unique Reflexive and Experiential ways of Learning:
The diploma of Ecotherapy is crafted to respect and engage many ways learning, or multiple intelligences. Experiential and reflective, with invitation and opportunity for your individual and collective process, ensure your effectiveness as a practioner of this work. This foundation prepares you for both the realities of working as an Ecotherapist, and the changing environment and opportunities that are emerging in this beautiful work.
- · The retreat workshops are designed to be experiential. In this the learning is with opportunity to be transformational for both learner and teacher. The assessments will have an emphasis on an awareness of and a reflection on the dynamics of this process, for you.
- · Assessments will be a requirement of each module and due within a month of module completion. ( Application can be made for later assessments due to unforeseen circumstances.) Some of them are designed to encourage creative responses to this course material, and your own inner processes integrating the learnings. As such they can include (but are not limited to) poetry, songs, dance, art/sculpture installations etc. that express and evidence the impact and potential of the learnings. This will compliment the more academic style of some other more theory based assessment, and aims to engage, respect and embody the variety of multiple intelligence's or ways of learning ( See Howard Gardener’s research ) including earthways.
- · The weekend workshop modules will run concurrently with a retreat stream. Participants who do not wish to complete the Diploma or the assessments but are interested in participating in the discussions/workshops can choose what to attend. Retreat time is theirs to walk/write/rest as they need. If they then choose to take the assessments and enroll in the Diploma of Ecotherapy a fee would apply to cover this, equivalent to the module cost of studying.
- · A balance of theory and practical will comprise this Diploma. Invitations to ground the theory will be an integral part of the ways of learning. The diploma will have a focus on the evidence base amassing for Ecotherapy /Nature Based Therapies. It will also explore the theoretical frameworks that support the practice of Ecotherapy. Alongside this will be offered a variety of practical and creative activities, based on and emerging from this theory, that can make up a program in Ecotherapy.
- · Peer to peer learning will be an integral part of the delivery and each student will be invited to present a workshop in consultation with the course lecturer. This will enhance the emphasis in group facilitation skills and leadership, as much of the work opportunities arising in Ecotherapy are in group settings. As such 360 degree feedback ( from all course participants) and the teacher will be invited and offered for reflection and growth.
- · Creativity is the way Earth renews and expresses itself. Invitations to your own creativity will be a feature and a focus, sitting alongside growing its skilled facilitation for your client groups, in earth inspired ways. We will draw our inspiration and indeed sometimes mimic nature (e.g self care principals based on trees, rhizomes and fungi and the way they stay strong together
- · Readings offered before some modules, from current thinkers, movers and shakers shaping the field of Ecotherapy. Discussions of these will be part of some modules.
Conscious Communitas - returning Joy to learning
Communitas happens, when we form and cohabit in temporary learning community, and is harnessed in an intentional way, during the length of the Diploma of Ecotherapy, to enhance the powerful aspects and the joy, of experiential learning. Edith Turner, an anthropologist published a definitive overview of the anthropology of communitas, outlining the concept in relation to the natural history of joy. She explored the nature of human experience , in relation to the sacred, nature and spirit. Communitas often occurs spontaneously, (delightfully) deepening learning and connection to fellow learners.
Will be roughly 2000 words length per module. Some are more theoretical ( because there is nothing so practical as a good theory!) and there is such an exciting research base that supports the work of Ecotherapy that is critical. Others comprise a mix of writing and presentation methods, including expressive modes such as poetry, dance, prose, songs/music etc. Toward the end of the modules, focus will be on developing your skills to write a program of Ecotherapy, and honing your group work facilitation skills, to engage and be effective with the client base of your choice, for your 50 hour placement.
Assessments will be given considered and depth feedback and may include a professional discussion with teacher, with emphasis on the learning process. The final module only, the work placement, will be assessed satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
The Diploma of Ecotherapy - 9 modules
Module 1 – 7 will be delivered at 4 weekend workshops across Aotearoa New Zealand. The schedule is as follows;
Module 1 Introduction to Ecotherapy Overview of benefits, current practice opportunities emerging, research/evidence base and weaving together useful theoretical frameworks for Nature Based Therapies.
Module 2 Creativity the Joy Of Earth Creative responses to earth, Co-creation, Change and Contentment.
Attendance accredited retrospectively at previously held Introduction workshops at Te Moata April 2017 & 2018 (pending completion of assessment+ payment of discounted catch-up fee NZ( $200)
catch up modules 1 & 2 for those who need it 2 ½ days (October 22 -24 ) at the end of Module 2 & 3 held at Riversleigh Otaki (near Wellington ) October 19 – 22 2018.
Module 3 Indigenous Earthways Earth Mothers & Green Men. The context of colonization. Dadirri (Deep Listening) & the reconciliation potential of Ecotherapy
Module 4 Green Dharma from the East Comparison to Western individualism /narcissism epidemic, The work of Joanna Macy with despair and others. Mindful Gardening/ Seasonal Planting
Riversleigh Retreat Centre Otaki ( an hour from Wellington) October 19 – 22 2018.
Module 5 Anxiety & Depression – the great malady of our time The worried well and the impact of social media on mental health. FOMO (fear of missing out) Nature deficit disorder
Module 6 Ecotherapy’s answer: Mindfulness, Meaning and Re-connection Natures gentle invitation: into the now, The innate capacity of humans to make meaning. Re: the root word from the sun
Will be taught at a weekend workshop Te Moata (Coramandel Peninsula – I.5 hours from Auckland) May 2-5 May 2019.
Module 7 Therapeutic Facilitation of Ecotherapy Creating trust, safe therapeutic space, boundaries, Therapeutic Communication and Emotional Intelligence.
Module 8 Elements of Group Work The Art of Facilitating, Effective and Engaging Group Process in Nature Based Therapies. Inhabiting outdoor spaces. Group Dynamics.
These final retreat modules, will be taught at a small mountain retreat in the Alps of the South Island St Arnaud ( an hour from Nelson) on a 3 day weekend in October 25 – 28 2019.
Includes a visit to the Flying Flower Famer Jenine Wardman’s farm.
Be part of the evolution (re-volution) of Ecotherapy!
Feedback from participants in Introduction to Ecotherapy - Te Moata 2017/18
Working with the land art I felt connected to the earth our mother…I loved the smell of the warm soil…and feeling that source with my bare feet. I will introduce Ecotherapy to the families I work with confidence that I am doing the right thing. Before when using nature, although I felt intuitively that is was right I believed I had nothing to support this; now I do. Thankyou for bringing this work to us.” Family Violence Worker
“the course will help me in supporting staff who work in the frontline with teaching to support clients and their families with mental health and addictions issues” Emerge Aotearoa
“It gave me a better understanding of the ngahere (bush) …being in tune with everything…” Maori family worker
“Other centred therapy is a powerful focus: I liked the idea of the eco-self…it’s something I want to notice more…and an awareness of eco-anxiety is useful for understanding students.” University student counsellor
“It will play a very important role within my professional role and personal journey” Nurse
“ A greater understanding of unspoken values and beliefs through immersion in nature and gentle guidance – this workshop will impact my work and a greater sense of self through affirmation of the possibilities of be-ing in natural spaces.”
“ an new creativity is seeded …”
”re-affirming of our work, our medicine”
“I feel more present, more connected with my eco-self”
“a softening, and a deeper realisation of what is important…
Poem “Find me a word” (written after Ecotherapy weekend)
by NZ poet Gus Simonovic - a beautiful film version produced by Martin Sercombe (email@example.com)
RECOGNITION WITH INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF COMPLIMENTARY THERAPISTS
IICT has a two part aproval process: the first is gaining professional indemnity/public liability insurance for Ecotherapy as a modality. This offers insurance cover to you as a student, while you are on your professional placement.
The second stage is becoming an approved training provider with IICT. This requires the submission for approval of the following: ( part of enrollment package)
- · A student refund policy
- · A dispute policy
- · An overview of course content and student contact hours
- · Detail of assessments students must complete satisfactorily to receive Diploma
- · Business Registration and current insurance/professional indemnity
- · C.V of teacher of the course
While IICT are not a registered training authority, they have over 11,000 members across the world, specializing in approving modalities that have no traditional pathways of study. In effect, making it possible to study in this growing field of Nature based Therapies, at this time. I am confident that they are professional and represent emerging therapies and modalities while in the crucial stage of becoming established - this process has been traversed with other expressive /values based therapies that are more established than Ecotherapy, but are similar to it, such as Art Therapy, Pet Therapy and Music Therapy etc. Catalytic Validity is a term used to refer to the validity of values based work in the stage during which the evidence base is being consolidated/action researched. It is a critical part of development and change. Typically mainstream practices need time to catch up to cutting edge/emerging research and this can take some years to integrate into other more established modes. Meanwhile those who experienced the effectiveness of the Nature Based Therapies, forge and develop its application into the community, while having the assurance of insurance cover. It is a way of participating in change: BEING the change.
I also believe that the integrity of this course of study, based firmly in many years as a horticultural and art therapist in mental health and community work, will speak for itself. I have mentored many student placements in nature based work, and supported work placements and assessments. This diploma has emerged out of direct experience with the evolving work of Nature/Earth Based therapies and I have witnessed the rapidly increasingly demand for professionals, competent in the particular range of skills, and expertise needed in this unique career pathway. I believe the Diploma of Ecotherapy will stand up boldly, and help to meet this demand AND go on to merge with other online forms of study emerging in Nature/Earth Based Therapies, to be the collective basis for accredited pathways of study, like a Bachelor of Ecotherapy (oooh don’t you like the ring to that?:)
The total cost for The Diploma of Ecotherapy, including professional placement, is NZ $3960
Each module is $440 .
1. All accommodation and meals at 4 retreat beautiful retreat centers across Aotearoa
2. 200 hours + of face to face experiential, retreat styled learning, and assessment and placement completion.
3. Assessments designed to creatively nurture your own eco-self integration/development as well as your own leadership facilitation in working with others.
4. All professional Insurances while studying, covering student placement, as well as student membership with IICT for $1 per year.
5. Ongoing feedback and supervision/support with locating industry placement.
6. Diploma of Ecotherapy accredited (pending*) with International Body for Complimentary Therapists.
Payment can be staged over 18 months of the course duration (including placement) and is due a month before each module commences. For each retreat ( 2 modules ) $880 is due 4 weeks before commencement.
*transport to and from retreat venues is at own cost
Open now email : firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information and an enrollment package
Founder/Facilitator of the Diploma of Ecotherapy
Kerryn Coombs-Valeontis spent her formative years in Aotearoa/NZ. She started her career as a school teacher. With a passion for Environmental Education, she completed post graduate studies with a Masters in Social Ecology. Essentially a philosophy of enquiry drawing inspiration from what emerges when traditional silos of knowledge, ( psychology, ecology and sociology) and blended. Both ancient wisdom and new sciences belong here, and this foundation,( and a lens) is an underpinning basis to navigate the uncertainty at the frontier of the emerging field of Earth-based Therapies.
She has been a community worker and manager with Relationships Australia, and taught in adult vocational education for over 15 years, including the Diploma of Youthwork, Case work and Community Services, and on the Bachelor of Human Services. She served on the management committee of Cultivate (NSW Horticultural Therapy Society) for 2 years and created an introductory course for them , with colleague and Horticulturalist, Karen Grey. She has trained in Poetry Therapy, and Art Therapy and taught Transpersonal Art Therapy, and works with youth at risk. And as both an art and horticultural therapist, in clinical mental health services as group facilitator with addictions, mood and eating disorders .
Kerryn is also the co-author ( with Karen Grey and Virginia Field) of a book “Nature Heals: Horticultural Therapy, Ecotherapy and Nature Based Therapies in Australia and New Zealand” being self published & crowd funded currently - available March 2019.
B.Ed, M. Social Ecology,(UWS) Dip Transpersonal Art Therapy, Cert. Horticultural Therapy (TAFE NSW) Cert IV Workplace Training/Assessment, Cert. Organic Agriculture (Nutritech) and Cert. Professional Supervision (Relationships Australia)