JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 11, 2022) – East Tennessee State University’s Department of Counseling and Human Services is now offering a graduate certificate in Nature-Based Therapy. The certificate offers an immersive, comprehensive preparation for the creation of nature-based therapeutic services and programming, as well as the integration of nature-based therapeutic practices into traditional approaches.
“The physical and psychological benefits of engaging with nature are well documented in literature. As urbanization continues to increase, it is more important than ever to intentionally integrate nature into our lives and to develop deep, meaningful connections with the natural world,” said Dr. Bethany Novotny, assistant professor in the Human Services program. “Nature-based therapy is an emerging field that blends the therapeutic benefits of counseling with the healing power of contact with the natural world. I am honored to be part of the new Nature-Based Therapy Graduate Certificate program and cannot imagine a better place than ETSU and the Appalachian Highlands to train students and contribute to research in this rapidly growing field.”
The 15-credit program is comprised of four required three credit courses, in addition to an additional advisor-approved three credit course. Prospective students will have the opportunity to develop skills relevant to individual and community healing, development and wellness. This includes practical skills for programming logistics, implementation, administration and risk management. Additional topics covered throughout the program include, but are not limited to: ecopsychology, ecotherapy, “Leave No Trace” philosophy, land stewardship practices, existing nature-based program models, multicultural perspectives and outdoor behavioral healthcare.
“Having had a long fascination with holistic wellness and naturopathy, I am excited about the opportunity to engage in this program,” said student Nancy Estrada. “Learning the science behind the benefits of engagement with nature while applying therapeutic techniques and interventions has been amazing. As a Navy veteran, I have spent up to nine months living inside an aircraft carrier. Learning how to decompress from those experiences and to be able to help others do so is incredible!”
In addition to the admissions criteria set by the ETSU School of Graduate Studies, prospective students must also include two letters of recommendation with their application. Domestic applicants who wish to apply to the program must do so by no later than 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 10, 2022. International applicants must submit their applications no later than 11:59 p.m. on May 1, 2022.
For more information about the Nature-Based Therapy graduate certificate, contact Novotny at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (423) 439-7073.