Before I met Geoffrey I had only a vague idea of what Nature Awareness was. I mainly believed it to be a way of reconnecting with Nature but not much more. I certainly didn’t realise how powerful this work is and how it can be integrated into more mainstream treatment methods. I am a Consultant Psychiatrist and a few years ago I was working at a recovery centre where Geoffrey was working as well. One day Geoffrey suggested I join a group of patients to see what kind of work he does. Out of pure curiosity I went along. I observed and observed and finally participated and became part of the experience.
I will never forget that day. My whole perception of the power of nature, our inner power and how the two are connected completely changed. I saw my patients gradually shedding their fears, truly connecting in ways that I didn’t believe were possible for them. In my work I treat a wide variety of psychiatric disorders including addictive behaviours. Many of my patients struggled with feelings of emptiness, isolation and lack of connection with others and the world in general.
Traditional treatment methods often alleviate symptoms but struggle to timely reach many of these patients. By working with Geoffrey I had the privilege to observe how Nature Awareness is able to make a difference in patient's recoveries. Nature Awareness was able to create the bridge that we were unable to create. Suddenly these same patients started to feel connected, related first to Nature, then to others and finally to themselves. What we call resistance or defences simply melted away and the true self was able to freely express itself with no fear but with all its power.
Many experiences in life have the ability to make us feel better. Unlike them, Nature Awareness is able to enhance people’s capacity to trust, connect and have a wider vision of things, enabling them to respond to more traditional treatment methods.
In the scientific community, experiences like Nature Awareness are still widely unknown and unexplored. I strongly believe though that this kind of experience is able to create the missing link between what we call “pathology” and a life of emotional fulfilment.
Although my field is mental health, I see a much greater potential to this work than the mentally ill only. Opening up this language to children for example can allow them to grow feeling more grounded, connected, empowered in a way that is unique and mostly unavailable to them nowadays. This book is a beautiful gift to all those who are willing to try out some new fun games and unexpectedly find themselves moved and empowered by Nature, others and our own true selves.
Dr Karin Dorell