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UCLan students have ecotherapy session

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Psychology students explore the effect nature has on mental health

Psychology students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) spent an afternoon researching the impact of the environment on mental health.

Around twenty students from a variety of courses including neuropsychology, forensic psychology and sports psychology visited Brockholes just outside Preston to learn about ecotherapy and its benefits.

The students took part in activities such as trust building exercises, teamwork building and working together to light fires, all with the intention of highlighting the positive impact of the environment on the mind.

Sarita Robinson, Senior Psychology Lecturer of at the University, explained how experiencing ecotherapy can help the students in both their studies and their daily routines as the time for exams and deadlines edges nearer.

She said: “I think it’s a useful tool for some people to help maintain their mental health.

“There were a few reasons for this visit here. The first thing was to introduce students to ecotherapy so that they could see a mental health intervention in action and the second was to show an example of what research they could do for their dissertation projects in their final year.

“Obviously the spin-off benefit for the students is that they will be able to use what they’ve learn today to look after their own wellbeing so it’s a great practical tool for them to incorporate into everyday life even after they leave university.

“I think it gives them an insight into how psychology actually works in the real world. You can do a lot teaching from journals and books and within lectures but to actually see therapy being carried out in the real world brings that knowledge and understanding to life.”

Chris Coughlin | 23 March 2018