Kate has worked in adult social care since 2007 beginning as a person centred facilitator working with adults with learning disabilities before going on to work in specialist and generic social work teams as a Community Care Officer focused on reablement across Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils including adults with acute and enduring mental health conditions.
Along with regular mandatory and specialist training, Kate has been in training independently for three years with https://www.naturalacademy.org/ in Regenerative Ecopsychology and Nature Based Practice and has qualified as a Level 3 Ecopsychology Practitioner and a Level 4 Ecopsychology Practitioner and Ecotherapist (https://www.naturalacademy.org/practitioners/)
Kate also has immersed herself in learning more about trauma and the lifelong effects of it on the body and autonomic nervous system, and how that particularly affects adults who are the survivors of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Complex Post-Traumatic Disorder, Kate has been on her own personal journey of recovery and healing and brings this wealth of lived experience to her work with others.
Wild as Well has been in development for five years, ever since Kate first noticed the effects nature had on the people she worked with who were experiencing anxiety and depression in relation to living with social and communication challenges, alongside sensory overwhelm. Kate began to research nature's positive impact on health and wellbeing and began introducing the wisdom of nature into her roles in Adult Social Care.
This led to Kate participating in volunteering opportunities around the world that were embedded in the ethos and practice of nature connection and wellbeing including time as a volunteer at Embercombe on the edge of Dartmoor and participating in person on their landmark training programmes (https://www.embercombe.org/the-journey/ and https://www.embercombe.org/courses/speaking-out-masterclass/) before Kate embarked on the rigorous accredited three-year training pathway with Natural Academy ( https://www.naturalacademy.org/vocational-pathway) in 2018.
Kate has regular supervision and CPD training and is a member of Nature and Health Practitioners Network and abides by their code of practice. https://www.natureandhealthpractitioners.com
Traditional psychology places the individual and their relationships with others at the heart of the therapeutic model.
Ecopsychology challenges that and asserts that we are more than just in relationship across the intrapersonal and interpersonal human community, we are part of a wide and diverse ecosystem of an animate world that supports life.
Traditional psychology and psychotherapy focuses on the relationship a person has with themselves and other humans and aims to improve the health of both.
Ecopsychology expands on this by stating that the health of the human is inextricably linked with the health of the planet and vice versa.
In other words it makes the link between the catastrophic rising rates of the deterioration of our health and wellbeing, with the catastrophic deterioration of our planet and our relationship with it.
Ecopsychology places the disconnect between humans and the natural world as the most significant interplay that is fundamental to the rapid decline of our health and the health of all species
In the last fifty years as mass consumerism and intensive agriculture has changed the face of the planet we live on - on the one hand offering convenience and a touch of luxury that has become attainable for all (not just the wealthy) - while on the other, physical and mental health conditions have intensified and we are now facing unprecedent pressure on our health and social care services.
At the same time we're concreting over natural spaces, we're ripping up our gardens and laying artificial lawns, disconnecting ourselves from the natural world around us, yet we're quite happy (and innately drawn) to pay to visit Centre Parcs or to swim with dolphins, all the while forgetting that nature is here for us all the time, supporting our life systems without any need for transaction. All nature asks from us is respect and for us to be in a reciprocal relationship of gratitude and care.
Ecopsychology brings us back into connection with the natural world and all the living beings that reside there, and offers us the opportunity to rekindle that long lost sense of belonging to our self, our communities and to our place.
Instead of focusing on the bio-psycho-social model which separates our identity and wellbeing into three distinct parts, the Natural Self model (developed by Natural Academy) focuses on the interplay of:
Includes our physical, mental, emotional and psychological health, our beliefs, values and morals (for some this may include religion or spirituality)
Includes our family and friends, our neighbours, our colleagues, our culture and communities
Includes our access to natural and wild spaces; the weather and climate; the other-than-human world and our relationship with it; the awe and wonder we feel when we see a sunset or a beautiful view; the health of local habitats and whether they're cared for or ruined by litter and fly-tipping
All these things influence us as individuals and our wellness in the world we live in. Any aspect that is out of balance or in poor health affects every part of the health of the whole symbiotic system.
Wild as Well facilitates the opportunity to focus on all three aspects of our identity by working with the natural world in group and individual sessions through ecopsychological education which involves experiential activities and therapeutic interventions, where the work of tending to our innate wholeness is strengthened, giving us the capacity and resources to work with our healing and recovery.
Whether you just need to relax and resource yourself to deal with these challenging times, or whether you need support to regulate your emotions and work through any anxieties, challenges, past traumas or grief, the Natural Self approach can help you.