„Natural spaces as the active principle – Nature, the co-therapist“

Nature therapy can be defined as a therapy that opens itself to nature in order to find solutions that assist with steps towards the healing of self. The physical body and apperception are integrated in a more conscious and intense manner than they are in the context of daily living. Art therapy benefits from the unique characteristics of the surrounding topography, from the native materials, and from the direct experience the individual is exposed to. Intensified dynamics of symbolisms attributed to natural materials are utilized – a rock can symbolize a person and a bent branch becomes symbol for the journey through life. It is assumed that creative work is a basic human need, not only satisfying the senses aesthetically, but also generating energy that allows for new insights.
Similar to the proposal by the salutogenetic health concept, which includes creativity and the integration of nature as a central premise, Art therapy proposes a “gentle” experience of nature; free of any pressure to perform, this is an opportunity to truly experience the self as a natural being – by stopping to listen to the murmur of the creeks, to lose oneself in the yellow of the blooming flowers, to recall old memories through the scent of nature, to feel moist earth running through our fingers and to suddenly become aware of the images that emerge from the depths of the self.

Director of LandART: Magª. Ramona Ritter-Weilguni