Maine Ecotherapy Learning Circle

A project of the Maine Ecotherapy Collaborative–A supportive learning community for Maine-based ecotherapists/learners ~ embodiment, honoring earth wisdom & co-creating nature-based models of care.

Gather once each season to support and deepen your nature based clinical work


    • Specific practices for building your personal relationship with nature
    • Experience and practice nature based interventions
    • Connect with others interested in nature based clinical work
    • Shared inquiry around the role of therapists in a time of climate change
    • Discussion of ethics (from both human and more than human lenses) particular to clinical ecotherapy/ecopsychology
    • Exploration of opportunities and challenges specific to practicing nature based therapy in Maine (e.g., distinct seasonality, local climate change experiences, what about winter, etc.)

  • Participants do not need to be experienced ecotherapy practitioners, but should have some familiarity with the basic principles of ecopsychology.  (We will provide a suggested reading/resource list to all participants.  Resources are chosen with brevity and accessibility in mind.)
  • Our intention is to co-create a consistent, supportive community in which we can explore how to authentically and ethically enact principles of ecopsychology in a clinical realm.  The basic principles are simple.  Living them out, especially in the tight frame of the modern mental health industry and a cultural context divorced from meaningful connection with nature, can be complicated.

Why Clincial Ecotherapy Community Matters

  • Ecotherapy/nature based therapy is a powerful approach to clinical work; one that profoundly expands the physical clinical container and the traditional therapeutic conception of well-being.  We believe this to be an important and necessary shift in clinical practice, particularly living now, in a time of climate change.  There are several books, trainings, articles, etc. about clinical ecotherapy, but it is an emerging field with plenty of room for growth and clarity.  What an exciting time to come together and explore some of the possibilities of ecotherapy specific to our bioregion!  
  • The facilitators have both received ecotherapy certification from different out of state trainings and are currently practicing ecotherapy in Maine.  Although we have more ecotherapy practice than many, we are not experts (nor do we think the concept of expertise really makes sense for this work.)  We believe the principles are actually pretty basic and accessible to all of us–the ethical and effective implementation of these principles is what can be complicated, and what we hope to create more structure around.  We are very open to evolving the structure of this learning circle based on participant need and energy.   We believe this type of community holds great potential for contributing to individual and structural shifts, as we can support, challenge, and push each other and the field in meaningful ways.
  • We need community!  For our personal sustainability and to be ethical/effective ecotherapists, we need a community in the clinical world that holds curiosity, creativity and care around ecopsychology/ecotherapy.
  • If we are genuinely engaged with ecotherapy we can’t help but be engaged with climate change.  This is tremendously challenging and necessary work.  It is work that can tax our nervous systems and souls to the max if we try to do it alone. We believe ecotherapists have so much to contribute in a time of climate crisis, and we believe community and connection is what helps us sustain our ability to contribute.

Details/Next Steps

  • We will offer 2 circles each season with a maximum of 10 participants each.
  • Freeport Area: May 6, 2022, July 22, 2022, Oct 14, 2022, Jan 13, 2023.  9AM-12:30PM.
  • Kennebunk Area: May 20th, 2022, August 12, 2022, October 21, 2022, Jan TBD 2023.  9AM-12:30 PM.
  • Conditionally and fully licensed social workers or counselors, as well as graduate level interns in those fields, are all welcome to attend.
  • Cost: offered per session on a sliding scale: $50/$65/$80.  The cost to run the program is the middle amount.  If you are able, please consider paying more to support those with fewer resources.  Nobody with interest will be turned away for lack of funds–please reach out if payment creates a hardship.
  • 5% of proceeds will be donated to Wabanaki land reparations work.
  • Current facilitators are Jess Wallner and Corie Washow, both licensed clinical professional counselors and ‘certified’ and practicing ecotherapists.  Jess and Corie hold to similar principles around ecotherapy but enact the work in different ways.  We are hopeful that in time other folks may be interested in facilitating so we can all benefit from and support more lenses and approaches to this work! 

“Grace happens when we act with others on behalf of our world.”

-Joanna Macy