Greenspace Pastoring: Integrating Nature-Based Therapy & Pastoral Care
The global pandemic's impact on the church in Australia was felt in many areas. Clergy faced numerous challenges, including providing pastoral care and support amidst social distancing and isolation. The need to innovate saw an increase in the use of technology such as hybrid services. However, there has not been much in the way of new pastoral care methods and models reported during these challenging times. What started as a personal journey for this author several years ago found traction during the Pandemic. This paper argues that pastoral care can borrow the concept of “greenspacing” from urban ecology and apply it to the diverse practices of eco-spirituality. While the potential expressions of this are endless, this paper explores a method for engaging in pastoral care and counselling through walking and talking. The empirically powerful modality of walk-and-talk therapy has been borrowed from psychotherapeutic tradition and infused with elements of eco-spirituality. While the walk is the focus, pastors are encouraged to integrate practices from various spiritual traditions to complement these greenspace encounters.
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