Bringing Therapy Outdoors. With Dr. Laura Park Figueroa

Bringing Therapy Outdoors with Laura Park Figueroa

Nature has always been my most dedicated therapist; when I feel out of sorts, walking outside will often help restore my calm. Today, my guest and I talked about bringing therapy outdoors.

We Talked About

  • What exactly does an occupational therapist do
  • Why did Laura decide to take her practice outdoors
  • What are the challenges and advantages of being in nature vs. being indoors when treating children
  • The “Just Right Challenge”
  • When should you see an Occupational Therapist

Things to Remember

“Nature often offers challenges that are beyond our comfort level.”

“Nature-based therapy can happen anywhere.”

“All of us exist in this continual context of nature.”

“Kids can do hard things, we can do hard things, and that’s really what helps us to grow and change.”

“Problems fester when they’re not brought to life.”

– Laura Park Figueroa

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” – Alfred Wainwright

“Nature is a guide that teaches children how to move about.” Dr. Maria Montessori

“When we spend time outside in beautiful places, a part of our brain called the subgenual prefrontal cortex, quiets down, and this is part of the brain that is associated with negative self-reported rumination” Florence Williams

Additional Resources

Books by Richard Louv:

A bit more about Anna Jean Ayres

There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids. Linda Åkeson McGurk

The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective. Rachel and Stephen Kaplan

What is Kaplan’s Attention Restoration Theory (ART)?

Let’s Continue the conversation…

Now, Laura and I want to hear from you!

Do you spend time in nature with your child? Listen in to discover why it is so important for you and your child.

Leave a comment below and let us know; you’ll also be helping others to know what is possible.

Remember, The Art of Parenting was created for you. If you have any suggestions for experts, I should have on the show or parenting questions you want to be answered. Please let me know here.

More About My Guest

Dr.Laura Park Figueroa, Ph.D., OTR/L, is the founder and CEO of Outdoor Kids OT, a nature-based pediatric occupational therapy practice in Berkeley, California.

She also offers a variety of free and low-cost multidisciplinary resources related to nature-based pediatric therapy in the Therapy in the Great Outdoors Community and on the Therapy in the Great Outdoors podcast. 

Her nature-based therapy training- the ConTiGO (Connection & Transformation in the Great Outdoors) Approach- equips pediatric therapists to take their work with children into nature in alignment with best practices and current evidence.

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