The 2019/2020 bushfires had a devastating impact on many Shoalhaven communities and people are still feeling anxious from the Black Summer fires as they prepare for this year's fire season.
Since the Black Summer fires many people are experiencing what is now known as "eco-anxiety".
One of the roles the Manyana Matters Environmental Association wants to provide people is ways to help ease their feeling of "eco-anxiety".
The group has indicated that creative therapeutic outlets/workshops [ecotherapy] could be a way to help people.
The association, on Saturday, November 18, "is thrilled" to be hosting a creative and therapeutic writing workshop with Kerryn Coombs-Valeontis.
Kerryn specialises in techniques designed to help with eco-anxiety.
Her techniques help people to find a sense of inner peace and well-being - through connecting with nature she aims to help us find hope and a chance to heal.
Manyana Matters member and climate education researcher, Dr Larraine Larri, has first-hand experience with what Kerryn can offer.
"In December last year, just as we began experiencing some bushfires, I had the opportunity to do one of Kerryn's Sydney workshops," Dr Larraine said.
"After the workshop, I felt more grounded with a sense of place, peace and wellbeing.
"I was so impressed by Kerryn's ability to lead people through a positive process that I determined to work to bring her here."
Kerryn explains what ecotherapy is about.
"Ecotherapy creates a therapeutic space with and in nature that promotes and encourages wellbeing and flourishing," she said.
"Nature/ plant life cycles and ecosystems coincide and interweave with human life cycles. The split between humans and nature begins to heal.
"We are nature and Indigenous cultures have never forgotten".
The event's details are:
Saturday, November 18 from 2pm to 5pm at Yulunga Hall, 195 Sunset Strip, Manyana, Jerrinja Country
Disability accessible. $35 waged $20 concession
All you need to bring is a pen, paper and your readiness to write, share and listen with others.
For bookings or inquiries, please email Kerryn directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0410 863 286.
Kerryn has taught in adult education for over 20 years, she has a Masters in Social Ecology, B Ed. Dip Transpersonal Art Therapy.
She is the co-author of Nature Heals: An Introduction to Nature-based Therapy in Australia and New Zealand (2019).
Kerryn is a poet, Ecotherapist and Art Therapist, and a sessional lecturer in Bachelor/Masters of Health and Wellbeing at the Buddhist Nan Tien Institute in Wollongong.
Meanwhile, writing in Psychology Today, Dekila Chungyalpa says there are five things we can do to alleviate eco-anxiety:
The Shoalhaven is known to have many beautiful natural spaces.
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