Addiction Recovery, Ecopsychology, and Understanding How It Works


At the Ohana Addiction Treatment Center, we execute several holistically alternative methods of treatment to treat our clients struggling with addiction. The goal of these holistic practices and approaches is to teach our clients tools beyond the clinical scope that are needed for maintaining recovery long-term after they have left treatment. Teaching these skills is essential as we know that most people will be returning to the same environment they left. By being equipped with mindfulness practices and techniques, individuals will be able to deal with the potential toxic situations that may be returning to more healthily. 

Some of the holistic methods we implement at The Ohana include yoga, meditation, and mindfulness therapy. One approach we utilize that may seem a bit unorthodox is ecopsychology. This relatively new method of therapy focuses on connecting people to nature as a means of improving overall health and well-being. What better way to use nature as a treatment method than in the middle of an island? The island and facility surroundings make implementing ecotherapy easy and even more effective thanks to the island’s beauty.

What Is Ecopsychology?

If we break down the word, we can infer that ecopsychology is the integration of ecology and psychology in a way that changes certain negative emotions. Contact with nature is implemented to reach positive outcomes in therapy. It can be used to effectively teach clients healthier habits for personal growth and healing while also teaching them to develop a more ecologically positive lifestyle as well.

Ecopsychology works to connect people with nature because of the overall health benefits nature can have. Ecopsychology claims that individuals today have been cut off from nature more than ever before. This disconnection causes an individual’s mind, body, and spirit to suffer greatly, often leading to struggles with mental illness, including addiction. The primary focus of ecopsychology is to reconnect our clients with the healing power of nature in turn reducing both mental and physical stressors, which increases the overall well-being of our individuals and communities.

Benefits of Ecopsychology

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health published research on the effects nature has on people. As multisensory creatures, people can reap several different benefits through visual and non-visual senses that create a physiological response. Their study observed that beyond the five senses, other non-visual pathways can be considered senses, such as the “ingestion or inhalation of phytoncides, negative air ions, and microbes.” Though more research is needed, the concept of non-visual pathways and senses could explain the unexplainable health benefits that nature can have on us.

Today, more articles and research studies are being published that show the effectiveness of using nature to treat addiction. Some researchers have indicated that simply being exposed to areas of nature help reduce cravings for addictive substances. This exposure doesn’t have to be a strenuous outdoor excursion. Simply going outside for fresh air, taking a walk, or even sitting in the grass can have just as effective results. Additionally, in a world of the endless use of technology, enjoying nature allows us to disconnect from our screens and reconnect with our surroundings, all of which can have positive effects on most mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, and addiction.

Reconnecting With Nature at The Ohana

The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center has a bit of an advantage in terms of our ability to implement ecopsychology into our treatment programs. Located in the heart of Kailua-Kona, our facility comes equipped with ocean views, tropical forests and orchards, and endless opportunities for adventure. There’s no better place to reconnect back to nature. According to ecopsychology, people have been deprived of the chance to connect to nature which causes our bodies, minds, and spirits to suffer. The goal of implementing this therapy into our program is to reconnect our clients to the nature that surrounds them in a way that helps them to heal from their traumas and active addictions.

If you or someone you love is seeking recovery from active addiction or other co-occurring mental illnesses, consider the ability nature has to transform your life and free you from the confines of your addiction. Our holistic treatment programs and beautiful paradise views will allow you to leave feeling refreshed, renewed, and free of the traumas from your life. Ecopsychology is just one of the many alternative programs we enlist into your individualized treatment. To learn more about becoming part of our Ohana, we encourage you to reach out and begin your recovery adventure today.

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The Ohana Hawaii

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