"I look at my own forest and fields in a different way”: the lived experience of nature-based therapy in a therapy garden when suffering from stress-related illness

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Evidence confirms that nature-based therapy (NBT) has a positive effect on people with mental illnesses. However, there is a lack of evidence on the meaning of NBT for specific patient groups. The Nacadia® Therapy Garden was designed according to an evidence-based design process, and an NBT programme was developed. The aim of the study was to illuminate the phenomenon of participants’ lived experience of the NBT in Nacadia.
Fourteen participants took part in semi-structured interviews (SSIs), and by way of reflective lifeworld research, the SSIs were analysed to identify and describe the meanings of the phenomenon. The essence of the phenomenon was found to be a process of adopting a searching approach to NBT and Nacadia to become familiar with the conditions. This familiarity stimulated the development of confidentiality and attachment to Nacadia. Feeling protected, safe, cared for, and not exposed was important, and motivated feelings of freedom, reduced demands, and increased the ability to access and try a spectrum of NBT
activities. It encouraged participants to develop personal approaches and coping strategies to implement in their everyday lives for moving on.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1324700
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
Issue number1
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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