In 2018 I learned much from delivering two talks on Addiction and Adolescence at Eton College and one at Port Elliot Festival. I was particularly moved by one 17 year old boy who came up after the talk and asked if you could be addicted to a person – he was suffering from a form of relational obsession often described as ‘love addiction’ in the field, which as many of us know can be debilitating and profoundly distressing. I was able to reassure him he is not alone and there are ways to change. I also held a workshop on Addiction and Nature-based therapy at Wild & Well Festival in Bristol.
The healing power of the natural world and its potential to offer us deep insights into ourselves is now a keen interest. Many people in recovery cite nature as a nurturing, restorative factor in their recovery process. What is it that we’re experiencing when we feel restored by nature? What does this balming effect have to do with our addictive processes? Are our increasingly urban and technologically-oriented lives affecting our capacity to feel our place in the evolutionary order of things, and how might this impact our choices and patterns as individuals and societies?
I am devising a nature-based retreat programme for addicts in recovery to explore these questions, broaden their understanding of their own recovery journey and deepen a relationship with the natural world. It will include eco-therapy practices, solo time in nature, group harvesting and reflections to help each participant to come into connection with themselves and their environments – their essential nature. They will be held in the beautiful, verdant lands of Devon near Totnes and come closer to finding their own path through the nature-connected wilderness of our times.
If these issues and deepening your own recovery process are of interest to you then please check back here soon for announcements or get in touch and I’ll be sure to let you know when dates have been set.