Earth-Based Counselling

As a social worker and educator, I am interested in helping guide people into a re-connection with the Earth in ways that can decolonize, naturalize and heal. I attempt to do this through wholistic practices that co-creates with you ways of bringing your experiences, cultural background and dreams into relation with the lands you live upon. Below I highlight some dimensions that I bring into this service, though it is ultimately tailored to each individual.

 

If interested in consulting about these services, you can email me at tleduc@wlu.ca

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Earth-based Healing

If you commuted into work today, you will have been under stress… And your body will have released cortisol to deal with it. The problem with our busy city lives, however, is that the stressful events keep piling up. There will be emails to answer… a deadline looming… bills to be paid. And our cortisol levels remain always slightly raised. When cortisol is released constantly, it can disrupt all our body’s processes, and people who produce chronically high levels of cortisol are at increased risk of numerous health problems. The good news is that… researchers have now proved that forest bathing: lowers the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline; suppresses the sympathetic or ‘fight or flight’ system... reduces blood pressure, lowers stress, improves cardiovascular and metabolic health, lowers blood-sugar levels, improves concentration and memory, lifts depression... (Q. Ling, Forest Bathing, pp.66-67, 38)

In sum, many people are not as connected to nature as they could be and this has implications, not only for the wellbeing of the environment, but also for the wellbeing of individuals. In fact, there is growing evidence that supports the age-old belief that connecting with nature promotes flourishing (i.e., enhanced hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing) and positive mental health… (Capaldi et al, 2015, pp.1-2)

Guidance in Your Earth Healing Practice:

  • ​Re-connect with and foster ongoing land relations

  • Develop cultural practices for sustaining land relations

  • Re-balance virtual and natural web relations

  • Learn about local colonial land relations & decolonial practices

Image to Left: Great Blue Heron on a Toronto pond

Cultural Naturalizing

Our western culture keeps going, and thriving, by persuading us to value everything that's unimportant. And that's why over the past hundred years so many people have turned away, turned to the East, [Indigenous], anywhere - for some form of spiritual nourishment. But the more we find in the East or anywhere else the more it makes us inwardly divided, homeless, cultural tramps and vagabonds. (P. Kingsley, In the Dark Places of Wisdom, p.6)

All my life I have been disciplined to stay in the Longhouse, to be who I am and not get caught up in the confusion and hardship of that space where people straddle between the Indigenous canoe and ship. I know lots of people who struggle with wanting to be on the canoe, but are on the ship. It is hard for them to decide where they stand on the river of life because of this confusion. The waters around them are always dark and deep. (N. Jacobs, Ǫ da gaho dḛ:s: Reflecting on our Journeys)

Guidance in Renewing Your Relations with:

  • Culture-specific land teachers

  • Cultural crafts (e.g. writing or carving as healing practice)

  • Culture-based Decolonizing of land relations

Image to Right: 12th Century French cathedral carving

of monthly works with astrological symbols

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