There's growing evidence for the effectiveness of ecotherapy. This is just a sample of some of the recent research.
Park Prescription: Take Five (Minutes) and Call Me In the Morning
By Deborah Fleischer.
Just five minutes of exercise in nature can boost your mood and improve self-esteem. No surprise then that research shows that nature is better at treating moderate depression than antidepressant drugs.
our minds: How nature nurtures the brain
By Larry Gabriel.
We know spending time in natural settings is good for you, but research is now revealing the details: interacting with nature can improve self-confidence, enhance cognitive functioning and can even make us the less materialistic.
An Idea Whose Times Has Come Want to feel better about yourself - just
walk outside. by Steven Kotler.
A study analyzed 1200 people involved in 10 separate studies done in the UK and found that a five-minute "dose" of nature was enough to improve self-esteem. The study also showed that this effect held across a variety of outdoor activities-from hiking through fishing through gardening (and even farming).
Healing Power of Nature
By Beth Lapin. A good overview of what ecotherapy is all about. Beth is an ecotherapist herself and puts some of the research into a practical context.
spaces create healthy communities
The latest research confirms that green spaces are essential for our psychological well-being. Frances “Ming” Kuo (University of Illinois) has studied a wide range of research from the last decade. She concludes that in areas with good access to green spaces “people are more generous and more sociable. We find stronger neighborhood social ties and greater sense of community, more mutual trust and willingness to help others”.