Outdoor therapy training (residential)

Outdoor therapy training is an immersive workshop for qualified counsellors, allied mental health professionals and coaches working with adults who wish to take their practice outside. While building your toolbox, in this three-day workshop, we will look at what skills can be transferable in an outdoor scenario and the rationale behind how we work outdoors so you can build a practice that works for you. 

No experience needed

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The residential workshop explores how to leverage ecological awareness, somatic experience, nature connection, and social justice principles to enhance your therapeutic work outdoors.

Throughout the training, you will engage in experiential activities, embodied practices, and nature-based experiences that deepen your understanding and give you the tools to take your practice outside. You will learn how to foster a deeper connection with nature and the body, incorporate ecological mindfulness into your practice, and explore the intersectionality of social and environmental justice within therapeutic contexts while confidently and safely assessing and managing risk, route planning and keeping time.

My work as a therapist is rooted in ecosomatics, a holistic and embodied approach to healing and growth, integrating ecological awareness, somatic experience, nature connection, and social justice principles into therapeutic practice. By honouring the interconnectedness of all life and embracing the wisdom of the body and the natural world, ecosomatic therapy can support clients in cultivating greater well-being, resilience, and connection.

Based on these ecosomatic principles, my approach to training is experiential, embodied and nature-oriented.

This is what you can expect from training with me.

Experiential learning

Experiential Learning: although the workshop includes inputs from me, the trainer, you’ll engage in activities, exercises, and discussions that allow you to directly experience the concepts you’re learning. This hands-on approach fosters deeper understanding and integration of the material

Embodied practice

You are guided through movement-based activities that help you connect with your body so you can conceptualise and create a service that works firstly for you, your needs and your capacity. These activities are thought of to respect the boundaries, needs and limits of your bodies, but also with a gentle curiosity on your body’s potential for expansion.

Nature immersion

Nature is a source of healing and inspiration, which is why the entire training is delivered outdoors on the beautiful shores of Loch Lomond and the immersive landscape of Cashel Forest. Camping will give us an opportunity to explore ecological awareness and stewardship while offering us a space to decompress from the pollution and sensory overload present in urban settings.

Social and Environmental Justice

I acknowledge the impact of social and environmental factors on individual and collective well-being. All the modules and activities will offer a space to learn about the Leave No Trace principles and how they apply to the work we do and to explore and discuss issues such as environmental degradation, social inequality, systemic oppression, and ecological grief with clients, and the impact we have.

Integration and Application

Through experiential activities, reflective discussions, scenarios and immersive nature-based experiences, the focuse on integration ensures that you will leave the workshop with a profound shift in perspective and a readiness to apply these principles in your work with clients.

The details: what you will learn

The Roots: Competency Framework, the Space, Leave no trace principles

The Trunk: Risks and safety, Contracting, Route planning, Timekeeping

The Branches: Marginalised bodies in the outdoors, Group work in the outdoors, Working in winter, Working rurally and in small communities

The Leaves: Embodied practice, Ecological consciousness, Social and environmental justice

Main learning outcomes

The Container

Safely plan an outdoor therapy session, including the assessment and management of risks from intake to end of session, contracting for the work outdoors, and holding a therapeutic safe container

The Ecology

Ability to place the therapeutic work outside within wider discourses on ecology, mental health and access to the outdoors

The Somatic

Ability to recognise the limits and potentiality of your practice based on your capacity and opportunities

What to be looking forward to

(the extra bit that makes this workshop super special!)

Time outdoor

Communality and Commensality (camping and cooking together)

Sense of Awe (Loch Lomond, Cashel forest, the element of water, the forest biome)

Embodiment (feeling into your body, learning what’s the limit of what you can offer)

What you’ll get

Frequently Asked Questions

I acknowledge that not all bodies are seen equally in the outdoor industry due to stigma, marginalisation and exclusion. Here below, you can read the steps I take to work towards an inclusive and accessible training experience.


  • You are invited to a free 30-minute Zoom call with me to discuss needs and ask questions regarding the workshop.
  • As part of my risk assessment for the weekend, I ask you to fill in a questionnaire where you can share any struggles/ medical history that can impact your enjoyment and participation in the training. This allows me to organise the activities based on the needs of the group.
  • Before the weekend, I will email the confirmed participants a schedule of what to expect from the training, including a kit list and recommendations to make your time enjoyable, which is based on the type of activities we will do.
  • I confirmed with Cashel Campsite and Cashel Forest that their spaces are accessible for wheelchair users and those with mobility issues.  There is a 10-minute walk from the campsite to Cashel Forest, but I will provide transport between places if needed.


  • Breaks are included throughout the day as and when the participants need them.
  • All activities will include variations to consider all participants’ abilities and needs.
  • The weekend includes sitting, standing, and moving, but there’s freedom in how you want to be at any moment. 

I acknowledge the interconnectedness between human well-being and the health of the natural world, and I strive to minimise my environmental impact while benefitting from my experiences in nature. I also recognise that the journey towards sustainability is ongoing and that I must continuously evaluate and refine my practices.

In the brochure, you can find details on how I intend to make this a sustainable workshop based on the following areas: training material, waste, energy use, transport and location.

Absolutely, this workshop is an opportunity to stretch our boundaries and see what’s at the edge of comfort. Although camping equipment won’t be provided (but in the brochure, you can find guidance on how to rent or buy low-cost kits), I will support you in gaining confidence in putting up a tent.

This event won’t be recorded. It is 100% experiential, outdoors and with a camping component. Participants will receive a copy of the material discussed during the training weekend in digital copy (reduced version in paper copy).

All workshops are thought of with a small group in mind, so I am limiting the participants to six. This will offer an opportunity for every participant to contribute and share if they want to, but also to ask questions! Facilitating training for a small group means that I can adapt and make space for curiosities based on the needs of each participant.

The training will take place with a minimum of 4 participants and a maximum of 6 participants. If the training does not reach its minimum capacity, it will be cancelled by me, and I will offer a full refund. Registration closes 30 days before the training starts, you will be notified then if it doesn’t go ahead. 

Please note that I do not offer a refund. I appreciate your interest in this workshop and am asking you to purchase with intention. If you have any questions about the training not covered by this webpage or the brochure, please feel free to email and ask away. After all, I care that you are on a course that feels right to you. 

That said, I also offer the opportunity to pass your ticket on; in that case, I would need to be informed of the name change as soon as possible. Name changes are possible up to 2 weeks before the event starts to allow me to work out the training logistics based on the new participant’s needs.

Adverse weather can happen, and it can make for a good training weekend. After all, this is Scotland, and I wouldn’t expect otherwise. 

In case of a yellow or red weather warning from MetOffice, the national meteorological service for the UK, is still active on the day of the training, the training will be cancelled and a refund offered.

What IS included:

  • All meals and refreshments, from Friday lunch to Saturday lunch included
  • Accommodation (two nights in Cashel campsite)
  • Learning materials

What IS NOT included:

  • Transport to and from the training location (car share can be organised)
  • Camping equipment (tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag)
  • Kit needed for the residential (list provided)

What now?

A note on the trainer

Francesca is a counsellor, supervisor and trainer. Over the years, she has developed an eco-somatic practice which helped her to support clients in both a support role capacity and, since 2020, as a counsellor. 

Since 2021, Francesca has facilitated training in outdoor therapy both online and outdoors, and since 2023 has facilitated webinars on working outdoors in winter and on the one-of-a-kind body shame and body diversity in the outdoors with Clem Pabion.

Francesca is a certified Wilderness therapist who leads wilderness therapy programmes for young people in the Cairngorms on behalf of the Wilderness Foundation. She holds an active Emergency First Aid certificate for the outdoors delivered by BASP and is currently concluding training in Somatic Trauma Therapy.

Francesca is an outdoor enthusiast who is involved in wild swimming, hiking, camping, and cycling.