How Trees Can Help us Grow

Natural metaphors provide a lucid, illustrative and meaningful way of understanding ourselves, our relationships and our learning. They afford us the capacity to explore the concepts of metamorphosis, homeostasis, and resilience.

The technique was used to evaluate multidisciplinary inpatient mental health

In the March edition of the BPS journal The Psychologist featured a story on the use of the Tree Metaphor combined with a post-it task for for team members to express and talk about their strengths as well as their challenges. Authors Stella Gkika and Elaine Swift adapted a narrative therapy technique from Ncazelo Ncube, a child psychologist from Zimbabwe, to develop the ‘Tree of Work-Life’.

Attendees at the Valuing Nature Conference and our Mindscape Summit will be familiar with the approach where the natural symbol has a direct alignment with the conference themes. The tree logo was used to capture ideas from the event participants and also enabled informal break-out discussion.

Tree Poster from Valuing Nature Conference, Edinburgh.

At the Mindscape Conference last October, with over 75 participants and 20 presenters, we used the tree logo poster to explore participants objectives for attending at the event. To experienced facilitators, Pauline Jordan and Stephen Hannon and then shared the results with the participants to bookend the conference held last October.

The MindScape tree which was an interactive tool to increase participant engagement.

The process was fun and contrasted with the previous sessions didactic approach by sparking conversations which consolidated participants take home messages. Mindscape is planned for Nov. 2018 so please save the dates 15-16th November.

GO GREEN EX is a transdisciplinary research initiative led by Dr. Tadhg MacIntyre at the Health Research Institute at the University of Limerick. The aim is to develop evidence-based interventions based on human-nature interactions to benefit individual and organizational health, well-being and performance. We bring health, sport and environmental sectors together in collaboration to bridge sectorial gaps, as well as to maximize impact in society. Our studies explore the physiological, biological, psychological and neural mechanisms underlying the effects of nature-based solutions and interventions in a range of settings (e.g. indoor, outdoor built and natural outdoor). Promotion of well-being and workplace performance, and work engagement, mental health prevention, mitigation of environmental hazards and converting natural and human capital into social capital are among the potential outcomes of the interventions. The interventions include green exercise, micro-breaks, nature savoring, restorative spaces and psychoeducational programs. Our multi-stakeholder engagement includes partnership with Waterways Ireland, Sport Ireland, Coillte, Mental Health Ireland, the Psychological Society of Ireland, Crossing the line, European Network of Outdoor Sports, and the International Council for Coaching Excellence. Research collaborations to date include UK, Spanish, Greek, German, Norwegian academic institutions and Irish higher education institutions including Trinity College, UCD, NUI Galway and DIT and SME’s including ICEP Europe.









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