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Calling Psychologists, counsellors and therapists

Foundations of Outdoor Therapy

Practitioner Training Course 2023

Do you want to work therapeutically out-of-doors with people from all walks of life?

This course is designed to prepare psychologists, counsellors and therapists to take their work outdoors. It will build on your existing knowledges and skills, facilitate exploration of your personal values, ethics and competencies, and help you consolidate a personal practice framework to provide therapeutic experiences outdoors. The immersion and training program are grounded in Aboriginal ways of relating with Country. Input from Aboriginal cultural leaders is provided, and cultural input from Aboriginal participants is welcomed.

INFO SESSIONS: Wed 8th Feb 12.30pm AND 8pm

COURSE DATES: Online connections begin Thurs 9th March and close Thurs 20th April 2023

4-DAY IMMERSION: Thurs 30th March to Sunday 2nd April 2023

LOCATION: Online and in-person (Cockatoo Hills, Central Tasmania)

FEE: $2200 + GST

Scroll down for the full schedule

This fee includes Aboriginal cultural mentorship, Outdoor Therapy materials, 2 x one-to-one meetings, 4 x online group sessions, a 4-day Bush Camp, Course book, integration materials and templates. Fee does not include Transport to/from the venue or Food. Meals are self-catered and may be coordinated with others.

Note: After the Course, participants may choose to complete tasks and provide evidence to receive a Certificate of Outdoor Therapy Competency at extra cost.

Bush Adventure Therapy and Outdoor Therapy are part of the emerging Outdoor Health sector in Australia, along with other evidence-informed nature-based health practices like Outdoor Counselling, Equine Therapy and Ecotherapy (to name a few).

RSVP for an Information Session

Register for the Course


Outdoor Therapy and Bush Adventure Therapy are part of the emerging Outdoor Health sector in Australia, along with other evidence-informed nature-based health practices like Outdoor Counselling, Equine Therapy and Ecotherapy (to name a few).   

This training course provides an experiential introduction to Outdoor Therapy for trained psychologists, counsellors, therapists and healthcare practitioners working in human and social service settings. The training offers a progression of knowledge and skills, practical experiences, and opportunities to develop personal outdoor therapy practice in a supportive environment.  

Core content: Key content areas include Living values and ethics, Humans as nature, Therapeutic intentions outdoors, Experiencing the Bio-Psycho-Socio-Cultural-Ecological wellbeing framework, Safety and Risk, Outdoor Therapy in action (Walk and talk therapies, Animal assisted therapies, Nature play no-talk therapies, Group experiential challenge), Decolonising counselling practices, Trauma informed ways of being, Micro-counselling skills outdoors, Facilitating groups outdoors, Supporting reflexive practices, and Supervised practice.  

Program structure: Lead-in Information sessions, an Individual session and 2 x 2hr online Group sessions prepare us to make the most of our 4 days together. The 4-day immersion uses experiential learning techniques and reflective processes to build confidence and skills to work in and with nature. Two follow-on 2hr online Group sessions help participants translate lessons learned into a personal Outdoor Therapy Practice Framework. Peer supervision supports the establishment of effective outdoor therapy practices in your chosen context.  


This introductory course has been collaborative designed by a team of 12 experienced outdoor therapists from wide ranging disciplines. Their experience as practitioners, counsellors, therapists and Aboriginal cultural leaders is combined into a rich and deep learning experience.

Participants will benefit from having at least a moderate level of personal comfort outdoors. Outdoor leadership training and work outdoors will also be of great benefit, but not necessary.

Course Schedule


Date & time



Pre-course Info Sessions

Wed 15th Feb

12.30pm OR 8pm

Choose a 30min lunchtime or evening information session  


Pre-course Planning

Book a time (60 mins) 

Individual planning session   

Online or in-person

Course Introductions

Thurs 9th March


Group session 1 


Immersion Planning

Thurs 23rd March


Group session 2


4-day Residential Immersion

Day 1 – Thurs 30th March 

Grounding in the Cultural landscape   

In-person – Cockatoo Hills 

4-day Residential Immersion

Day 2 – Friday 31st March 

OH Foundations 

In-person – Cockatoo Hills 

4-day Residential Immersion

Day 3 – Sat 1st April

OH in Action 

In-person – Cockatoo Hills 

4-day residential Immersion

Day 4 – Sun 2nd April 

OH Practice Framework  

In-person – Cockatoo Hills 

Post Immersion Reflective

Book a time (60 mins) 

Individual review session  

Online or in-person

Course Integrations

Thurs 13th April


Group session 3  


Final Session

Thurs 20th April


Group session 4  



Where is the 4-day immersion? 

Cockatoo Hills is an environmental- and cultural-conservation property near Tarraleah in the central highlands of Tasmania with a striking landscape abundantly rich with Aboriginal heritage.  

What if there’s a lockdown and border closures?

If you register but are unable to attend for covid reasons, you have the choice of being refunded your full payment amount or leaving your payment as credit towards the next Course.

What is the time commitment/ homework requirements?  

Before the immersion, we’ll share two x 2-hour introductory online Group Sessions, and a one-to-one interview with each participant. We’ll also provide some pre-reading and video resources on theory and evidence to help you prepare for the immersion and help us make the most of our time together. This will mean that our time during the immersion can focus on experiential and relational elements (doing and being together). 

Will there be a bed and shower at the immersion?  

There are 6 beds in the two-bedroom Cockatoo Hills house, all beds in close quarters with others. For this reason, if you are comfortable to bring and sleep in your own tent (or borrow one from us), we’d encourage this. Cockatoo Creek has limited water, therefore we encourage people to minimize or go without showers if possible. 

What will we do about food at the immersion?  

The Cockatoo Hills house has a kitchen, refrigerator, stove, wash-up sink and BBQ. Once the group is formed, we will facilitate development of a group menu, and a plan for purchasing food, plus sharing of cooking and cleaning for those who are interested. Otherwise, feel free to BYO food and self-cater independently.  

Where should I fly to if I’m coming from interstate?  

If you are coming from interstate and plan to hire a vehicle, you could fly into Launceston and drive to Cockatoo Hills. Otherwise, flying to Hobart will be easiest, allowing you to carpool with others travelling up from Hobart. We will facilitate carpooling/sharing of vehicles from Hobart to help reduce travel costs/emissions to and from Cockatoo Hills.

Will I learn about the business side of providing Outdoor Therapy?  

A little, but not a lot. This is an introduction, not a master class. This course prepares participants to feel comfortable to begin delivering short, local outdoor therapy experiences within the levels of their training, competence, confidence and resources, which will vary for everyone.   

Will I learn about the logistics, transport, equipment and other resources needed for Outdoor Therapy? 

A little, but not a lot. We will touch on these elements prior to the immersion, informally at different times during the immersion, and potentially in post-immersion sessions, but not in comprehensive ways. Again, these elements will vary according to context.   

Will this course have relevance for my work with young people, or will it be a fluffy hippy experience?  

Good question. This course is designed to build on your existing training and practice experiences, and support you to establish or consolidate your own Outdoor Therapy personal practice. We will offer examples of Outdoor Therapy in action, with participants encouraged to apply the content and learnings in their own personal-professional way. Examples of Outdoor Therapy we will provide during the immersion include: Walk & Talk counselling, Equine animal assisted therapy, Nature play (no talk) therapy and Group challenge therapy. The whole 4-day immersion is modelled on an outdoor therapy experience.  

What if I’m not a trained counsellor or therapist?  

This course is designed to help psychologists, counsellors and therapists take their work out of doors, and for those working in human and health service settings. Having said this, the participant group will have diverse training and practice backgrounds, and diversity brings richness. Therefore, if you are passionate about human health and healing and have personal experience of the benefits of nature to support healthy connections, then please feel free to step into this training program with full confidence that you will be supported to take the learnings into your chosen personal-professional directions.    

Will there be other courses?  

Yes! Let us know if you’d like to receive information about upcoming courses in Tasmania and Victoria.  

Is this Outdoor Therapy course professionally accredited?  

Not yet. This course is designed to provide professional development for those interested in adding nature to their therapeutic work. It is not accredited and does not provide a qualification. Participants may choose to extend their learning by completing a Certificate of Outdoor Therapy Competency, which readies people for employment in Outdoor Therapy and Bush Adventure Therapy services within a cross disciplinary team.

Are there any accrediting bodies for Outdoor Therapy in Australia?     

Not in Australia at this time. Practices that activate nature for health and healing in Australia are supported by the ethical guidelines of the Australian Association for Bush Adventure Therapy(AABAT) and the emerging Outdoor Health sector. For more information on these bodies see –  

The Australian Association for Bush Adventure Therapy: 

Outdoor Health Australia: