Feeling better...naturally!

The natural world has major benefits for our mental health. Check out how we've utilized the outdoors in our clinical work. 

By Momentous Institute | Nov 30, 2021
Natur Graphic

Have you noticed?! The sun is setting earlier each day. There’s a chill in the air. At Momentous Institute, we are continuing to encourage students, clients and coworkers to go outside! Doing so creates changes in the brain and body that can help reduce anxiety and stress while increasing creativity and nurturing a sense of calm. We regularly host therapeutic groups at our 1,400-acre Youth Camp in Hawkins, TX, using a clinical nature-based approach to strengthen mental health.

When Salesmanship Club of Dallas launched its first programs for children over one hundred years ago, many of the activities took place outdoors, eventually leading to our flagship Salesmanship Club Youth Camp. The benefits that come from working, learning, talking and playing outside are foundational to our work. At a time when children’s extensive use of computers and screens is a concern, as is the impact of a prolonged global pandemic, we continue to encourage a return to the outdoors for children's well-being!

“When I lead nature-based art projects, I ask students to focus on form, texture, color and lines,” says Talitha Kiwiet, Momentous School Art teacher.  “Art becomes a multi-sensory activity. As a result, the experience of reflecting, and drawing meaning from the activity, sticks with students for a long time.”

This sentiment is echoed by bilingual clinician Ivette Lampl, LPC, LMFT, manager of the Huddle-Up group treatment program. “When I bring groups of children to the natural world, I understand that this new experience may be scary for them. At the same time, it is a relief.  Children are very aware of group dynamics and the possibility of being judged. Trees do not judge them. The sky offers full acceptance. Experiencing this often creates a shift that opens up new possibilities. This type of nature-based work creates a therapeutic momentum, something we build on once back in Dallas.”