Natures Therapy for Veterans
Many individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can feel overwhelmed in situations with high levels of sensory input. Examples of this includes being in crowds or in situations with complex sensory characteristics such as where noise or lights are intense. These difficulties appear to be related to subtle sensory processing changes where visual and auditory processing has been found to be substantially altered in PTSD. Changes in sensory processing are thought to be responsible for the feelings of hyper arousal and flooding emotions that are often experienced. Bearing this in mind, it is hardly surprising that we find individuals with PTSD living off grid in remote locations, trying to avoid situations where they would experience sensory overload, and finding some relief by being out in the natural world. Nature offers opportunities for gentle all round sensory experiences that are based in an environment that is generally well known to participants and many feel at home with. Therefore, nature can be a tool for helping those with PTSD come to some understanding of their own personal way of being.