Overcoming a Brutal Disability: Healing with Nature
Helios Press. Healing with Nature
by Susan S. Scott, Ph.D.
$16.95, 244 pages, Paperback.
Helios Press recently released Healing with Nature , the gripping story of a healer who was severely injured and who overcame her physical and emotional trials through the creative genius of trees. The book is the personal story of author Susan S. Scott, therapist and photographer from Whidby Island, Washington, who spent her days sitting and conversing with patients until a brutal spinal injury "kicked" her out of her therapist's chair and forced her to walk in order to heal.
Whether walking through the old--growth forests around Seattle or strolling through city parks, Scott came "trunk to trunk" with some of the most dramatic phenomena in nature, witnessing the stunning ingenuity of how trees outgrow injuries and life-challenges. She noticed how a tree that had survived a landslide was growing right at the rim of the new abyss and that, to secure its post, had turned its roots into a powerful buttress. Another tree had outwitted its fellow trees in the race for sunlight by forming itself into an arch; from the middle of the arch, it grew another "second-story" stem that reached easily over the other trees. Scott, who had spent many years as a nature writer and photographer, realized immediately that something extraordinary was being revealed by nature. She began taking pictures of each "tree genius" she encountered, shared her tree encounters with her clients and eventually converted many of her psychotherapy sessions into outdoor walks. In Healing with Nature , a collection of stories and photos from the author's stunning work, Scott tells how walking with trees dramatically changed her outlook on injury and therapy and how she used this readily available knowledge to heal herself and others. With the ability to transform cellular functions, trees are natural masterminds of healing and are able to adapt and even thrive with severe traumas. Their evocative patterns of growth have fascinated people since the beginning of human history. The inspirational walk in the outdoors, or "walking therapy," was practiced well before Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman went wandering in the woods. As Scott puts it, "Trees have the capacity to make great changes as we also do. But they cannot pick up and move from their environments as we often do in the hopes of making a change in our lives. They must change themselves to survive, radically at times." Born in Tucson, Arizona, Scott grew up riding horses in the wild, unfenced terrain of the Arizona desert, surrounded by Palo Verde trees and a nature-loving family. A psychotherapist who has worked in private practice for twenty years, she earned a Ph.D. in psychology and did postgraduate training in Jungian Analytic Psychology. As a writer and artist, she has written extensively on the subject of healing, nature, and creativity over the past eighteen years and has been published in numerous journals, including Arts in Psychotherapy, Quadrant Journal, and Psychological Perspectives. Her lectures and nature photographs have been frequently featured at psychological institutes and healing centers across the country. She divides her time between her home on Whidbey Island, Washington and her psychotherapy office in nearby Seattle.#