Counseling and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Date of Award

Fall 2023



Degree Level


LCSH subject

Counselors -- Mental Health; Counselors -- Job stress; Nature -- Psychological aspects; Environmental psychology




St. Mary's University (San Antonio, Tex.)

Size or duration

124 pages

Document Type


First Advisor

Harper, Melanie


The positive influence of nature on client wellness and psychological health (BonhamCorcoran et al., 2022) is well reflected in the emergence of nature-based counseling interventions such as wilderness therapy, walk talk therapy, and horticulture therapy, among other counseling modalities that involve aspects of the natural world (Lewis et al., 2022). This suggests that the inclusion of nature within the counseling session could also contribute to the wellness of the counselor. The purpose of this research was to determine the extent to which presence of nature contributes to counselor wellness and which of the five senses may play a greater role in wellness. The sample consisted of 58 licensed professional counselors and licensed professional counselor associates in the State of Texas. Composite wellness scores from the Five Factor Wellness Inventory (FFWEL) were compared with composite scores from the Nature Survey, an instrument designed to collect data on the extent nature is included and how it is sensed in the counseling session (Myers & Sweeney, 2005, 2014). A correlation coefficient was computed among the FFWEL composite scores and the Nature Survey composite scores and was nonsignificant. A factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) statistical analysis was conducted to compare the individual main effects of each of the five senses and it was found that touch, when compared to the other four senses was significantly more associated with wellness scores. Keywords: nature, nature-based, therapy, counselor, walk-talk therapy, wilderness therapy, ecowellness, outdoors, ecotherapy, wellness, senses, sensory information

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.