Healing Properties of Nature: Translating Research into Practice


1:00 pm-4:15 pm
3.0 CEUs

  • LSW/LISW/SWA (RSX069601)
  • LPC/LPCC (RCX031303)
  • Nurses ​(via reciprocity with CSWMFT board)

Increasing evidence from research studies around the world shows a connection between nature exposure and mental and physical health and well-being for people of all ages, yet the findings have been slow to be translated into widespread health interventions in the United States. 

In this webinar participants will learn the evidence that simply walking out of doors in an urban green space, through a forest, near a river or lake or watching birds or observing flowers and green plants through a window can speed recovery from illness, improve mood and promote creativity and intellectual stimulation for cognitively intact older adults and those living with memory loss.  People with high or chronic stress benefit the most and those who have had previous experiences in natural settings (such as nature hobbies or childhood exposure) have greater restorative experiences than individuals with limited prior nature experiences, reinforcing the need for nature contact from childhood. 

Participants will have the opportunity to share ideas for nature-related interventions in their communities and work settings. 


  • Review the evidence for the association between common types of nature experiences and increased psychological and physical well-being.
  • Review the evidence between nature exposure and reduction of risk factors for some types of mental illness.
  • Analyze theories explaining why nature exposure promotes human health.
  • Develop examples of nature-based behavioral health interventions for adults that can be implemented in the community or work setting.


About the speaker: Paula Hartman-Stein, Ph.D.

Paula is a nationally recognized psychologist, consultant, educator, writer and public speaker. She obtained a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Kent State University and specialty training in geriatric mental health through the Geriatric Research and Education Center at Case Western Reserve University. In addition to working for three decades in direct care settings, she has edited two books, Enhancing Cognitive Fitness in Adults and Innovative Behavioral Healthcare for Older Adults, published numerous journal articles and book chapters and has been a regular contributor on aging issues for The National Psychologist newspaper for 25 years. Dr. Hartman-Stein holds academic appointments at the University of Akron and the Integrated primary care certificate program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In 2018 she received an award from the American Psychological Association for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Independent Practice. Her interest in writing has led to using narrative techniques as therapeutic interventions. She is currently developing a workbook for in-home use of pursuits and strategies for enhancing mental, emotional and spiritual well-being in late life.