Hi there, my name is Michelle van Mulken. I started as a Public Health Researcher specialised in women’s well being, and afterwards also ventured into the field of life coaching. My love for nature brought be to the practice of nature coaching and nature therapy. Nature has always been my medicine, my way to balance out my own high achiever mindset created in a society that highly stimulates this mindset, leading to working yourself to near-death also known as burn-out. I have been on that edge of a burn-out many times….yep that’s right a public health researcher and life coach on the edge of a burn-out….I laughed at the irony of that many times. The only thing that healed me, that recharged me and brought me back from feeling exhausted and depressed, was nature. It was only when I noticed the impact nature had on others that it clicked. I knew what I had to do and so off I went learning all I could about nature coaching, became a nature coach and continued on with nature therapy.
I think it’s a shame these nature-based practices and the healing power of these practices are not common knowledge. We as a western society seem to have forgotten the importance of a deep connection with nature for our own wellbeing, but also for the wellbeing of all living beings from the largest tree to the tiniest animal and everything in between. I would like to assist in this process of remembering, to make these healing practices common again.
During the international mental health festival, I will be talking to you about nature and nature-based practices in their relation to our mental and physical wellbeing, including the scientific evidence supporting these practices and my own lived experiences. As a workshop during this festival, I will also provide a nature therapy group walk in which I will give you the opportunity to experience the remarkable healing effect that nature can have, if you allow her. I hope to see you there!