[Interview with Beilquadrat]
At a time of high psychological strain due to social and digital stress, Systemic Nature Therapy offers a healing refuge. Management consultant and Systemic Nature Therapist Olivia Köhler conducts outdoor retreats that strengthen resilience, intuition and basic trust and enable a "social reset".
Time in nature as a form of therapy: "It's about simply being able to be again without having to be someone"
Social and digital stress: mental stress reaches a new high
Nature as a healing space: Systemic Nature Therapy uses and combines traditional healing knowledge with contemporary forms of psychotherapy and counseling
Dialogue with nature without a fixed agenda: management consultant and Systemic Nature Therapist Olivia Köhler offers special outdoor retreats
Social reset: people connect with themselves, others and their environment
Resilience, intuition and basic trust are (re-)activated
More and more people are losing touch with themselves in the fast pace of the big city. As a result, mental illness is reaching an all-time high. With Kailo Nature Therapy, the Berlin-based management consultant and systemic nature therapist Olivia Köhler re-establishes connection by giving her participants new ways of relating to themselves, others and the environment in a nature setting.
Nature as the home of the soul
"Systemic Nature Therapy is about sensing and exploring" Olivia Köhler
People lack contact with nature to improve their well-being and strengthen their resilience. One in four adults in Germany suffers from a mental illness within 12 months. Especially in times of multiple crises, more and more people are affected by depression and anxiety disorders, which are among the most common mental illnesses. Other stress factors: environmental bads, which affect three quarters of the population living in urban areas and drive up stress levels. Various studies have shown that spending time in natural areas not only has a positive impact on cognitive abilities and attention, but also has a demonstrably positive effect on emotions and the psyche and reduces people's perception of stress. In nature, we are more relaxed, more present and more mindful.
The emerging therapy form of Systemic Nature Therapy builds on this and goes one step further: nature is understood primarily as a healing space and traditional healing knowledge is combined with contemporary forms of psychotherapy and counseling. "We are often trapped in social structures. Systemic Nature Therapy is about sensing and exploring: what do we actually need?" explains Olivia.
The interplay between people and their environment
"We need to pay attention to the spaces we spend time in," explains Olivia. "Different landscapes bring up different things in people." At the heart of Systemic Nature Therapy is the principle that space does something to you. The "Children of the Sea" retreat, for example, takes place on the pristine beaches of Greece - here there are mainly points of contact with the sea, the coast, the rocks and, as everywhere else, the four elements.
We connect with it and a resonance is created. "Space makes you feel certain things, it speaks to you. If we are on a deserted beach, do you set up your tarp, a kind of tarp under which you sleep and find shelter, right in the middle of the beach? Would you like to be close to the group fire? Do you look for the furthest corner somewhere under a bush? It tells me something about you, which places call to you and where you set up your sleeping place, for example," Olivia explains the psychological background to Systemic Nature Therapy.
Purpose of the retreats: Acquiring confidence in your own life movement
Retreats such as "Journey to Yourself" in Egypt or "Children of the Sea" in Greece do not follow a fixed agenda or a structured schedule. This open process-oriented approach is what makes them so special in contrast to classic yoga or silent retreats with clearly defined activities. Olivia primarily creates a mindful space and a community with up to 13 participants, which allows both being and silence and space for experiencing and sharing.
However, she tries to orchestrate as little as possible, instead following her intuition and the dynamics of the group and the individuals: "The community is one of the most healing factors in the retreats I offer. At the very beginning, when we come together as a group, we take a first look: What is everyone here with? That can change, but everyone has something in mind as to why they signed up. As a therapist, I look at the various issues in the room and look for patterns. I have to weigh things up: How much and what input do I give the participants, how much security do I offer them and how much do I let happen myself? How much movement do I allow?" It's about regaining trust in your gut feeling and your own intuition and listening to it.
„We are nature“
Simply switch off your head: Sessions with movement, embodiment and creative process work are just as much a part of the retreats as nights out in the open air and cooking over an open fire. Olivia uses these tools for 1:1 coaching, retreats and team coaching to achieve new levels of awareness. "We are nature. Outdoors, we enter into a dialog with nature and people find a different language, begin to show themselves more authentically and also more vulnerably. You achieve a different dynamic and find access to yourself and the things that occupy and surround you," says Olivia, explaining her approach.
Above all, she relies on the combination of spirituality and psychology: "For me, Systemic Nature Therapy is based on psychology and at the same time there are no limits to it by spirituality or the 'intangible'. Through psychology, I can understand what is going on in the background with people and I am therefore able to offer a safe space. At the same time, we are able to go into the deeper and the unconscious, to the soul. For me, it's all about the transformative; that which is moving."
"For me, Systemic Nature Therapy is based on the psychological and at the same time there are no limits set by spirituality or the intangible." Olivia Köhler
Olivia combines business and spirituality
Even during her business studies in Vienna, Olivia was always looking for time out in nature: she taught kite surfing in Miami for six months, followed her gut instinct for a semester abroad in Tel Aviv and replaced traditional management consulting with working in a start-up. "All this time, I was always drawn to this "other", not the traditional path. I was always looking: What else is there? It was always a bit about bringing the other into the normal," says Olivia, reflecting on her own inner drive.
"The first time I came into contact with this type of work was a wild yoga retreat. I walked through Israel for five days with a yoga mat and a backpack that was far too heavy and slept outside. I learned so much back then without even realizing it. I still draw lessons from it today."
Olivia takes formative impulses from this time and carries her understanding of people and nature into her work as a management consultant. After initial training and further education in the field of Nature Therapy, Olivia completed a certificate course in Systemic Nature Therapy at the nature&healing institute in Switzerland in 2020. At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, she finally set up her own business, Kailo Nature Therapy, and since then opens the door to the outdoors for people - and to themselves.
Olivia also benefits from her experience when advising large, international companies from the financial and banking sectors, among others: in a nature setting, she finds completely new approaches for working with managers and teams at team events and offsites.
Be part of it
CHILDREN OF THE SEA
a retreat on wild beaches
JOURNEY TO YOURSELF
a retreat in the desert & by the sea