Therapeutic tools

Sometimes we have hit a wall in our lives and need a nudge to break through into a more peaceful place. How do we move into this place? Working on ourselves - mental, physical and spiritual if we choose to. I’m going to write from my own experience and something tells me that it could be similar for others. 


Three basic elements: gardening, photography and cooking. Each has a distinct therapeutic stance. Bringing a sense of wonder. Traveling through the psyche into the soul with healing qualities.


Outdoors brings the oxygen of air and the vitamin D of sunlight. Not forgetting the clouds, wind, rain, snow, and hail. The greenery of trees, grass, and lawns can impact the mood with visual beauty. The scent of the earth and the sight of flowers can stimulate the mood with an ease to the senses. 

Then there is the physical exertion of digging in a rhythm. Cutting, raking, and trimming the foliage.  All release endorphins that react with a feel good factor. Also the physical part of gardening can help to induce a healthy sleep pattern. 

There can be great satisfaction when nurturing the growth of a plant - it’s very rewarding internally. A real joy to see the changes of the love and work put into a plant. 

After a week of gardening there can be a significant change in a person's all round health for the better. 


An adventure awaits for each forthcoming picture to take. Planning the place with creative excitement. The weather can play a part. Inspiration season by season. Winter can influence conditions of nature to the shoot. Spring holds lots of special elements to the work. Summer reflects pictures with its great sunlight. Autumn introduces a range of magnificent colours.

The walk inside the countryside green belt offers some physical exercise to the activity. The opportunity to visually pick the view and the approach to take the possible image. Satisfaction with a great sense of accomplishment when the right picture develops. 

Showing some friends the work can lift spirits, especially when nice feedback occurs. Pleasing others with a set of shoots might bring some self-worth. I can do something well? Content now with a new expedition on the horizon - literally. Where next? The choice is partly to do with the motivation and also the potential of some great creativity ahead.

Photography is very rewarding and the style developed can be unique to each person. It allows access to the most beautiful parts of our land. 


The smell, the texture, the experimentation and the finished taste. Brightens everyone at home. Food is a necessity. If it’s treated in a fond way then everyone at home can enjoy the finished dish. There is nothing quite like pleasing your family or friends with tantalising palates. 

With air circulating in the kitchen. The stove heating. The chopping board fresh with colour. It’s time to work with intuition and creativity. Aromas busy as each segment of the meal starts to build. Will it be Italian, Indian, British, or Thai? What a choice there is. 

Psychologically the focus brought on by cooking can take you away from any mood you may be suffering from. Concentration is necessary especially regarding the timing and success of the dish. The success is also determined by flavours. Each part of the meal needs to compliment each other with a  finished effect. Taste buds are top of the list. So requiring lots and lots of practice to reach near perfection. Carrying out wholesome nutrition for the lucky few. 

Oven, grill, and hob are some of the apparatus. Whisks, scales, and chopping knives too. Switching off from the world and producing something at the end. The table is set and the group awaits with anticipation. Lights are now lowered and the finished meal brought into the room. 

Socially sitting together and enjoying the moment. Smiles and sometimes a yummy sound made. Accomplishment has now happened. Relaxing after the meal and enjoying time to talk from evening into night. 

Cooking brings pleasure to all. The building of a dish and the remarks of the recipient. It’s a zone - the cooking zone!

So three therapeutic tools. Each overlap by providing a break from the turmoil a mind can endure. All have a tendency to bring people together with an end effect. Gardening makes things look good. Photography has an artistic end result. Cooking collects ingredients to establish a meal for many to enjoy. 

If you're thinking of a way out from your inner self then you could try one, two or all three of the above. Nothing to lose and everything to gain. At least a new hobby or activity to stimulate your whole being. Mind, body and soul can all gain from this. A new balance of energy. Happiness too. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Guildford GU2 & Chertsey KT16
Written by Warren Vinciguerra, BA (Hons) Registered MBACP
Guildford GU2 & Chertsey KT16

A restored therapist from my own haunted past. I work with this experience closely when treating clients with similar issues. Educational experience of studying for 5 years where I gained a hard-earned BA (Hons) in Counselling. Working at some of the UK’s leading private treatment centres practising therapy with some of the leading researchers.

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