18: Birding as a Therapeutic Tool for All Children with Freya McGregor

Kids (adults, too) are attracted to the magic of birds—they can be colorful, they make different sounds, they hop, they fly. Birds connect people to nature in fascinating and varying ways. Seeing the same birds in your environment and learning about them can help form a deeper understanding and relationship with the natural world.

In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Freya McGregor, an O.T. and disabled birder, about how birding is a beautifully accessible activity that you can add as a tool to your nature-based therapy practice. She shares how to use it as a mindfulness tool, how to adapt birding activities to different needs, and why it’s truly accessible, even if it doesn’t appear that way at first glance.

This is a delightful and exciting conversation that I hope will leave you with lots of ideas and inspiration for incorporating birding into your nature-based therapy practice.

We’ll discuss:

  • Freya’s experience as an O.T., her nonprofit Birdability, her new organization, Access Birding, and a sneak peak of what’s going to be in her upcoming book
  • How vast and individual and detailed the world of birding is
  • How birding can be used as a mindfulness tool
  • Different styles of birding that can be used in nature-based therapy, and how to adapt the styles to different children's needs
  • How learning about the birds that you see regularly in your environment is the first step to exploring and understanding differences in other bird species
  • How therapists could partner with Audubon or ornithological societies 
  • Social and cultural barriers into birding, and why you don’t need equipment to be a birder

Connect with Freya:

Follow Freya on Instagram

Follow Access Birding on Instagram

Freya’s website

Access Birding website

Resources from this episode:

Ornitherapy by Holly Merker

Meg Proctor’s Instagram

Merlin Bird ID app

If you're ready to take the next step in this adventure, join our free Therapy in the Great Outdoors Community at therapyinthegreatoutdoors.com. The TGO community is a private space just for nature based pediatric practitioners. We have loads of resources there to support you as you start or grow a nature based practice or program.

If you’re serious about taking your nature-based practice to the next level, come join the Business Bedrocks Group Coaching Program in The Business Hive. You'll get clarity & confidence to grow a profitable and personally fulfilling business that runs on auto-pilot as much as possible. 

Are you a pediatric therapist interested in taking your work with children out into nature? The ConTiGO Approach Online Course will open for registration soon: visit www.ConTiGOapproach.com to join the waitlist.