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Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2075-3470

ISSN (online): 2311-9446

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/cpp

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 1992

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Interaction with the Plant World as a Source of Positive Human Functioning 176

Nartova-Bochaver S.K.
Doctor of Psychology, Professor of the School of Psychology, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8061-4154
e-mail: s-nartova@yandex.ru

Mukhortova E.A.
Associate Professor, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9468-3057
e-mail: muhortova.elena@yandex.ru

Irkhin B.D.
Master, PhD Student, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9257-4228
e-mail: irkhinbd@gmail.com

Abstract
The present review examines the restorative potential of interaction with flora for the physical and mental health of a person and their psychological well-being. The plant world is a particular part of nature, characterized by responsiveness, aesthetic appeal, and unobtrusiveness. These features make plants an effective means of restoring cognitive abilities, emotional state, as well as developing personal and behavioral effectiveness. At the same time, it is noted that, due to the phenomenon of plant blindness, their recovery resource is not used enough. The types of eco-therapy are analyzed; theories explaining the mechanisms of plants’ influence on the people’s psyche (biophilia hypothesis, attention restoration theory, stress recovery/reduction theory, and phyto-resonance) are presented. We review the results of studies proving the beneficial effect of interactions with the plant world (gardening, walking in the forest and park, simulation of the natural environment) on physical health and recovery from somatic diseases, on attention, creativity, behavior, and social functioning of a person. The effectiveness of interaction with flora is also noteworthy in the case of working with particular groups of people (adolescents from risk groups, offenders, and psychiatric patients). We analyze the limitations of studies, mainly related to their design.

Keywords: plants, psychological well-being, recovery, eco-therapy, garden therapy

Column: Research Reviews

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/cpp.2020280209

For Reference

Funding

The study was conducted with the financial support of Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) (projects number 19-113-50118 and 19-013-00216).

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