Dear Wellness Community,

Where can we turn for wellness when time, income, and opportunities to connect with the rest of the World become limited? One possible answer: we can engage on a deeper level with nature, in any form it may be available to us.

Eco-therapy is a relatively new approach in the world of psychotherapy. A growing body of empirical evidence supports the claims of eco-therapy that engaging with nature can promote individual and social wellbeing.

Recently, leading eco-therapist Linda Buzzell, LMFT, shared time with me on the phone from Santa Barbara to talk about eco-therapy the intrinsic healing powers of nature.

Read here some edited excerpts from our conversation, with references to some of the original work.

For more about eco-therapy as a framework for psychotherapy, see:

Into the Wild’: A meta-synthesis of talking therapy in natural outdoor spaces, by Sam J.Cooley1 Ceri R.Jones, Arabella Kurtz, Noelle Robertson, Clinical Psychology Review, 04/2020

Hopefully you can find some time to enjoy nature in your own way this month. In case you are already familiar with what Seattle has to offer for ways to engage with flora and fauna, I’ve chosen some lesser known local attractions, plus a few “off the beaten path” options for enjoying performance art, reading and gastronomy.

Happy beginning of Fall,



Andrei Dandescu
This week’s Wellness Corner authored by:
Andrei Dandescu, LMHC
GME Wellness Counselor
Monday – Wednesday at Seattle Children’s Hospital


Introducing the Well-Being Index

The Resident / Fellow Well-Being Index is an online self-assessment tool that measures wellness in just 7 questions. It allows you to compare well-being to your peers, track results over time, and more – all 100% anonymously.  The GME Office encourages all Residents & Fellows to take the assessment before October 13th, 2020 at

For more information visit the GME Website.


Inspiration to Enjoy the Outdoors

“As I cross the threshold from the tarmac to forest, my senses are awakened: verdant green life abounds, the air is filled with bird conversations, with the rustling of trees, with the smell of leaves. I have space to breathe again. Views through the trees to the green hills beyond relax my perspective; what concerns might have been occupying my mind begin to fall away as I sink into my body. The rational mind, and its constant whirring of thoughts, gradually quietens. As the trees and I exchange our breath, I begin to see there is no sharp dividing line between my skin-encapsulated “self” and the rest of nature ”

Mary-Jayne Rust, Toward an Ecopsychotherapy

Entertainment Indoors and Out

  • Connect with wildlife in two new, safe experiences: the Wild Walk and the Wild Drive at Northwest Trek (Mon – Sun, 9:30am to 5:30pm)
  • The Cougar Mountain zoological park is nestled on the slopes of Cougar Mountain and comes with a great view of the Cascade Mountain Range and Lake Sammamish, in the historic city of Issaquah, about 15 miles East of Seattle.
  • On The Boards Theater presents A THOUSAND WAYS, a unique interactive art piece. On the Boards writes “Taking place over the next year, this three-part performance is designed in response to social distancing rules, to deliver us from isolation to congregation. Each distinct installment meets participants where they are. Pick up the phone. Someone is on the line. You don’t know their name, and you still won’t when the hour is over, but as you follow the recorded instructions, a portrait of another person will emerge through fleeting moments of exposure. This is an invitation. Will you attend?”
  • Cider makers across the region—plus some local food trucks—will offer to-go kits and other goodies at this drive-through festival in Gig Harbor.


Northwest Forum Film Fest

This online festival highlights indie filmmakers who eschew New York or LA for the earnest and eccentric Northwest.

Frontline Worker Discounts

An extensive list of deals for frontline workers–thanks Cindy Hamra for this find!

Country Fair Fun Park

This Remlinger Farms fair has over 25 rides and attractions geared especially for children, including U-Pick pumpkins!

Black Lives Matter

  • Tricky does not fit well into musical categories. He released a new album, Fall to Pieces and I am excited about it–hope you enjoy it too.
  • Quintard Taylor, a University of Washington history professor emeritus and founder of, authored The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle’s Central District from 1870 Through the Civil Rights Era. Published in 1994, this book “remains a must-read for those who want to understand Seattle’s history. Taylor documents the evolution of Seattle’s Black community in the Central District from the 1870s to the early 1990s, examining the impacts of migration, redlining, white flight, racial covenants and the movement for racial justice.” (Quoted from The Seattle Times).
  • Daisley Gordon’s Cafe Campagne, one of Seattle’s foremost classic French restaurants, celebrates Pacific Northwest seasonal offerings in the French style. If you like, you can order to-go as well.
  • Thanks to NURF for highlighting the series Allyship: A Lifestyle hosted by Student National Medical Association Region 1.The course on Thursday evenings features speakers addressing topics related to how to effectively live out a commitment to be a humble ally to Black students, patients and communities. The next one is coming up Thursday, September 24th. Be sure to pre-register to get the zoom link.

Mindfulness Minute – Body Scan Practice

  • Slowly scan your body from top to toe with an imaginary energy band.
  • Look for any sensations of discomfort or tension, or simply notice how each segment feels.
  • Soften to the sensations of discomfort by imagining your breath going directly to the affected spot.

Gems from Treasure Valley

Got Feedback for Us?

We’d love to hear it!  Share your thoughts about the Wellness Corner, suggestions for future events, discounts or articles to highlight, or anything else you’d like to share.  Please email your thoughts to Dipti Chrastka ( and/or Julia Kocian ( and/or Andrei Dandescu (