My name is Keely Owens. I have a master's degree in Ecopsychology from Naropa University, I am an avid caver and outdoorswoman, and I have lived in suburban Washington, DC for over 30 years. In that time, I have studied, collected, and created many powerful nature-based techniques for helping people through hard times and leading them to inspiration. I have also collected a map of secrets: all the secret wild places stashed away in the closets of this bustling city. I used to long to take people out of the city for adventure therapy, but I learned that oftentimes the stress of leaving and returning cancels out the profound peace we might feel while we escape. Suburban Grotto is my endeavor to plant ecopsychology right in the heart of the often-hostile suburbs, so that it is here where people truly need it most.
I work with both groups and individuals of all ages.
For individuals, I offer one-on-one nature-based training and consulting. This is not therapy, though many of the goals and outcomes may be similar. I will offer unbiased witness to any hopes, dreams, fears, and frustrations that you wish to share. From there, I will teach you the techniques of ecopsychology, guide you through the processes that speak to you, and help you custom-tailor your own program for going into nature (which is free, has no office hours, and is far older and wiser than I), to soothe you, guide you, and help you transform. And if what draws you is curiosity, rather than dissatisfaction, one-on-one consulting is equally powerful. Inspiration is as great a gift as healing. I am happy to work with people of all ages.
For groups, I organize a yearly calendar of workshops and adventures.
- A "workshop" is designed to foster transformation: it is for people who are seeking, (or open to), some sort of change or growth. Change, however wonderful, is "work": it requires focus, discipline, depth, and in most cases, addressing some sort of resistance. Workshops are therefore carefully structured, and are designed to welcome, contain, and channel strong emotions.
- An "adventure" is designed for celebration and nurture. Researchers have proven that unstructured time in nature has a whole range of psychological benefits, from IQ boosting to stress relief - but it is a rare commodity in the modern suburbs. There isn't much left here, in terms of space or time, that is allowed to be unstructured - adventures are designed to provide it. There will be a loose goal to each adventure, and boundaries set for the purposes of safety and cohesion - but beyond that, no structure. I do not tell anyone how to play.
If you are interested in one-on-one, in having a specific group event created for your group, or in getting more information, please do not hesitate to contact me via email or telephone (301)404-4875. If you want information about my upcoming workshops and adventures, check the "workshop calendar" (yes, adventures are listed there, too). If you want to know more about me, about ecopsychology, or about my Suburban Grotto project, check out my blog (coming soon). I will put a bunch of links there, too, for outside reading.