The Well Gardened Mind - Event at Les Cotils

Thursday 18th April 2024

Thursday, April 18th 2024, 7.00 PM – 8.00 PM

At Les Cotils

Dr Sue Stuart-Smith is a prominent psychiatrist and psychotherapist, who graduated in English literature at Cambridge University before going on to train as a doctor. She worked in the National Health Service for many years, becoming the lead clinician for psychotherapy in Hertfordshire. She currently works for DocHealth, a not-for-profit service that helps doctors suffering from stress and burnout. She is married to Tom Stuart-Smith, the celebrated garden designer, and, over thirty years together, they have created the wonderful Barn Garden in Hertfordshire. Her book, The Well Gardened Mind, was published in 2020 and became a Sunday Times bestseller and a Times and Sunday Times book of the year. It has since been translated into eighteen languages.

The garden is often seen as a refuge, a place to forget worldly cares, removed from the “real” life that lies outside. But when we get our hands in the earth, we connect with the cycle of life in nature through which destruction and decay are followed by regrowth and renewal. Drawing on her grandfather’s return from World War I, Sigmund Freud’s obsession with flowers and interviews with people from gardening projects in prisons, hospitals and in the community, Dr Stuart-Smith will discuss how gardening can answer to deep existential needs and present findings from recent research showing that connecting to nature alleviates symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression.

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