Ecopsychology *notes tx planner THE ALCHEMY PROJECT — mirroring and self-objects

What is Ecospsychology?  Let’s take a look at the Wikipedia on that.

Ecopsychology connects psychology and ecology. The political and practical implications are to show humans ways of healing alienation and to build a sane society and a sustainable culture. Theodore Roszak is credited with coining the term in his 1992 book, The Voice of the Earth. This was a call for the development of a field in which psychology would go out of the built environment to examine why people continue to behave in “crazy” ways that damage the environment, and the environmental movement would find new ways to motivate people to action, ways more positive than protest. Roszak expanded the idea in the 1995 anthology Ecopsychology, which he co-edited with Mary Gomes and Allen Kanner. This book, with articles by each of the editors and many others who would become prominent voices in the field, is still considered by many to be an excellent primer on ecopsychology. As mentioned by Roszak, there are a variety of other names used to describe this field: psychoecology, ecotherapy, environmental psychology, green psychology, global therapy, green therapy, Earth-centered therapy, reearthing, nature-based psychotherapy, shamanic counselling, sylvan therapy.

The basic idea of ecopsychology is that while today the human mind is shaped by the modern social world, it is adapted to the natural world in which it evolved. According to biologist E. O. Wison, human beings have an innate latent instinct to emotionally connect to nature, called the biophilic instinct, particularly aspects of nature that reflect our Environment of Evolutionary Adaptiveness (EEA).

As I have done my research I have come across articles and images that reflect what is going on at deeper Depth psychological levels in our culture.  This morning I read this piece off The Chronicle…

Nevertheless, they complain bitterly of being too pressured, misunderstood, anxious, angry, sad and empty. While at first they may not appear to meet strict criteria for a clinical diagnosis, they are certainly unhappy. Most of these adolescents have great difficulty articulating the cause of their distress. There is a vagueness, both to their complaints and in the way they present themselves. They describe “being at loose ends” or “missing something inside” or “feeling unhappy for no reason.” While they are aware that they lead lives of privilege, they take little pleasure from their fortunate circumstances. They lack the enthusiasm typically seen in young people.

After a few sessions, sometimes more, the extent of distress among these teenagers becomes apparent. Scratch the surface, and many of them are, in fact, depressed, anxious and angry. Quite a few have been able to hide self-injurious behaviors like cutting, illegal drug use or bulimia from their parents and peers. While many of these teens are verbal and psychologically aware, they don’t know themselves very well. They lack practical skills for navigating the world; they can be easily frustrated or impulsive; and they have trouble anticipating the consequences of their actions. They are overly dependent on the opinions of parents, teachers, coaches and peers and frequently rely on others, not only to pave the way on difficult tasks but to grease the wheels of everyday life as well. While often personable and academically successful, they aren’t particularly creative or interesting. They complain about being bored; they are often boring.

The article goes on to describe what Object Relations therapists call the empty self.  I’m recalling a film called Babel — in terms of the generation we have been looking into.  Here is the trailer for that:
The character that plays the young girl in Japan, who has all the technology available is a representation of the sort of dynamic going on in the first article above.  So, there is an incredibly “connected self” via all the techno-gadgets?  But…let’s use some contemporary art as a diagnostic for Ecopsychologial purposes.  You can view that here at this link.
One of the things I have noticed about much of the art depicted by this group is how dark it is?  On the positive side, this group has tremendous ability to make art on all levels by using the technology.  If we look into the genogram again based on these dates:
One thing we might look at is how the self is mirrored?
In the era of the 70’s — a mirrored self was easier because there was less fragmentation.  Ecopsychology is concerned with the wholeness in terms of systems theory — or Gaia theory.
We can look into one system as a reflection of another system.
In remembering the era of the 70’s — kids had simply television (13 channels at best), radio, and the outdoors.  It was not a fear-based culture?  The rise of technology has imposed a ‘”grid” in different ways on contemporary culture.
Mirroring is a reflection back.  How is the Alchemy Project like that?
Each individual blog is like a mirror or a window into the heart and soul?
What Jung did in the RED BOOK is a journal.  It was private and his alone, but, in this era we can make use of all the technological tools to make a human centered “logos.”
If you take the word TECHNO-LOGICAL apart, you will see what the “logos” is about.
One might ask the question is what is logical for technology logical for the human heart?
So, we had looked at a video on “aquarium heads” a few pages back.  Sure, each person might have a similar aquarium, however, it is very doubfull that the contents are identical.
The Alchemy Project is based on concepts from play therapy such as drawing and narrative.
What is mirrored in the heart of one blog is going to have commonality with another?
An intervention might be to use a mirrored heart image such as the above?  And place an emoticon inside it.
Then, have the client write for 5 minutes about that emoticon.
For me, that symbol has certain connotations.  What does it have for you?
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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