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.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery