Principles of Ecopsychology
Ecopsychology is concerned with the relationship between people and the natural environment. Although we tend to think of our psyche as something separate from nature, an ecopsychologist views this perceived split between mind and nature as the source of our present eccological problems.
Ecotherapy is an overlap of ecopsychology and psychotherapy. Ecotherapists facilitate their clients' connection with the natural world to help them connect with their inner nature. By developing environmental awareness and respect, people learn to take better care of themselves.
The Eight Principles of Ecopsychology
- In ecopsychology, the mind’s core is believed to be the ecological unconscious, that part of our unconscious mind that is inherently connected to the cosmic and planetary nature we are a part of. It contains the record of our evolution.
- Life and mind have emerged from the evolution of natural systems, starting with the physical and going through the biological, mental, and then to the cultural systems we have today. All of these aspects of our universe need to be real to our experience.
- Ecopsychology’s aim is to awaken an individual’s innate sense of their reciprocal relationship to the environment, to heal the alienation from nature that is apparent in our urban mind-set.
- Babies arrive into this world naturally enchanted by nature. Ecopsychology attempts to help adults rediscover this quality of experience through various traditional healing methods, nature mysticism as found in art and religion, by experiencing the wilderness, and contemplating ecological insights. This helps people develop an ecological ego (self).
- Ecological egos, as they mature, develop a sense of ecological responsibility that colors their social and political activities.
- Ecopsychology draws on concepts from ecofeminism, or the care and nurturing of our environment, to counter the masculine attitude of dominance that currently pervades political and business decisions affecting our natural world.
- Ecopsychology is not anti-industrial but is post-industrial, meaning although the wisdom of large urban-industrial culture complexes is questioned, technological advancements that enhance life are welcome.
- An ecopsycologist will tell you that there is a “synergistic interplay” between our personal well being and planetary well being. It follows then that what is good for the planet is good for the person, and our individual rights also belong to the planet.