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Ecopsychology

When we take steps towards achieving this, we heal both ourselves and our planet. We would be delighted to welcome you to our eeai community. The numbers of professionally accredited ecopsychology and ecotherapy practitioners available here in Ireland is growing and the value, benefit and healing of such practice is being felt by an increasing number of clients. By joining the eeai community as a member or subscriber you will be given priority to attend our gatherings, events and workshops, you will be entitled to attend our Annual General Meeting as well as receive and submit articles to our newsletter and other eeai publications.

Aims & Scope

Learn about the benefits of joining the eeai as a professional practitioner. The illusion of a separation of humans and nature leads to suffering both for the environment as ecological devastation and for humans as grief, despair, and alienation. Realizing the connection between humans and nature is healing for both.


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This reconnection includes the healing potential of contact with nature, work on grief and despair about environmental destruction, ecotherapy, and psychoemotional bonding with the world as a source of environmental action and sustainable lifestyles. A specifically ecopsychological approach would include both the psychological and the enviornmental in such reconnection.

It is this inclusion of both the "eco" and the "psyche" which distinguishes ecopsychology from both environmentalism and psychology. Roots of Ecopsychology I find two impulses, motivations, or insights that bring people into ecopsychology.

Ecopsychology Master of Arts

Usually one is stronger, although both may be present; they are not mutually exclusive. Environmental Action. The recognition of the deep distress of the environment, locally or globally, and the need to improve and refine our current efforts at changing environment is at the core of ecopsychology. More psychologically-sophisticated strategies will appeal to our positive motivations, and these will be more effective and sustainable over the long-haul.

Supporting our innate love for the natural world is part of this. Greater intimacy and broader identification with the natural world leads to more love for place and more engaged environmental action. Love of nature, healing in nature. Many people are drawn to ecopsychology because they have had exceptionally positive experiences in the natural world and they wish to promote these experiences for others. An extraordinary amount of anecdotal experience and research data supports this see [John Davis'] outline of Psychological Benefits of Nature Experiences.

This is not an exhaustive list of the sources of ecopsychology. Leslie Gray is one who has written about this. Contributions of Ecopsychology 1. Including the natural environment in psychology and psychotherapy. Direct encounters with the natural world foster mental health across a full spectrum including healing emotional trauma, working with addictions and recovery, reducing stress, strengthening self-confidence and leadership abilities, and cultivating peak experiences and spiritual growth.

Promoting more effective strategies for environmental action. Ecopsychology draws on positive emotions such as joy, love, and deep bonds with the natural world, rather than anxiety, guilt, and deprivation, to promote environmental action which is ecologically-informed, psychologically-sophisticated, and sustainable over the long haul. Supporting more sustainable lifestyles through an integration of psychological and environmental perspectives. Recognizing the fundamental connections between humans and the natural world provides a foundation for lifestyles which consider human health and welfare as inseparable from environmental health and welfare.

Ecopsychology shows how long-term benefits to humans and the natural world are complementary. At the same time, it calls for critical thinking about the implications of human societies based on exploitation, consumerism, and domination - of other people as well as the environment. Not long ago, astronomers were burned at the stake for daring to suggest that the Earth is not the centre of the universe and now we blindly destroy the future for 10 million species so as to fill the world with humanity for a few generations more.

Ecopsychology: Reinventing the Human-Nature Relationship in the Digital Age, Part 1 - 2013

To deep ecology, the world is seen not as a pyramid with humans on top, but as a web. We humans are but one strand in that web and as we destroy other strands, we destroy ourselves. Yet our institutions and personalities were forged in this mold and we seem hypnotised, incapable of giving substance to our new, ecological, vision. Through thousands of years of anthropocentric conditioning, absorbed by osmosis since the day we were born, we have inherited shallow, fictitious selves, and have created an incredibly pervasive illusion of separation from nature.

A century ago Freud discovered that many of the symptoms of his patients could be traced to repressed sexual material. However, our sexuality is only the tip of the mighty repression of our very organic nature.

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It is a social fiction. In reality the human personality exists at the intersection of the ancient cycles of air and water and soil. Incredible amounts of energy go into futile attempts to heal what is really a fictitious self while our actual, ecological self suffocates. Some of the best thinking on Ecopsychology comes from the neo-Jungian James Hillman.

They treat their pain as a symptom of a personal pathology rather than as a goad to political action to bring about social change.

European Journal of Ecopsychology

Therapists create patients instead of citizens. People are willing to die by the millions in defense of one social fiction after another — a religion or political system or ideology. Yet attacks on the Earth which gave rise to all of these and without which none could exist, leave us numb. Though we are born, live and die in her, we have made ourselves unconscious of this. The fact that our sense of alienation from Nature is entirely an illusion can be demonstrated very simply by holding your breath for a few minutes. The air, the water, the soil, it is all constantly migrating and cycling through us.

I would call the need for such realisation the central psychological or spiritual challenge of our age. How are we to expand our identities in this way?


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In the Council of All Beings we remember our rootedness in Nature. Using experiential processes, we recapitulate our evolutionary journey.