Ways to create a shift toward eco-centric psychotherapy
Embedded in my various therapeutic offerings is the aspiration for people to feel, trust, and behave as if they are interdependent with and deeply belong to their human and bioregional communities. interdependent and inclusive members of abundantly diverse communities and develop a deep sense of themselves as relational citizens of Earth.
This aspiration runs counter to the status quo worldview we have all inherited: a settler-colonial worldview that elevates the human individual as the center of meaning and importance on the planet. This implicit and explicit worldview thereby reduces the living, biological, and geological world to resources, property, and commodities. In our imaginations we have climbed to the top, and from this vantage, we perceive that there are human persons (which now include corporations as 'persons') and then, there is everything else.
My intellect, heart, instinct, intuition, and experiences all tell me that this worldview of separation and superiority is not only inaccurate, but it contributes to our personal, social, and ecological ills. A commitment to our exceptionalism has us mistake cleverness for wisdom, and technological prowess for intelligence. Industrialization, globalization, modernization, urbanization the water we swim in, is subconscious, and is therefore often denied. It is woven into the fabric of society, institutions, organizations, corporations, industries, families, etc... Included in this list are the fields of psychology and psychotherapy. Currently I am reorienting my work from individualized therapy to shifting the field of psychotherapy to be more adequately responsive to this historical moment. I want to re-invent psychotherapy based on what we now know and are continuing to learn about ecology, human's place/role in the world, and the benefits of reciprocal relationships between people and nature. Advocating a new vision for psychology and psychotherapy. A vision that includes ecology, ecological identity, and embraces nature and science. How does the field of psychotherapy acknowledge, model and act like we are part of the web of life? Can psychotherapy connect these 3 realms: psyche, society and nature? It is its own decolonization. Capitalism is a system that colonizes our lives and takes over our minds, choices, livelihoods, generates suffering for many beings. Distinction between indigenous colonization and system colonization (economic system). Our current culture and systems are anti-life. How can we reclaim our lives back from the system? Reclaiming relations with life, one another, place, spirit... This goes against the current, against status quo. Need to go against the stream of our culture and experiment with how we do this. Do through teaching; offer our services and gifts to community - healing and supportive community shouldn't be limited to therapists and healing practitioners. Healing and culture building to turn to community vs. turn to few people who make a living that way. Write, conferences, developing the field in new direction through experiments in small ways, locally. Get conversation going about how to make psychotherapy adequate to this historical moment. How can ecopsychology contribute? How can the larger fields change in response to the times we live in? Pushing for a larger conversation too about how I'm going about this.
ADD, depression, anxiety, sensory disorders... are NOT a deficiency in medication.
Start small, local, sense of place, support local Undomesticating your therapy is a form of activism that refuses to be complicit in the status quo paradigm that separates citizens from the living world, and places us in strong superiority and entitlement over the rest of the natural world.
In such a globalized world, thinking and working to influence change locally can feel more empowering. Yet since Covid and the resultant increased use and reach of technology, folks that used to focus locally have shifted their business outreach to national and international levels.
I would like to catalyze, engage in conversations with people in the field Prior to our conscious thoughts and behaviors toward planet earth and her inhabitants exists our socialized programming about them. We are always hearing how the environment is in crisis. But when we are in our own crises – when a relationship ends, we think we have an addiction, or a midlife crisis for example – looking after the planet might not even come to mind.
The integration of ecopsychology into practice differs from client to client. Most clients come to me because the work is different from office-based settings and approaches.
Video: ecopsychology; reinventing the human-nature relationship