Key players, journals and trainings in Ecopsychology
By Emma Palmer and Mary-Jayne Rust
This study guide details authors, journals, and schools and longer training courses in both the UK and overseas. For full details of the author’s books, please see the accompanying Reading List.
is an American cultural ecologist, geophilosopher, and performance artist. His work has been instrumental in catalyzing the emergence of several new disciplines, including ecopsychology. David is the author of ‘Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology’ (Pantheon, 2010), and ‘The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World’ (Vintage, 1997) and his essays on the cultural causes and consequences of environmental disarray are published widely.
is a Buddhist and a practising psychotherapist writing about Buddhist therapeutic approaches and the psychology which underpins them. She is leader of the UK Tariki training programme in Buddhist psychotherapy and the Ten Directions training in Ecotherapy and originator of the ‘other-centred’ approach. Caroline has written seven books – her next one will be ‘Ecotherapy in Practice: A Buddhist Model’ (Routledge, 2018).
has been a psychotherapist for more than 30 years, specializing in career and sustainable lifestyle issues. A graduate of the Permaculture Design Course, she is a Fellow at For the Future, founder of the International Association for Ecotherapy, the editor of Ecotherapy News and the co-editor with Craig Chalquist of ‘Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind’ (Sierra Club, 2009).
is a depth psychologist, author, presenter, professor, entrepreneur. He teaches psychology and is a Professor of Pacifica Graduate Institute. He is founding Editor-in-Chief of ‘Immanence: The Journal of Applied Mythology, Legend, and Folktale’ and the author of three books, including ‘Ecotherapy’ (Sierra Club, 2009) co-edited with Linda Buzzell.
lectures on various psychology and psychoanalysis courses at the University of New York in Prague and Charles University’s CIFE Study Center. He is a member of the Czech Psychoanalytical Society (IPA) and works as a psychotherapist in private practice. He is author of ‘Psychoanalysis and Ecology at the Edge of Chaos’ (Routledge, 2011).
is a healer, scholar, educator, guide, and circle facilitator, with all of his work being in service of life. For more than a decade he has been the leading voice for developing ecopsychology as a radical field. A second edition of his acclaimed book ‘Radical Ecopsychology: Psychology in the Service of Life’ was released in 2013 (State University of New York Press).
is Programme Convenor for the M.A. Dance Movement Psychotherapy at Goldsmiths, University of London, and a licensed Dance Movement Psychotherapist. With a professional dance background, Caroline has been closely involved in the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy (ADMP UK) and edited the quarterly journal between 2006 and 2014. She has had a keen interest in working in community settings and in engaging with ecopsychology, with that field underpinning her current work.
has long and extensive experience as a therapist as well as a substantial track-record in supervision, support and training. He has added equine-assisted therapy to the approaches he offers clients, reflecting his engagement with ecopsychology. He has published many articles on this theme, and contributed to the ‘Vital Signs’ anthology (Karnac, 2011).
is Chair of the Climate Psychology Alliance and Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He is the author of several books, including ‘Politics, Identity, and Emotions’ (Paradigm, 2009) and ‘The Dilemmas of Development Work’ (Polity Press, 2001).
has a background in medicine, psychology, groupwork and coaching, and is a specialist in the psychology of resilience, happiness and positive change. After working for many years as an addictions specialist in the NHS, he now focuses on coaching, writing and training, particularly through the new distance learning programme he has set up. His newest book, ‘Active Hope’, was co-authored with Joanna Macy (New World Library, 2012).
is a Body psychotherapist, ecopsychologist, and facilitator. She is fascinating by working at the interface between Buddhism, ecopsychology and ecodharma, in theory and practice and loves facilitating Wild therapy. She is the author of two books and many articles, including ‘Other than Mother: Choosing Childlessness with Life in Mind’ (Earth Books, 2016) nominated for the Population Institute’s Global Media Award in 2016.
works where psyche and nature meet, having been providing ecopsychology consultancy, training and mentoring since the early 1990s. The ultimate purpose of his work is to support personal well-being, social justice and ecological sustainability. Dave was a co-initiator of the ‘Natural Change’ project, a seminal ecopsychology project which continues today, drawing participants from beyond the field of psychotherapy.
, Ph.D. teaches Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads University, and is a fellow with the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and founding member of Climate Psychology Alliance. She has designed and taught courses for environmental educators and supervises graduate students. Renee’s first book, ‘Environmental Melancholia: Psychoanalytic Dimensions of Engagement’ was published by Routledge in 2015.
, is an environmental activist, author, scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. Internationally respected and renowned in movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she is the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change. She is the author of eight books, including, with Molly Brown ‘Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work That Reconnects’ (New Society Publishers, 2014).
is a psychotherapist, ecologist and anthropologist. He is a steering committee member of the transpersonal faculty of the UKCP. With 30 years’ experience in ecological education and research, he has been publishing papers on what is now known as ecopsychology since the 1990s, focusing on its psychospiritual and cultural dimensions. He has held research and teaching posts at Oxford and Open Universities, and UCL.
has worked as a psychotherapist for the past 20 years. She’s also a supervisor and trainer, collaborating on many ecotherapy training courses with the late Martin Jordan. Her outdoor client work connects psychotherapeutic ideas with those from environmental psychology, and ecopsychology, which focus on our interaction with our environment. She has written several journal articles exploring ecotherapy work.
, PhD, is a depth psychologist, wilderness guide, and founder of western Colorado’s Animas Valley Institute in 1981 He has guided thousands through nature-based initiatory passages, including a contemporary, Western adaptation of the pan-cultural vision quest. He is author of several books, the most recent being ‘Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche’ (New World Library, 2013).
Psychotherapist was a founding member of an early ecopsychology group which emerged after the formation of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility (PCSR). She was a pioneer in the early UK ecopsychology movement and continues to give talks and works as an ecopsychologist. She was also a co-founder of the ‘Heart and Soul’ (now known as ‘Inner Transition’) aspect of the Transition movement in Devon and is author of many ecopsychology articles.
is a psychoanalytically trained psychotherapist who has been involved in the environmental movement since her 20s. With Andy Brown she developed the international Carbon Conversations project to help people reduce their carbon emissions. Her most recent book, co-authored with Andy Brown, is ‘In Time for Tomorrow?’ (Surefoot Effect, 2015) and she has papers published in other anthologies.
has been a psychotherapist and trainer since 1978 and is co-founder of Re•Vision, an integrative and transpersonal psychotherapy training centre in London, which includes ecopsychology principles and practice. He contributed the chapter ‘Dangerous Margins’ to the Ecopsychology anthology ‘Vital Signs’ (Karnac, 2011) and is author of several articles.
is an Arts therapist, Jungian analyst, and ecopsychologist based in London. For almost 30 years one of her main interests has been psychology in the service of the earth. As a result she has been a pioneer in the UK ecopsychology movement since the early 1990s, in her therapy practice, writing, facilitation, public talks and community-building. Mary-Jayne is co-editor with Nick Totton of ‘Vital Signs: Psychological Responses to Ecological Crisis’ (Karnac, 2011).
is an Australian environmentalist and founder of the Rainforest Information Centre which successfully campaigned to save the sub-tropical rainforests of New South Wales. He is an accomplished bard, songwriter. film-maker, and a prominent figure in the deep ecology movement. With Joanna Macy, Pat Fleming and Arne Naess, he wrote ‘Thinking like a Mountain – Towards a Council of All Beings’ (New Society Publishers, 2007) which has been translated into 12 languages.
Ian Siddons Heginworth
is a leading practitioner, innovator and teacher of environmental arts therapy. He is a drama therapist and is employed by Devon Partnership Trust running the Wild Things project. He is also employed as a lecturer and workshop leader on the Exeter based M.A. in Drama therapy. He is author of ‘Environmental Arts Therapy and the Tree of Life’ (Spirit’s Rest Books, 2011).
is a Pulitzer-prize winning poet and environmental activist. He is the author of 20 books of prose and poetry, including ‘The Practice of the Wild’ (Counterpoint Press, 1990). He has lived with his family in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California since the 1970s. His works reflects his immersion in Buddhism and his relationship with the wild.
has been working as a therapist, supervisor, trainer and workshop leader since 1981, having trained originally as a Reichian bodywork therapist. He is the founder of, and training team member of the postgraduate training in Embodied-Relational Therapy, as well as having founded the Wild Therapy project. Nick is a poet and author of ‘Wild Therapy’ (PCSS Books, 2011) and co-editor of ‘Vital Signs: Psychological Responses to Ecological Crisis’ (Karnac, 2011) and has written 13 other books.
Sally Weintrobe is a psychoanalyst and a founding member of the Climate Psychology Alliance who writes and talks on how to understand what underlies our widespread disavowal of climate change, with her current work exploring the culture of uncare. She edited and contributed to Engaging with Climate Change: Psychoanalytic and Interdisciplinary Perspectives’ (Routledge, 2012).
Also see listing and international ecopsychologists listed on the website of the . The UK website, a network of UK and international trainees and therapists, lists practitioners, events, and discussions.
Journals and Magazines
The European Journal of Ecopsychology
The (EJE) is a peer-reviewed journal that aims to explore the synthesis of psychological and ecological ideas from a variety of perspectives. It encompasses theoretical papers, empirical reports, accounts of therapeutic practice, and more personal reflections which offer the reader insights into new and original aspects of the interrelationship between humanity and the rest of the natural world. Issues are published at the end of each year. It is published by the volunteer-run, UK-based not for profit ‘WyrdWise’.
seeks to reshape modern psychology by showing that it cannot stand apart from an intimate human connection with the natural environment. Human beings need that connection with nature to do well mentally and physically, let alone to flourish, as individuals and as a species. Against this backdrop, the Journal publishes original scientific research articles, as well as theoretical papers, case studies, nature writing, and reviews of important books and other media. Ecopsychology is written and produced in the US.
is the Journal of the International Community for Ecopsychology. The object of the community’s website and blog is to provide a public forum for participant’s diverse experiences of the human-nature relationship. By slowing down together and sharing understandings through multiple ‘modes of knowing’, the hope of the community is to build bridges of harmony with the planet we all co-in habit. In particular, contributors of Gatherings are welcomed ‘around the fires of cyberspace’, to send in art, articles, and so on.
is an environmental humanities journal dedicated to the development of an ecosophy, or wisdom, born of ecological understanding and insight. As such, it serves the deep ecology movement’s commitment to philosophically explore and analyze environmental concerns in light of ecological developments at every relevant level: metaphysics, science, history, politics. Gaining a deeper understanding involves a comprehensive set of criteria that includes analytical rigour, spiritual insight, ethical integrity, and aesthetic appreciation.
Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine
offers positive perspectives on a range of engaging topics covering: ecology, social justice, philosophy, spirituality, sustainable development and the arts – an eclectic mix that cannot be found anywhere else. This magazine is published bi-monthly, each illustrated issue contains feature articles by respected writers, news from the frontline of the environmental movement, ideas on ethical living, book reviews, recipe columns, humour, poetry and arts profiles.
responds to themes of psychology, soul-making, ecology and ‘wild mind’. It is edited by Wales-based therapist, teacher and therapist Steve Thorp.
Ecopsychology-themed editions in other Journals
, the International Journal for Humanistic Psychology featured two ecopsychology themed editions, both edited by Nick Totton. The first, summer 2014 (Vol 41, Issue 4), featured articles from Caroline Brazier, Caroline Frizell, Kelvin Hall, Emma Palmer, Chris Robertson, Mary-Jayne Rust, Nick Totton. The second themed edition in 2015 (Vol 43, Issue 2), featured articles/interviews from Adrian Harris, David Key, Paul Maiteny, Allison Priestman, and Nick Totton.
, the in house journal of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility featured report and reflections from the first ‘Edge of the Wild’ UK ecopsychology event in its Autumn/Winter 2012 edition. Reports and reflections from the second ‘Edge of the Wild’ event were featured in the Winter 2013 edition.
Schools/Trainings in the UK and Overseas
Diploma in Nature-based Psychotherapy is a year-long post graduate training delivered through experiential learning and taught seminars over 8 weekends. The course is fully immersive, taking place in woodland and nature reserves within London. The training acknowledges nature as a therapeutic container, co-counsellor and primary source of attachment. Our relationship with nature is central to nature-based psychotherapy and the course focuses on supporting your connection to nature through embodied and sensory experiencing. The training incorporates anthropological perspectives, traditional ecological knowledge and attachment theory. Facilitated by
Environmental Arts Therapy offers a post graduate training consisting of 12 weekends spread over one year. This course is suitable for final year and qualified arts therapists who wish to enhance and extend their practice with working with nature. Facilitated by Devon-based
Natural Academy: Holistic Eco-Psychology and Outdoor Helping Skills based near Bristol offer a Foundation year run by . The aim of the foundation is to teach and support therapists and wellbeing practitioners to work with people in natural environments, learning the outdoor helping skills needed to facilitate connection to nature for health, wellbeing, personal development and deeper purpose.
Natural Change Facilitator Training: A two-year course to train facilitators to lead programmes that use the Natural Change approach. The course is based around four wilderness residentials with mentoring, seminars, self-guided reading and the development of personal and professional practice in-between times. Dave Key, co-founder of this training, continues as an active trainer. .
Ten Directions: Now in its seventh year, this ecotherapy programme appeals to counsellors/ psychotherapists wanting to take their work out of doors, as well as to people engaged in outdoor fields who want to include therapeutically-orientated work with individuals or groups. The programme, which is grounded in a synthesis of Buddhist and Western approaches, is held in Narborough, Leicestershire. These 5 units are followed by a 5 day intensive in Wales. There is an option to carry on for a 2nd year of mentored practice. . Course Facilitators: , Debbie Swain and Elise Tate.
Wild Therapy: Running since 2012, this one year training brings therapy into the wild, and wildness into therapy. Wild therapy is an exploration and celebration of therapy’s wildness, its capacity to transcend the limitations we place on our own creativity and connectedness. Central to the year is encountering the other-than-human and more-than-human, and exploring their role in the therapeutic process. From this we can learn to transform fear-based defensive practice into contact-based adventurous practice. The sequence of three residentials and a non-residential weekend takes participants into increasingly wild environments, and finally into the city to explore how the journey has changed relationship with familiar domestication, and how Wild Therapy can be integrated into participant’s work. . Wild therapy was founded by and is now primarily taught by , , , and .
, Catalunya, Spain. Courses, retreats, study seminars, vision quests and wild camps which take place in a context of sustainable low-impact living, closely woven within the web of elemental nature.
— founded by Bill Plotkin in 1980 — offers multi-day immersions into the wilds of nature and psyche for the purpose of retrieving the unique, mysterious identity hidden in the soul-waters of each life. Animas originated and continues to evolve a contemporary Western, nature-based approach to the journey of soul initiation — to our knowledge, the first of its kind. USA
, founded in the early 1970s, the School offers vision fasts and rites of passage training which cultivate self-trust, responsibility, and understanding about ones’ unique place within society and the natural world in different locations in the USA.
California Institute for Integral Studies, San Francisco: offers an as well as doctoral programmes in
, San Francisco: offer holistic counselling and unique nature-based workshops and retreats to the public and continuing education programs grounded in the principles of ecopsychology.
, Santa Barbara: MA/PhD programme in with emphasis in community psychology, liberation psychology and ecopsychology. The faculty includes . Other courses run by and eco-criticism by .
Sofia University in Palo Alto offer a
Viridis Graduate Institute in Ojai offer an.
Wilderness Reflections, Marin County, offer a.
Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado: offers an , including the Psychology of Wilderness Experience, and more.
offers retreats and workshops which bring Buddhism and Dharma back into the natural world and fostering the clarity and compassion needed to better address the ecological crisis and its related social justice issues.
The Graduate Institute, Bethany:
Southwestern College and New Earth Institute in Santa Fe offer a Certificate.
Lewis and Clark Graduate School, Portland, Oregon: Ecopsychology Certificate
Friday Harbor: Educating, Counselling and Healing with Nature at with Michael Cohen. Cohen is also programme director of at Akamai University in Hawaii.
University of Wisonsin Superior: Susan Loonsk and others offers an expressive ecopsychology module within visual arts:
, ANU, Canberra
La Trobe University, Melbournehas maintained a commitment to public intellectual activity in the areas of religious education, indigenous health, men’s issues and environmental issues; and teaches on animal ethics, deep ecology, ecofeminism, environmental ethics, religion and nature. She has published numerous books and papers – see her .
University of Western Sydney offers ataught by .