Art by Carlita Shaw
We cannot limit the healing work that lies before us to healing nature or healing the human being. We must unite both areas of healing, for in both cases it is the one life that is wounded: as outside, so within. The ecological outside of nature and the psychological inside of humans are two parts of the same whole. Outer destruction goes hand in hand with inner impoverishment and alienation.
Ecological devastation and human devastation are two sides of the same global disease which can only be correctly understood and overcome by being viewed as parts of a whole ecology of living that has been functioning out of balance and now seeks equilibrium if we are to survive with the planet. We now must seek equilibrium inside. If the Peace workers of the modern world & the future become aware of this sacred connection with the earth, then they will know that they serve the earth when they create peace within.
Do you have a deep unrest? A feeling of being unfulfilled, deepening apathy, depression, loss, anxiety and despair is rooted society’s belief that we are separate from nature.
”Repression of the ecological unconscious is the deepest root of many of the psychological, social, ecological, spiritual, and physical problems in contemporary industrial society. Ecocidal policies do not only attack and devastate ‘external’ nature but our ‘internal’ natures as well. This is why ecopsychology talks of ‘Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind”- Theodore Roszak
How Ecotherapy can help?
Ecotherapy is a profoundly healing therapy essential for grief, emotional and mental trauma, abuse, addictions, self empowerment, confidence, self nurturing, inner nourishment, cultivating inner peace. The core of the mind is the ecological unconscious where our natural feelings of connection to the world of nature and other organisms rest, connected to what the biologist E.O. Wilson calls ‘biophilia’.
1. The emerging synthesis of ecology and psychology
Other therapies seek to heal the alienation between person and person, person and family, person and society.
Ecopsychology or ecotherapy seeks to heal the more fundamental alienation between the recently created urban psyche and the age-old natural environment, human and nature and cosmos are one being, not separate entities.
2. The skillful application of ecological insight to the practice of
Ecopsychology is the reevaluation of certain compulsively “masculine” character traits that permeate our structures of political power and which drive us to dominate nature as we have a dominant right to rape the earth and as if we are alien to it. In this regard, ecopsychology draws significantly on the insights of the sacred feminine with a view to demystifying the male and female sexual stereotypes, In addition to seeing Earth as a consciousness made up of ecological units that make up its whole organism, much like the organs of the body, we are part of the earth”s consciousness and she is the deeper fabric of our consciousness in the web of life.
3. The study of our emotional bond with the Earth
The ecological ego matures toward a sense of ethical responsibility to the planet that is as vividly experienced as our ethical
responsibility to other people. It seeks to weave that responsibility into the fabric of social relations and political decisions. However, the corporatisation of the political world has become unethical and careless with it’s responsibility to protecting the planet. Unconsciously we take on this violence to the earth internalizing it. We are carrying the burden of responsibility, grief, guilt and loss, especially when we see ecocide unfolding on a daily basis with destruction of the rainforest and pollution of our oceans. We need to find ways to heal when we are feeling powerless with the overwhelming ecocide that we are living in and we a part of..
4. The search for an environmentally-based standard
of mental health.
For ecopsychology as for other therapies, the crucial stage of development is the life of the child. The ecological unconscious is regenerated in the newborn’s enchanted sense of the world. Ecotherapy seeks to recover the child’s quality of experience in functionally “sane” adults including through the experience of wilderness or wildness in nature and in inner nature.
5. Re-defining human mental balance in symbiotic ecological equilibrium with nature the earth and web of life.”
Open access to the ecological unconscious is the path to sanity. The contents of the ecological unconscious represent, in some degree, at some level of mentality, the living record of evolution, tracing back to distant initial conditions in the history of time. Ecopsychology deeply questions the essential sanity of our urban-industrial culture that has created rapid changes that we are still attempting to adapt to whilst struggling with our lost connection with nature. Ecopsychology seeks to heal and assimilate the effects of modern day life on our humanity, to heal and acknowledge our distance between earth and human, re-empowering humanity as a whole to a more harmonious symbiotic existence with the planet that takes care of us and nurtures us no matter what we do to her.
”The energetic ecology of the internal body is profoundly connected to the
energetic ecology of the earth and universe.” – Carlita Shaw