This unique program, offered online over the course of 13 weeks, has the distinct advantage of combining four perspectives from four internationally renowned authors, educators, and transformational leaders in the fields of Ecopsychology and Ecotherapy. Ecopsychology brings ecology and psychology together to create novel and exciting approaches to the urgent needs of our times. Its most visible face is the practice of Ecotherapy, which emphasizes the synergy between human well-being and the health of the planet. A number of other avenues have been developed, however, including those involving depth psychological, multicultural, and transpersonal engagement with earthly places, thereby cultivating personal and cultural transformation. In this program, we will also explore Ecopsychology considered as a socially and philosophically radical project that integrates psychology and ecology by questioning much of the conventional thought and practice currently found in these two arenas. Because the practices and ideas of Ecopsychology are open to everyone, this Certificate neither requires nor confers a license or degree. It is designed to offer a range of concepts, techniques, and strategies by surveying a number of key approaches to Ecopsychology. It will be of interest to anyone—clinicians, coaches, activists, and curious others—looking for a more holistic and engaged way forward.
Each week you will learn from: an audio or video Presentation by Andy, Jeanine, Linda, or Craig; a list of required or recommended Readings/Videos/Resources; online Discussion with the other participants and instructors, based on the responses you post each week to that week’s assignment; and a Live session with one of the instructors. Live sessions will be scheduled at varying times in order to maximize participation, and will be recorded for those who cannot attend a given week. Assignments include indoor and outdoor exercises designed to deepen learning and enrich nature connection.
Required text for Andy’s part of the course: Radical Ecopsychology: Psychology in the Service of Life, 2nd ed. (SUNY Press, 2013).
Also recommended for this certificate: Jeanine M. Canty, ed., Ecological and Social Healing: Multicultural Women’s Voices (Routledge, 2017); Linda Buzzell & Craig Chalquist, eds., Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind (Sierra Club Books, 2009); and Craig Chalquist, Terrapsychology: Re-engaging the Soul of Place (Spring Journal Books, 2007).
The four instructors each cover a different perspective on ecopsychology, as described below.
Individual Session Descriptions:
The Project of Ecopsychology: History of the Field, and Ecopsychology Viewed as a Radical Transformation of Psychology
Andy’s work in ecopsychology is about the project of ecopsychology as a whole, including how it has developed as a field over the last three decades. The sessions with Andy therefore provide a background history to ecopsychology (Week 1) and an introduction to Radical Ecopsychology, which is his term for the field of ecopsychology viewed as a radical project (weeks 2, 4, and 5). The emphasis here is on how a radical, coherent image of ecopsychology allows us to see deeply into the current historical moment and to discern the precise tasks and opportunities the field may best self-organize around. These sessions also stress how the numerous intersecting social issues of our times—the unfinished business of history—are unavoidably at the center of the ecopsychological project. A final goal is to help participants build a sense of confidence with the difficult conversations and unconventional methods necessary for transforming psychology into ecopsychology.
Conceptions and Practices of the Self in Ecopsychology: Ecological, Multicultural, Transformative
Jeanine M. Canty
Participants will work with Jeanine for three weeks, segmented throughout our time together, weaving together concepts and practices that expand our sense of self for the greater whole. In week three, we will get a strong sense of moving beyond a limited sense of ego to one that is embedded within the ecological realm. In week six, we will build on this work, diving into issues of social justice and how to engage multiple perspectives. Finally, during week ten, we will pull this together with a more transpersonal sense of self. Each of these weeks will require a willingness to work with difficult emotions, compassion, and mindful change.
Ecotherapy: Nature-based Healing Practices for Physical, Psychological, and Cultural Well-being
This portion of the program (weeks 7, 8, and 9) provides an introduction to the growing field of ecotherapy (or as some call it, applied or clinical ecopsychology). We’ll explore the many different ways that a deep green perspective is transforming psychological, social, cultural, and medical healing practices to treat a wide variety of populations and conditions. Students will become aware of the research that supports this transformative evolution and learn about the many increasingly popular nature-based treatment modalities so they can choose those that feel most relevant to their personal or professional goals.
Earth Dreaming: Ecopsychology as Personal and Cultural Transformative Practice
Welcome to Earthdreaming! In this part of the program (weeks 11, 12, and 13) we will learn a number of practices and ideas for delving into what is always present but seldom accessed: our ongoing conversation with our animate surroundings, whether built or natural. Earth dreaming refers to an Ecopsychology rooted in imagination, folkloric storytelling, everyday nature practices, work with dreams, exploration of inner linkages between place and self, and eco-spirituality, all in service to deepening our relations with nature, place, Earth, and of course ourselves and one another.
Week 1. The History of Ecopsychology (and the Ecopsychology of History). This certificate program presents four different perspectives on ecopsychology. As a way to provide a common context for the program and to set the stage for thinking about ecopsychology, we begin by providing a brief history of the field. First named as such in the early 1990s, it has “first generation” and “second generation” camps, among others. This session also presents the idea that a third, more social justice-oriented generation of ecopsychology is on the rise. (Andy)
Week 2.Ecopsychology as a Radical Project. Radical ecopsychology views ecopsychology as a radical ecological transformation of psychology. This session, then, is about reconstructing psychology in light of an ecological view of reality. This makes ecopsychology something very different than psychology as we have come to know it. We will give careful attention to the meaning of the word radical (“going to the roots”) and to the challenges that a radical approach involves. (Andy)
Week 3.From Ego to Ecological Self. A key need is for individuals within our society to develop from the small ego to the ecological self. Within this week, we will examine how western, globalized corporate culture has over-developed our individual egos, minimizing our ability to connect with nature including other humans. A strong component of this work will be to develop our ecological self and establish a mindfulness practice. Key concepts: self, arrested development, narcissism, consumerism, ecological self, mindfulness. (Jeanine)
Week 4.Recollective Ecopsychology. Ecopsychology is about remembering the deep interconnection between psyche and nature. Radical ecopsychology frames this as the recollectivedimension or side of ecopsychology. What difference does this make? (Andy)
Week 5.Critical Ecopsychologyand Integrative Praxis. The other main side of Radical Ecopsychology is Critical Ecopsychology. It joins critical psychology and radical ecology in order to produce a unique and powerful critical perspective on our historical moment. Radical Ecopsychology as a whole then involves a praxis (theory and practice) for integrating the recollective and critical sides of the field into a specifically ecopsychological form of politics. We will focus on decolonization as a particular integrative term. (Andy)
Week 6. The Multicultural Self. Picking up on our work with developing our ecological selves (week 3), this week work to identify and strengthen our multicultural self. We will gain awareness of how the ecological crisis affects diverse positionalities, in particular communities of color, indigenous communities, and women. Then we will turn to work with our capacity to hold more than one perspective at once, our multicultural self. Key concepts: environmental justice, indigenous issues, ecofeminism, white fragility, multicultural self. (Jeanine)
Week 7. Ecotherapy as Evidence-Based Healing Work. Overview of the research and an introduction to the many populations, settings, and conditions that ecotherapy can treat. (Linda)
Week 8.Tending the Inner and Outer Landscape. We’ll explore many modalities that are now emerging into mainstream healing and education, including “wild nature within” practices like nature meditation and guided visualization; garden and farm therapies; animal-facilitated therapies; wilderness and forest experiences; nature-based art and somatic therapies. (Linda)
Week 9. PraxisIssues. We will cover the following topics: exploring how to customize ecotherapy treatment to the specific situation, community and client(s); advancing from Level 1 to Level 2 ecotherapy practice; avoiding cultural appropriation; dealing with legal and ethical concerns; discovering practical ways we can bring our unique healing gifts and understandings of ecopsychology and ecotherapy into our professional careers. (Linda)
Week 10. The Transpersonal Self. Bringing together our work with developing both our ecological self and multicultural self, within this week, we will weave these identities together and dive into the transpersonal self and the role this might play in collective healing. Understanding our relationship to these widening circles will be engaged through readings, lecture, reflection, and mindful practice. Key concepts: transpersonal self, Self, transformative Self, spirituality. (Jeanine)
Week 11. Introduction to Earthdreaming. In this session, we will learn about and practice ways to reconnect with the natural world, including hosting its plant, animal, element, and landscape presences in our dreams. (Craig)
Week 12. Terrapsychology: Working with the Soul of Place. We will learn about the profound influences exerted on mind and body by the places where we live, influences mostly unconscious but accessible through work with local images and motifs. (Craig)
Week 13. Enchantivism and Earthrise: Moving into a Bigger Picture. In this session we will find out about and practice methods for linking deep reflection with action in the world via telling stories larger than the cultural problems we face. We will dream together in the mythic light of Earthrise, which Joseph Campbell referred to as a mythic image of our time. (Craig)
Learning Objectives for CEC Attendees (12 Hours):
Understand ecotherapy as an evidence-based ecopsychological healing practice with many levels and applications.
Cite critical research supporting nature-based interventions, including which populations, settings and conditions they can treat.
Understand the similarities and differences between a wide range of ecotherapies, including horticultural, animal-facilitated, wilderness therapies, forest therapy and art therapies.
Explore the latest thinking on community and cultural ecotherapies.
Address eco-anxiety, eco-grief and climate trauma in climate disaster situations.
Discuss some of the complex legal and ethical issues related to ecotherapy treatments.
Continuing Education Credits apply for Weeks 7-9 only
Andy Fisher, Ph.D., is a major figure in ecopsychology, having tracked and reflected on the development of the field for the last three decades. Author of one of the field’s primary texts, Radical Ecopsychology: Psychology in the Service of Life (2nd Ed.), he is best known for his critical scholarship and holistic vision of the ecopsychological project. Andy keeps up an active schedule of teaching and writing, while also practicing as a rite of passage guide, mentor, and psychotherapist in private practice. www.andyfisher.ca
Linda Buzzell, LMFT, has been a psychotherapist for more than 40 years and has specialized in ecopsychology and ecotherapy since 2000. She and Craig Chalquist edited the Sierra Club Books anthology Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind, a core text in clinical ecopsychology. She is a member of the editorial board of Ecopsychology, the peer-reviewed journal of the field. Linda is Adjunct Faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she taught Pacifica’s Ecotherapy Certificate program in 2015. She was a featured presenter with Joanna Macy at Holos Institute’s 2017 Ecopsychology Conference in Petaluma, CA and at the 2014 Ecotherapy Symposium at the University of Brighton in the UK. In 2002 she founded The International Association for Ecotherapy and edited its journal Ecotherapy News for many years. She blogged on ecopsychology and ecotherapy for 7 years at Huffington Post and is an Admin on the 7500+ Facebook group “Ecopsychology.” She is co-host with Carol Koziol of the Canadian Ecopsychology Network’s Vimeo interview series “Ecopsychology Voices,” featuring conversations with a variety of ecopsychology luminaries from many countries, including UK Jungian ecotherapist Mary-Jayne Rust, Canadian Andy Fisher, Norwegian Per Espen Stoknes plus Americans Craig Chalquist, Carolyn Finney, Lori Pye, Susan Griffin, Jerome Bernstein, Betsy Perluss and many others. In 2006 she received her Permaculture Design Certificate and with her husband Larry Saltzman has created a 1/3 acre backyard food forest around her home that serves as her ecotherapy office.
Craig Chalquist, Ph.D., earned his Ph.D. in depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute and also holds a Master Gardener certificate and another in permaculture design. He is the author of Terrapsychology: Reengaging the Soul of Place (Spring Journal Books, 2007) and co-editor with Linda Buzzell, MFT, of Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind (Sierra Club Books, 2009). Craig is core faculty in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and former core faculty at John F. Kennedy University, where he served as acting department chair (Consciousness & Transformative Studies), designing and launching the world’s first ecotherapy certificate.
Jeanine M. Canty, PhD, is a professor of Environmental Studies at Naropa University, a Buddhist inspired institution in Boulder, Colorado. She has a doctorate in Transformative Learning and Change from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), a MA in Cultural Ecopsychology from Prescott College, and a BA from Colgate University in International Relations. A lover of nature, justice, and contemplative practice, her teaching intersects issues of social and ecological justice connected to the process of worldview expansion and positive change. She is both editor and a contributor to the book Ecological and Social Healing: Multicultural Women’s Voices as well as Globalism and Localization: Emergent Approaches to Ecological and Social Crises. Jeanine is also a certified meditation instruction as well as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR).
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Disability Service On Campus:
It is the Institute’s goal is to make facilities, programs, and experiences accessible to all members of the community. The Institute works individually with those who are disabled to determine how individual needs can best be met. For additional information regarding Disability Services, please visit https://www.pacifica.edu/student-services/disability-services/.
Continuing Education Credit:
This program meets qualifications for 12 hours of continuing education credit for Psychologists through the California Psychological Association (PAC014) Pacifica Graduate Institute is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing education for psychologists. Pacifica Graduate Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Full attendance is required to receive a certificate.
This course meets the qualifications for 12 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Pacifica Graduate Institute is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (#60721) to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs. Pacifica Graduate Institute maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content. Full attendance is required to obtain a certificate.
Continuing Education Credits apply for Weeks 7-9 only
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