Human development has now crossed an historic threshold, in which our activities are, literally, changing the course of Earth’s evolution. We have entered the age of the Anthropocene. Each year brings with it personal and collective trauma emerging from our behaviors towards the environment. We are finding it more and more difficult to psychologically mediate the results of our actions. Environmental disruptions have come home to roost in both psyche and soma. What are we doing to the planet? How has our psychological development led to our disconnection from the non-human world? How do cultural complexes influence our reaction to environmental trauma? Why has it been so difficult to work through the trauma of ecological destruction? This course will open us to exploring these questions and developing ways to heal our traumatic split with the natural world.
Understand the current state of our global environmental crisis
Understand how environmental degradation affects the human psyche and body
Explore methods to work through the stages of environmental trauma
Session 1: Our Current Environmental Trauma: Human activity has led to tremendous destruction of the natural world. We need to understand what has happened to the natural environment and the role humans have played in this disruption. What are the disruptions in psyche that result from such environmental chaos? Depth psychology provides a unique lens to understand how psyche and nature affect one another in today’s world.
Session 2: Our Relationship with Nature: Humans have lived in and been a part of the natural environment for many thousands of years. Any healing process begins with remembering how we got to the present situation. How has the evolution of psyche affected our behavior towards the environment? Our separation from the environment is deeply rooted in a dissociation of consciousness and the unconscious. What are the cultural complexes affecting climate trauma? Depth psychology opens us to understanding how we have arrived at our current state of environmental trauma.
Session 3: Healing Environmental Trauma: We are faced with working with and through our environmental trauma in order to heal our split with the natural world. This is a healing process that requires inner and outer work. It is an alchemical process of transmutation of psyche. Depth psychology offers a number of alchemical processes that can be used to heal our environmental trauma.
Jeffrey T Kiehl, PhD, is a diplomat Jungian analyst who has also had a forty-year career in the environmental sciences. He has carried out basic climate change research and lectured on the psychological dimensions of our resistance to taking action on climate change. He is the author of Facing Climate Change: An Integrated Path to the Future, published by Columbia University Press, which provides a Jungian interpretation of climate change. He has authored over 100 scientific articles and has published in Psychological Perspectives and Ecopsychology. He is an adjunct faculty member of Pacifica Graduate Institute and an adjunct professor at UC Santa Cruz.
Full refunds for registrations and lodging will be provided up to 14 days prior to an event. Cancellations made 13-6 days prior will receive a 50% refund. There is no refund for registrations or lodging cancellations made within 5 days of your arrival or if you do not show up or leave a program or event early. The Retreat at Pacifica reserves the right to cancel any program at any time. In this instance, you will be refunded in full.
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