Posts Tagged ‘ecospsychology Australia’

Psychoanalysis, Psychology and the Environment

May 28, 2010

Begininng Tuesday June 1 – Friday June 25th IARPP will be hosting an online seminar: Psychoanalysis, Psychology and the Environment: A Dialogue.  Given what has transpired in the Gulf Coast, this topic couldn’t be more timely.  The seminar ($10.00 fee) is open to all IARPP members ($135.00 membership fee).  During that time period this blog will report on what transpires during this seminar.

Description: As the recent Gulf oil spill makes clear, denial, dissociation, trauma, anxiety, and depression play a role in the climate change story.  And, as the limits of technology to deal with the oil spill become more apparent (and hence the idea that science will rescue us becomes more tendentious), an international conversation about psychoanalysis and the environment is timely. The goal of this seminar is to generate a dialogue among professionals who think about how the changing environment influences the mind and how the mind is responding to the ever increasing threat. The hope of this seminar is to develop both a network and a body of thinking that can anchor and connect the many people working on this issue. The panelist faculty (Glenn Albrecht, Susan Bodnar, Thomas Doherty, R.D. Hinshelwood, Paul Hoggett, Renee Lertzman, Rosemary Randall, Andrew Samuels, Nick Totton, Sally Weintrobe) will present some of their thoughts about this topic, using an eclectic reading list as a jumping off point. The seminar participants can share their own thinking, ask questions and respond to the readings. As we think and dialogue together we hope to consolidate some form of coherence out of the ideas generated by this dialogue. Among others, we will examine how concepts like solastalgia, embodiment/disembodiment, dissociation, object relations, repression of the unconscious, and concepts borrowed from human geographers can enhance the now international dialogue about mental and emotional processes and the environment.  Panelist bios after the jump.

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Nick Totton and the UK ecopsychologists

February 12, 2010

Yorkshire countryside, UK, photo by hchalkley

Having read my Wasted and Bombed paper, Nick Totton contacted me. He is a body therapist with an MA in psychoanalysis from Yorkshire, part of a network of British therapists of different specialties working on the interface between psychology and the environment.  Check them out.  And here too. Totton is currently editing a collection of writing on ecopsychology for the journal he edits Psychotherapy and Politics International . He is also working on a book which is intended to bring together ecopsychology, ecotherapy, and political issues.  I had the opportunity to read his enlightening key-note address to an Adventure therapy conference.

He wrote: “But as a therapist, I am also aware of the need for a change of mind, a huge shift of consciousness, if humanity is going to take a different path into the future. That is why I have become involved with ecopsychology – an involvement which stems from my work as a body psychotherapist: it seems to me that a positive relationship with the other-than-human is founded in a positive relationship with our own embodiment.”

Between Glenn Albrect in Australia, Thomas Doherty and Peter Kahn on the west coast and now these folks in the UK,  along with myself and the folks at CRED in NYC where I have spent some time learning and researching, it does feel as though there is a growing international interest in the unacknowledged relationship between our psyches and our environment.  Thrilling, really.


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