ECO-PSYCHOLOGY & ECO-THERAPY: Inspiring Active Hope in a Time of Global Pandemics, Conflicts and Climate change

Thursday 26th May
Session 2
1.20am – 2.10pm
Room: TBA
Health & Wellbeing

For millennia humans lived in small communities and were intimately connected with the natural world and the cosmos, and their consciousness and cultures reflected this essential bond. Yet, in the 21st century most human beings in modern industrialized societies are increasingly isolated from their communities and completely disconnected from Nature in any meaningful way. This alienation from the essence and vibrancy of the natural world deadens our mind, body and spirit and is a root cause of our intensifying health crises and chronic societal problems. This vital relationship between humans and Nature has the potential to awaken our minds, enliven our hearts and raise our spirits as we shift cultural paradigms from our fragmented ego-centric societies to more holistic eco-centric communities. Eco-psychology brings together the expertise of ecologists, the sensitivity of therapists and the ethical energy of activists to understand and cultivate authentic human-nature relationships that heal people and the planet. This can have a profound effect on how we view ourselves, other humans and the Natural World. Eco-therapy is the experiential practice of eco-psychology which enables us to tunein to our own human nature and our sense of belonging in the world, as well as our deeper, reciprocal connections with Nature. It usually focuses on activities that are literally grounded in Nature such as forest bathing, horticultural therapy and wilderness experiences. This workshop will explore the multidimensional field of ecopsychology and the embodied practice of eco-therapy which makes Nature connection ‘come alive’. 

happy person in the Outdoors with tree and mountain landscape in the background

Jeff White

Nature Stewards

Jeff was born in Boston and grew up exploring the natural wonders and landscapes of the North-eastern and the Pacific Northwest of the USA. As a university student, he studied ecology, geography and sociology and completed a Masters in Education as he developed a passion for outdoor adventures, sustainability and advocating for wild places and wild creatures.

Jeff moved to Australia in 2008 and was awestruck by the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, the ancient landscapes of Central Australia and the forests and highlands of Tasmania and Victoria. Since coming to Melbourne he has earned a Master’s degree in Environment & Sustainability from Monash University. He has worked in environmental education and conservation, community development, permaculture and community mental health. Currently he is studying eco-psychology and exploring the benefits of Nature connection and forest therapy with his clients.