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" Seek the truth and run from

those who claim to have found it "

after André Gide

Landscapes of the Mind

July 17th, 2009
For More information see

For More information see

As the planet is poised at the tipping point of irreversible climate change, we
struggle to conceptualise this potential catastrophe and its consequences.
Too awful, perhaps, to deeply contemplate the consequences of inaction,
we bury this awareness in order to maintain the emotional comfort zone
of denial. Believing, perhaps, that we are individually helpless to impact on
this terrifying escalation, this helplessness is often felt as despair and moral
How profoundly does this drama play out in the psyche and in our emotional
health? Do psychotherapists have the listening and vocabulary in place yet to
really relate to fears about environmental degradation? How can we develop
this skill? Could a deepened sensibility to our place in nature enable us to shift
from passive anguish to psychologically-robust problem solving and greater
emotional health? What is the relationship between therapy and nature?
Between deep ecology and well-being?
This conference will examine how we can creatively harness our awareness
of our relationship with nature – rather than suppress it – and will question
whether we develop our mental health and cultural depth by relating to
nature as a subject to be nurtured rather than an object to be exploited.

For more information see

4 Responses to “Landscapes of the Mind”

  1. …And this is exactly why our OBOD Grove – The Lothlorien-Nemeton Grove, – is more focussed on Ecopsychology than on ritual…:-)

    It is a work that will become very necessary in the coming years (decades)!

    Best thoughts, Philip. I am finishing my Druid Review.

  2. This looks really good. Reading your previous post with the lovely quote from Satish Kumar where he writes of the world around him being a mirror, it seems to me that the more we understand that the state of the natural world says something about our own inner state, the greater chance we have of healing both. If nature’s landscapes are in crisis, our inner landscapes are also in turmoil – they reflect each other. The clues to our healing are to be found in nature and so therapy that encourages a deeper connection to it, seems to me to be the way to go. I keep thinking of my friend’s experience visiting and staying at various alternative communities. She noted that many of them failed due to the psychological problems that people had; inner pain projected and acted out within the community, sabotaging what had seemed like promising projects. Understanding and striving to heal our own pain and struggles seems a vital componant in the tackling of our enviromental and social challenges. We can’t afford to ignore our psychological health with regard to these wider issues; our inner resilience and well-being are going to be key factors in how we choose to rise (or not) to this challenge. Also, to understand how our collective state of mind is contributing to the problem seems crucial. We are suffering from a collective split in our relationship with nature that fuels a set of self-destructive values. Solutions and actions come slowly because we hold on to a mind-set that does not support their actualisation. Therapy that heals that split could make a massive difference, not only for our future but for nature too.

    Philip, your ‘How to Stay Sane in an Insane World’ would be a great contribution to this conference. Perhaps a subject for a future book?

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