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Ecopsychology—A Major New Area of Study
24 July 2012
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers
Colleges and universities are offering courses in ecopsychology and other forms of environmentally focused psychology. Innovative strategies and techniques for exploring the intersection of these disciplines are featured in the journal Ecopsychology.
Hundreds of colleges and universities around the world are offering courses and even graduate degrees in ecopsychology and other forms of environmentally focused psychology. Ecopsychology examines the psychological, spiritual, and therapeutic aspects of human-nature relationships, concern about environmental issues, and responsibility for protecting natural places and other species. Educators are increasingly recognizing the value of integrating psychology and environmental content to help students appreciate the link between their own well-being and that of the natural world around them. Innovative strategies and techniques for exploring the intersection of these disciplines in the classroom are featured in a special issue of Ecopsychology, a peer-reviewed, online journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. (http://www.liebertpub.com), the issue is available free online at Ecopsychology (http://www.liebertpub.com/eco) website.
As an introduction to the special focus issue of the Journal, the editorial entitled “Teaching Environmentally Focused Psychology (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/eco.2012.0062)” says that “so-called ‘environmental problems’ are really human behavioral problems.” Numerous resources are now available to help teachers introduce students to the concept of the interdependence between their physical and psychological health and that of the planet, including the subdisciplines of ecopsychology, environmental psychology, and conservation psychology.
This special issue of Ecopsychology highlights a variety of approaches that incorporate traditional classroom instruction, inquiry-based learning, experiential learning, and teaching in field settings. It describes unique stand-alone courses and recommendations of activities and assignments that educators can incorporate into existing psychology and environmental science curricula.
“Our special issue, ‘Teaching Ecopsychology and Environmentally-focused Psychology (http://online.liebertpub.com/toc/eco/4/2),’ is one of the first surveys of its kind, and its examples of timely and innovative environmental psychology pedagogy will be a resource and inspiration for educators and students worldwide,” says Editor-in-Chief Thomas Joseph Doherty, PsyD, Graduate School of Counseling, Lewis & Clark College (Portland, OR).
Ecopsychology (http://www.liebertpub.com/eco) is a peer-reviewed journal that explores the relationship between environmental issues and mental health and well-being. The Journal examines the psychological, spiritual, and therapeutic aspects of human-nature relationships, concern about environmental issues, and responsibility for protecting natural places and other species. It provides a forum for international dialogue among experts from a range of disciplines: psychology and healthcare; environmental conservation, sociology, anthropology, and environmental studies; and related areas such as ecology, landscape restoration, eco-spirituality, and social and environmental justice movements. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed at the Ecopsychology (http://www.liebertpub.com/eco) website.