Ecopsychology: Science, Totems, and the Technological Species?

Peter H. Kahn, Jr., Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Human Interaction with Nature and Technological Systems Laboratory at the University of Washington, and Patricia H. Hasbach, Licensed Professional Counselor and clinical psychotherapist with a private practice in Eugene, Oregon, and a faculty member at Lewis & Clark College and Antioch University Seattle, have brought together and edited the publication Ecopsychology: Science, Totems, and the Technological Species, a collection of essays giving insight on the rather new discipline of Ecopschology.

We need nature for our physical and psychological well-being. Our actions reflect this when we turn to beloved pets for companionship, vacation in spots of natural splendor, or spend time working in the garden. Yet we are also a technological species, and have been since we fashioned tools out of stone. Thus one of the world’s central challenges is to embrace our kinship with a more-than-human world – “our totemic self” – and integrate that kinship with our scientific culture and technological selves.

This book takes on that challenge and proposes a revisioned ecopsychology. Contributors consider such topics as the innate tendency for people to bond with local place; a meaningful nature language; the epidemiological evidence for the health benefits of nature interaction; the theory and practice of ecotherapy; Gaia theory; ecovillages; the neuroscience of perceiving natural beauty; and sacred geography. Taken together, the chapters integrate our totemic sensibilities with science and technology, and offer a vision for human flourishing.

The book can be bought here.