Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Linda BuzzellEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_9155

As an umbrella term for nature-based methods of physical and psychological healing, ecotherapy represents a new form of psychotherapy that acknowledges the vital role of nature and addresses the human-nature relationship. It takes into account the latest scientific understandings of our universe and the deepest indigenous wisdom. This perspective addresses the critical fact that people are intimately connected with, embedded in, and inseparable from the rest of nature. Grasping this fact shifts our understanding of how to heal the human psyche and the currently dysfunctional, even lethal, human-nature relationship. What happens to nature for good or ill has an impact on people and vice versa, leading to the development of new methods of individual and community psychotherapeutic diagnosis and treatment (Buzzell and Chalquist 2009, p. 18).

Ecotherapy is sometimes described as applied or clinical ecopsychology. If we define ecopsychology as the study of the human-nature relationship (or...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pacifica Graduate InstituteSanta BarbaraUSA