It’s Not Eco-Anxiety – It’s Eco-Fear! A Survey of the Eco-Emotions

Linda Buzzell and Craig Chalquist

editors of Ecotherapy:
Healing with Nature in Mind

9/23/19

INTRODUCTION

The New Normal

As environmental conditions around the world degenerate more rapidly than the most cautious scientists have predicted, we struggle to cope with unprecedented and deeply frightening crises and unsettling emotions.

We experience multiple new stressors and find ourselves having a wide variety of bewildering responses. We’re assaulted with news of deteriorating conditions around the planet: forests ablaze on multiple continents… heart-rending stories of human refugees fleeing disaster… tales of animal suffering as multitudes of species disappear… scientific studies with grim predictions… video of melting glaciers, plastic pollution in the ocean, clear cut forests. We see the climate changing in our own neighborhoods… hear upsetting tales from distant family members and friends…or suffer actual climate disasters where we live. Floods, rising seas, the warming poles, hurricanes, wildfire, heat waves, extreme weather of all kinds are the New Normal.

In December 2017, the New Normal arrived in our town. After years of worsening drought we were used to regular wildfires and had learned to keep valuables pre-packed for just such an emergency. As smoke and ash made it difficult to breathe, Linda and her husband Larry evacuated as the rapidly spreading Thomas fire began to rage. “We spent two weeks in a distant hotel watching the news as our home area was assaulted day after day, not knowing if we’d have a home to return to. Finally we returned to an ash-covered house and garden – thankfully still intact – and then lived through torrential January rains that resulted in lethal mudflows that killed 23 people in our community.”

The same fiery catastrophe closed the graduate institute where Craig worked as associate provost. On the night of the mudslides, he woke suddenly to the roar of rain on the roof of his home in Goleta and knew something terrible was afoot. Although he was in no immediate danger, he received a call from a frightened adjunct faculty member at the school whose home was surrounded by mud, trapping her. She could not get through to local emergency services. When Craig reached them and gave them her address, he was told that first responders were going down a list of forty or so homes ahead of hers. She was eventually rescued.

Climate change was no longer something that happened in distant places or would happen to future generations. It was here and now, and our whole community was in fear, rage and grief. Simmering eco-anxiety had been with us for years but now we had entered the realm of eco-fear and full-blown eco-trauma.

This article hopes to provide some answers for those concerned about our confusingly wide range of emotional and psychological responses to the deep environmental disturbances in our lives and around the planet. Research on the current disastrous state of the human-nature relationship is underway, but we are still in the pioneering phases of understanding the mental and physical health implications of rapidly escalating climate degradation and other environmental changes and disasters. First we’ll look at some of the newly-named, environmentally-related psychological conditions that pioneering mental health and medical professionals, ecopsychologists and other observers are describing; and then we’ll explore some of the treatment methods that are being researched and experimented with by healers in various countries.

PART 1

The Challenging Eco-Emotions

Eco-Anxiety (aka Eco-Fear)

Many of the emotional conditions we’ll talk about are already familiar to us in their non-environmental forms, but the “eco” in front of their names creates newly-specific meanings that relate them to the environmental causes of the current disorder. For example, most of us are familiar with garden-variety anxiety and the various causes of fear and panic. We’ve read about or experienced the methods generally recommended in Western and other cultures to help us understand and treat that condition. But eco-anxiety is far more complex. In fact, one of the gravest mistakes a psychotherapist can make in treating eco-anxiety is reducing it to an already-familiar individualistic diagnosis and treatment plan, focusing solely on childhood trauma, recommended cognitive-behavioral sessions or pharmaceutical prescriptions.

Craig tends to replace the term “eco-anxiety” with “eco-fear” because the first term implies a cause within the mind, whereas the second recognizes this fear to be a genuine and realistic response to outer crisis. Were an asteroid to be found heading directly for our planet, nobody would use the term “astro-anxiety” and go to therapy to talk about it. We would all get busy on how to avoid or prepare for the catastrophe, including voting out of office anyone in denial about the magnitude of the crisis.

The first step in a successful treatment of eco-anxiety is realizing that a fearful response to a real condition isn’t pathological at all. Eco-fear is completely normal and useful, even if profoundly disturbing. Whether we’re a family friend, a First Responder or a professional healer, the best initial response to eco-anxiety is deep listening with an open mind and heart so that we don’t invalidate the anxious person’s emotions, worldview and fears about what is realistically occurring on our home planet and in the place where they live.

The repetition of “eco” in describing these emotional conditions can be off-putting to some, but it’s good to remember that “oikos” (“eco” in English) is Greek for home. When our home is threatened, fear is natural and even healthy, just as it is in a burning building. We need to take our fears about our current situation seriously and not assume they’re a dysfunctional “mental health” problem or that a person suffering from eco-anxiety is somehow ill. The fear in eco-anxiety is the body’s healthy response to a frightening situation, a signal that something must be done and action must be taken. After all, if your home is on fire, fear and then action are the appropriate responses.

That doesn’t preclude pre-existing, co-occurring conditions that the eco-anxiety is exacerbating, however. Mental health is never simple. This new environmentally-related anxiety or trauma may be triggering older trauma in our lives, and multiple diagnoses may apply.

In Western culture our usual sources of guidance for dealing with mental stress, including doctors, mental health professionals and spiritual guides, are often of little help in dealing with these new emotional conditions. Not because these practitioners aren’t kind or well-intentioned, but because both newly-minted and experienced healers and helpers find themselves with little training on how to understand, diagnose and treat the escalating environmentally-caused public health challenges – medical, psychological and social – that now confront people around the world on a daily basis. Individualistic models of mental health are simply not designed to deal with collective trauma on a planetary scale.

The List of Eco-related, problematic emotional states continues to grow

Eco-anxiety/eco-fear is just one of many environmentally-linked emotional conditions people are now experiencing. As we struggle to understand what is happening to us in unprecedented situations, new descriptions and coinages appear almost daily.  Here are some that researchers, clinicians and other observers have named, and more continue to arrive.

Eco-denial. We block the bad environmental news. We’re distracted by daily life or we numb ourselves out in many different ways. There is also a more pernicious form of eco-denial where people who privately know exactly what’s happening publicly deny that reality because they fear that public awareness of actual danger will harm their political party or bottom line.

Semi-conscious Eco Awareness. As more and more news of climate or environmental issues appears on our radar, we may start to feel uncomfortable and anxious. Or perhaps we compulsively over-deny what’s happening: Everything’s fine! Environmental news is just fake news promoted by people we don’t like! No need to worry! We may also actively scapegoat the bearers of bad news.

Eco-dissociation. The state of being disconnected from and deaf to the pain of the rest of nature. The “forgetting” or delusion in Western and other industrial cultures that we humans are somehow separate from and superior to the rest of nature rather than embedded within it. We aren’t aware that we’re one small part of an extensive planet and cosmos or that what happens to the rest of nature on Earth happens to us. But as ecopsychologists often point out, there can be no human health on a sick planet.

Eco-awakening. Quickly or slowly, we awaken to the reality and enormity of the environmental threat to life on Earth, both human and more than human. The actuality of the Sixth Great Extinction and escalating Climate Disruption become clear. Perhaps something in the media awakens us, or hearing of friends’ and loved ones’ experiences. Or perhaps we ourselves experience a climate-related disaster like a heatwave, hurricane or wildfire. As Carol Koziol, founder of the Canadian Ecopsychology Network, reminds us, we can awaken intellectually or emotionally or both at once.

Eco-anxiety. Psychiatrist Dr. Lise Van Susteren also calls this “pre-traumatic stress disorder.” As we come awake to the enormity of the threat not only to our own lives and loved ones but to all life on Earth, a state of ongoing anxiety may result. Even if we and our loved ones have been lucky to avoid actual experience of environmental disaster, we fear it may arrive soon. As we explained above, this state of fear is not evidence of a mental health problem but evidence of awareness of what’s happening in the real world. This may be the first time someone has experienced this level of ongoing anxiety or it may worsen a pre-existing anxiety disorder that has other causes. Eco-anxiety can escalate to individual or mass panic as people read news stories telling us that we may have only 12-18 months left to avert complete disaster, not the 10 years that the scientists had previously predicted. Ecoanxiety can also become an ongoing eco-obsession with every detail of environmental news. Frantic efforts to live a completely nature-friendly lifestyle is one self-help treatment people in this state often experiment with, but it soon becomes obvious that the problem is way bigger than whatever individuals can do to deal with it and demands a collective, social response as well as laudable smaller, individual actions. Even group ecoactivism may not solve the problem, as eco-burnout can occur and people are still left with the ongoing, escalating reality of environmental degradation.

Eco-rage, Climate Rage. Anger at those we perceive as responsible for the ecocide. Frustrated at not being able to stop the bad actions of others, we may strike out. Non-violent action groups like Extinction Rebellion try to channel this anger into constructive protests.

Eco-trauma and Climate Trauma. If our environmental experience is severe, it becomes true trauma, which doctors, mental health professionals, First Responders and others are now better trained to treat. But ordinary people in towns like ours that experienced climate disasters in 2017 and 2018 now find themselves on the front lines as untrained First Responders, treating eco-shock, community grief and climate trauma alongside other disaster professionals. Ecopsychological training in how to treat eco-trauma is now an urgent concern.

Climate Trauma. Ecopsychologist Zhiwa Woodbury recommends that we use the term Climate Trauma instead of the innocuous sounding climate change. He says, “What is unique about this category of trauma is that it is an ever-present, ever-growing threat to the biosphere, one that calls into question our shared identity.”

Eco-PTSD. Climate related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Once people have experienced environmental trauma or climate-related trauma, they can experience an ongoing state of hypervigilance, over-arousal and extreme sensitivity to anything that reminds them of that event. For example, after repeated wildfires, evacuations and lethal mudflows in our area of California, we may find ourselves becoming tense as we experience weather conditions or predictions of conditions that led up to those disasters. The difference lies in the fact that, unlike classic PTSD, which often focused on a specific one-time trauma, eco-trauma is ongoing and accelerating: what James Howard Kunstler called “The Long Emergency.”

Ecosensitive people. Some of us are extremely sensitive to our own and others’ wellbeing – not just other humans, but also animals, plants and even places as well. These “canaries in the coal mine” are often the first to sense pain in the environment. Some experienceenvironmental illness. Psychologist Jerome Bernstein’s book Living in the Borderland offers a positive and compassionate reframing of this ability. Craig Chalquist’s version of terrapsychology deals with “ecotransference,” the unwitting burden of taking on ecological trauma, whether local or global, as though it were a personal wound when in fact it is much larger than the personal sphere.

Eco-grief. Ecopsychologist and ecophilosopher Joanna Macy, widely known for her books World as Lover, World as Self, Coming Back to Life and Active Hope, was one of the first Westerners to describe and validate this condition. She and her colleagues have offered a wide variety of healing protocols for dealing with environmental loss for decades. “Honoring our pain” is one of her wisest recommendations. Ecopsychology is a whole-systems approach to understanding the human-nature relationship that encourages our deep understanding of the fact that humans aren’t separate from or superior to the rest of nature but are deeply embedded within it. So nature’s pain is naturally felt by us, just as one part of our body may experience a sympathetic weakness or pain in response to illness in another organ. Loss in any part of the whole is experienced by the whole. Eco-grief counselors, death and dying experts and Macy’s “Work That Reconnects” facilitators can offer expert guidance in dealing with our own and our community’s grief over the incalculable losses we’re now experiencing.

Eco-depression and Environmental Melancholia. As we know, grief can become depression, melancholy and even despair if we don’t support people and help them find new joy and purpose in life. Renee Lertzman, author of Environmental Melancholia: Psychoanalytic Dimensions of Engagement, describes a “pervasive state many residents in industrialized regions experience when it comes to our predicaments. It is not a lack of care or concern that is the problem. It is the way we can feel overwhelmed and conflicted. Melancholia is a clinical term used to describe mourning that has not been ‘fully processed’ — that is, remains unspoken and internalized.”

Eco-burnout. Of special note are the symptoms arising in more and more environmental activists and scientists who experience a kind of burnout related to eco-despair as their efforts to wake others or change the situation are rebuffed, ignored, repressed or punished. Many campaigners, climate researchers, meteorologists, biologists, and environmental lawyers now find themselves in acute mental distress as research results and statistics continue to document rapidly deteriorating conditions on Earth without a commensurate response from human society. Their urgent warnings go unheeded. Under the current US administration they may also experience active punishment for alerting the public to the “bad news.” Some ecotherapists are trying to focus on helping this special population.

Eco-despair is the most serious form of eco-depression. For those who are intellectually and emotionally awake to the escalating deterioration of planetary conditions and the ongoing destruction of the habitat that supports all current forms of life, including humans, the lack of substantive progress towards survival can lead to a loss of hope. This can be especially dangerous for those who have invested years in extensive activism that hasn’t resulted in environmental conditions getting better. This emotional risk is one reason that eco-activism isn’t always the cure-all treatment for painful environmental emotions that people hope it will be. For those who have come to the conclusion that both modern industrial civilization and life on Earth as we have known it are coming to an end, despair and grief are inevitable.

Eco-suicidality. Some physicians and therapists are reporting that a few of their patients are so upset about the state of the environment that they are suicidal. The numbers may increase as conditions continue to worsen.

Eco-Acceptance. As Elizabeth Kubler-Ross outlined in her famous five stages of death and dying (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance), there can be a positive stage beyond bargaining (e.g. activism), depression and even despair. Leaving hope behind, some in organizations like the “Collapse” movement, Deep Adaptation and the Dark Mountain Manifesto group take it as given that the human species (and of course many other species) may not survive for much longer. They focus on supporting people in moving into various ways of understanding, adapting, remaining active, enjoying and enriching their remaining time on Earth. It’s a delicate balance, though. Many people may not have the psychological and spiritual strength and discernment to accept mortality without despair or even the risk of suicide. Sometimes it takes a deep spiritual path like Buddhism to guide us in how to accept impermanence and death with equanimity.

Eco-guilt and eco-shame. The idea expressed by some environmentalists that the human species can be seen as a destructive virus or parasite on planet Earth has caused some people to feel deep guilt and shame about human-caused ecocide. Others focus on their own personal environmental sins, not just to improve their behavior – which can be a healthy response – but to berate themselves for continuing to do Earth-harming activities. This can devolve into environmentally-related eating disorders and a new condition some are calling “flight shame” when traveling by airplane or another planet-polluting transportation without carbon offset action. Deena Metzger also calls this “extinction illness.” “Extinction illness – our bodies, minds, souls reeling with the terrible reality of what we have done, are doing. Extinction is our fault.”

The Waking Up Syndrome. We may find ourselves cycling among the various stages of awakening listed above, endlessly trying to process the disturbing new facts of life. Sometimes anxious, then angry, and perhaps depressed. In some ways this seems similar to Kubler-Ross’s Stages of Death and Dying mentioned above, but here we’re not dealing with a one-time death or loss but with James Howard Kunstler’s “Long Emergency” that never ends. Understanding this can help us have patience and compassion with ourselves and others as we cycle through the ups and downs of the eco-emotional roller-coaster.

Solastalgia is an emotional state of grief or nostalgia caused by the loss or degradation of beloved places. In his book Earth Emotions, Australian environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht, who came up with this term, explores the need for new words to describe emotions specific to our environmental era.

Environmentally-related relationship problems. Marriage and Family Therapists are finding that differing levels of concern about environmental issues by spouses, family, friends and community can cause relationship rifts. Collapse Coach Carolyn Baker addresses these difficult issues in Love in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse. Couples can also have disagreements over whether to bring children into an overpopulated world that is facing worsening environmental conditions.

Environmentally-related Youth Issues. Children are especially vulnerable to a wide variety of these environmentally-related emotional conditions, not all of them pathological. Education on environmental problems is now in every school and even in children’s media. Some children become appropriately upset about the suffering of nature and fearful for the future, needing support and guidance in processing environmental information and finding constructive ways to deal with it. On the plus side, much of the enormous positive energy on environmental issues is coming from young people like Greta Thunberg who are determined to save their own futures, channeling their anxiety and sadness into constructive action and demanding equivalent responses from their elders.

Environmentally-related social justice issues. As ecopsychologist Andy Fisher points out, we mustn’t forget that the Psyche-Nature-Culture triangle requires us to address society’s cruel impacts on humans as well as on the rest of nature. Inequality, racism, misogyny, climate refugees, poverty, warfare over natural “resources” – all must be dealt with if we are to make progress on Earth issues. The worst burdens of climate degradation and pollution, for example, are unfairly being inflicted on people who haven’t caused the disasters, while the wealthy retreat to the few remaining relatively unscathed places. Fundamental environmental justice issues also require us to confront the sending of industrial and plastic waste and pollution to poorer neighborhoods or countries.

PART 2

How Nature Heals Us

Researchers, health professionals, ecotherapists, and community leaders are in the relatively early stages of doing studies and coming up with treatment protocols for improving our physical and mental health through nature connection and immersion (or as some would say, improving our awareness of already-existing embeddedness) and addressing the various eco-related mental health challenges. Here are a few encouraging ideas.

What research is telling us so far. For over a decade, we’ve been tracking the many studies detailing the robust healing effects of even minor nature connection activities like walks in nature, images of nature on doctors’ walls, spending time in community gardens or with beloved animals. Nature connection therapies have proven effective for treatment of many physical and mental health conditions and multiple populations. So far we haven’t discovered a single study showing that nature connection practices have no healing effect on human health, which is why more healers of all kinds, including physicians, are recommending the “Nature Prescription” to their clients and patients. There are a number of theories on why nature immersion practices are so healing for people, but perhaps the most obvious answer is that returning any nature-starved animal to their natural habitat will improve their health. We’re no different from the depleted and depressed zoo-raised creature who returns to robust health when released from her unnatural cage.

Ecotherapies. In our book Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind, we described various methods now being used to treat eco-anxiety, eco-trauma and other conditions as well as for restoring general good physical and mental health. They include nature-immersion and wilderness therapies, horticultural therapies, animal-facilitated therapies, forest bathing, Japanese garden meditation and other prescriptions for improving health and opening our hearts, bodies and senses to reintegrate us with the rest of nature. Ecotherapeutic lifestyle therapies are also helpful, including media fasts, recovery from consumerism, connection with the elements, seasons, places, planets, cycles and stages of life. As we deal with deteriorating environmental conditions, balancing our daily lives with copious amounts of nature connection activities becomes a crucial part of ecoresilience.

Biophilia EO Wilson coined this term for the innate love of the rest of nature all humans have. Tapping into that love is considered a basic part of all ecotherapies and crucial for motivating us to save and regenerate all aspects of the rest of nature.

Joanna Macy’s “Work That Reconnects.” Over the last 40 years Macy has honed a series of psychologically sophisticated individual and group practices to help people awaken to and process what is happening to all of nature in our era. For instance in her spiral work she (1) begins by helping people connect with their gratitude for whatever goodness is presently in their lives and surroundings, (2) then moves into accessing and honoring their pain about the state of the world (3) helps them see with new eyes (awaken to our deep relatedness with all that is) and then (4) “go forth” and contribute what they can. Macy recommends a three-part treatment protocol that each of us can adopt to prevent and treat eco-burnout: (1) engage in some form of ecoactivism (“holding actions”) (2) take a few actions towards creating the world we want to live in (for example, creating a local community permaculture garden) and (3) raise our level of consciousness by perhaps doing regular meditation, learning about ecopsychology or undertaking a deep study of systems theory. This balanced approach is especially helpful for those mired in eco-depression and despair. Macy insists that these healing practices need to be done with other people, never alone. And her study of Buddhist philosophy has helped her deal skillfully with facilitating others in accepting impermanence with equilibrium and serenity, no matter the predicted outcomes.

Earth Dreaming: a set of practices developed by Craig Chalquist for becoming conscious of, embodying, and creatively elaborating our relations with nature, place, and Earth.

Ecoactivism is often prescribed for many of the environmentally-related conditions described above.  Our experience is that this is best done within a many-part protocol like Macy’s rather than as a stand-alone recommendation. Picking up trash on a beach may be satisfying for a while, but soon those who do it may realizes that whatever small actions they take will not stop the onslaught of negative consequences. To prevent burnout and cynicism, ecoactivism needs to include an attitude of doing one’s bit while letting go of the eventual results.

Ecotherapeutic Group Work. As Macy advises, it’s far more effective to deal with the eco emotions in a group rather than individually. The rapidly-growing Extinction Rebellion movement has understood this and combines group support with direct political activism. They ask “Are you suffering from eco-anxiety? Facing the Climate Emergency alone can be overwhelming. As an individual, there’s only so much we can do to lower our personal carbon emissions – what we really need is for the world’s governments to act on this crisis… [Together we] are targeting those who have the power to make changes to the way society functions. As individuals the most powerful thing we can do is come together. There will be no solution to eco-anxiety until we know that adequate action is been taken.”

The Green version of 12 Steps. Another form of supportive group work involves an adaptation of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to deal with green issues. Although of course not a perfect antidote the general 12 Step approach, already a familiar process to millions, can help some people deal with difficult emotions and situations with increased equilibrium.The famous Serenity Prayer is“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.” This approach is easily adapted to coping with our current environmental situation. Some even decide to view Nature as their Higher Power, finding time spent outdoors as not only healing but spiritually inspiring. One example of this approach is the Good Grief Network that “builds personal resilience while strengthening community ties to help combat despair, inaction, eco-anxiety, and other heavy emotions in the face of daunting systemic predicaments. The state of the world seems unmanageable, chaotic even. For those of us paying attention, awareness of our systemic issues is confusing and painful. You may feel pulled to act, but don’t know what to do.” Such groups create safe spaces where people with a shared suffering can articulate their experiences and struggles and learn from each other through a variant on the 12-step process. Good Grief is described as a support group where people can come, speak and figure out solutions to their anxieties about global warming.

Ecoresilience As environmental conditions worsen, taking steps towards personal and community resilience can give us encouragement and focus. Adaptation to changing circumstances is a healthy response to the challenge we face.

Ecospirituality Throughout our species’ long prehistory and history, humans in almost every culture and circumstance have turned to various spiritual, ceremonial and inspirational practices for comfort and guidance. Most mainstream world religions now include a “green” perspective, and “spiritual but not religious” people are turning to practices like outdoor meditation, retreats and yoga to calm their emotions and provide relief from anxiety. This equanimity allows for greater effectiveness in whatever ecoactivism they undertake.

Learning from Earth-centered Indigenous cultures (without cultural appropriation). Those of us living in earth-destructive, industrial societies may not realize that the presently dysfunctional human relationship with the rest of nature is of fairly recent vintage and specific Western origin. Many Indigenous, earth-centered cultures and village societies around the world watch us with dismay. We have much to learn from these cultures about how to live in harmony with the rest of nature. Amazingly, a number of elders and teachers from cultures we have abused and decimated are willing to share their recommendations with us. But we need to be humble in our approach, extremely sensitive to the dangers of cultural appropriation and not rush to undertake wilderness fasts, smudging, sweat lodges and other wonderful Indigenous practices that may be specific to a particular culture or nation. Pegi Eyers, an ecospiritual writer (Ancient Spirit Rising), recommends that before adopting other cultures’ practices, those of Western European descent explore the nature-based, pre-Christian practices of Old Europe.

Ecophilosophy and Green Ethics. It can be healing and inspiring to read some of the deepest thinkers on environmental issues as we move forward in our lives. Some of our favorite writers include PaulShepherd, Thomas Berry, Riane Eisler, and poet Mary Oliver.

Going Forward

The environmental situation is dire. Our home is indeed on fire. Conditions continue to worsen, with little pushback by global governments, international corporations or the general population. Facing up to such an enormous challenge will call on every psychological strength we humans possess. Emotional resilience and psychological equanimity are now critically important personality traits for each of us to foster in ourselves and share with loved ones, friends and community as we all struggle to take effective action to adapt to and hopefully improve survival conditions for continued life on Earth.

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Koziol, C. (2015) Cultural Appropriation within the Global Village. The Community Psychologist, 48(2), pp. 16-18.

Kubler-Ross, MD, Elizabeth & David Kessler. (2005) On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Loss. NY: Scribner.

Kunstler, James Howard. (2005) The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, & other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press.

Lertzman, Renee. (2015) Environmental Melancholia: Psychoanalytic Dimensions of Engagement. Hove, East Sussex, UK: Routledge.

Louv, Richard. (2016) Vitamin N: 500  Ways to Enrich the Health & Happiness of Your Family & Community and Combat Nature-Deficit Disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

Louv, Richard. (2011) The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature Deficit Disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

Louv, Richard. (2008) Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Chapel Hill: Algonquin.

Macy, Joanna and Molly Young Brown. (2014) Coming Back to Life (2nd Ed.) Gabriola, British Columbia, Canada: New Society Publishers.

Macy, Joanna and Chris Johnstone. (2012) Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy. Novato, California: New World Library. Chris Johnstone is a UK physician who works with addiction issues and resilience training.

Macy, J., Seed, J., Fleming, P., Næss, A., & Pugh, D. (1988). Thinking like a mountain: Toward a council of all beings.

Macy, Joanna. (2007) World As Lover, World As Self: Courage for Global Justice and Ecological Renewal. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.

Metzger, Deena. (2019, January) Extinction Illness: Grave Affliction and Possibility, Tikkun magazine. https://www.tikkun.org/extinction-illness-grave-affliction-and-possibility

Nixon, Rob. (2011) Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. http://www.mara-stream.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Slow-Violence.pdf

Oliver, Mary. (1992) New and Selected Poems. Boston: Beacon.

Pretty, J., Peacock, J., Sellens, M. & Griffin, M. (2005) The mental and physical health outcomes of green exercise, International Journal of Environmental Health Research, vol. 15, Issue 5, pp 319-337.

Roszak, Theodore, Mary Gomes and Allen Kanner. (1995) Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. Forewords by Lester R. Brown and James Hillman. Essays by Stephen Aizenstat, Paul Shepard, Robert Greenway, Joanna Macy, David Abram, Laura Sewell. This is a basic text for the field of ecopsychology.

Roszak, Theodore. (1995) Environmentalism And The Mystique Of Whiteness: An Interview With Carl Anthony, The Sun, August 1995. https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/236/environmentalism-and-the-mystique-of-whiteness

Roszak, Theodore. (1992, 2001) The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology. Grand Rapids, MI: Phanes Press, Inc.

Sabini, Meredith. (2002)The Earth Has a Soul: Jung on Nature, Technology, and Modern Life. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Selhub, E.M., MD. & Logan, A.C., ND. (2012) Your Brain on Nature: The Science of Nature’s Influence on Your Health, Happiness, and Vitality.  Mississauga, Ontario: John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd. (only available on kindle)

Shepherd, Paul. (1982) Nature and Madness. Athens, CA: University of Georgia Press.

Smith, J. Phoenix. (2013) Ecopsychology: Towards a New Story of Cultural and Racial Diversity, Ecopsychology journal, Dec. 2013. Vol. 5, No.4.

Stoknes, Per Espen. (2015) What We Think About When We Try Not to think About Global Warming. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.

Ulrich, R. S. (1984). View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science, 224, 420-421.

Woodbury, Z. (2019) Climate Trauma: Towards a New Taxonomy of Trauma, Ecopsychology journal, Feb. 2019.

Wysham, D. (2012, September 3). The six stages of climate grief. Retrieved from Other Words: Bold opinions for newspapers and new media: http://otherwords.org/the_six_stages_of_climate_grief/

Online resources:

Buzzell, Linda. Reciprocity in Ecotherapy (Level 1 & 2 Ecotherapies) Ecopsychology Voices, Canadian Ecopsychology Network, March 2018. https://vimeo.com/254918594

Canadian Ecopsychology Network videos by ecopsychology luminaries on many topics on Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/search?q=canadian%20ecopsychology%20network

Chalquist, Craig. (2019) Understanding and Managing Eco-Anxiety. You Tube, Sept. 22, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt_h9O7zS-Q&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1B6IpBOa0YhHif-_IFAjWLxFwQvpiS52tryhpewF_XFXq94AVpUBp3f-M

Children & Nature Network. www.childrenandnature.org  Richard Louv.

Climate Psychiatry Alliance. Started by psychiatrist Dr. Lise Van Susteren. www.climatepsychiatry.org

Dockett, Lauren. “The Rise of Eco-Anxiety,” Psychotherapy Networker, January-February, 2019. https://psychotherapynetworker.org/magazine/article/2337/clinicians-digest/00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000#

Ecopsychology UK. http://www.ecopsychology.org.uk/ You can be part of this even if you don’t live in the UK.

Equine Facilitated Wellness. http://www.equinefacilitatedwellness.org/

Environmental Justice journal. https://home.liebertpub.com/publications/environmental-justice/259/overview

Good Grief Network. https://www.goodgriefnetwork.org/