Re-envisioning Ecopsychology

Journal CoverBy Tiffany A. Dedeaux

As I sit here in the final stretch of marketing and pulling together my presentation, Live with Intention, based on my latest book Ethics and the Earth Missionary, I am feeling pulled between my desire to give more structure to the field of ecopsychology with a code of ethics and the controversy that came from the book, Ecopsychology:  Science, Totems and the Technological Species.  The controversy appears to be, in part, from the editors’ call to be more scientific and how that threatens to divide the field.  Now as the only academic journal transitions from the original Editor-in-Chief to the one that called for a more scientific approach, I am not surprised that the journal is now soliciting for papers on a new or renewed vision for the field.  I feel pulled because I am actually disappointed by the call for a new vision because ecopsychology, as a field, seems to always be in a state of being defined and redefined by those who practice it.  While I’m a proponent of regular reflection and evaluation, I do so with the idea that in between those reflections there is action and movement.  I’m not sure, in the case of ecopsychology, that this is more than the first and second generation ecopsychologists again just trying to explain what they stand for.

What are your thoughts on re-envisioning ecopsychology?



4 comments on “Re-envisioning Ecopsychology

  1. Wendy says:

    I’ve only just started the Kahn volume and don’t have enough background to really be an informed commentator on the early visions of ecopsychology, BUT, I suspect that the tenets of the “original” version(s) aren’t so widely diffused or accepted to warrant their rejection or overhaul. Though maybe the new trend is an attempt to rectify something the authors see as … limitations?

    It’s too simplistic to reject science – as a methodology it’s quite useful though when its interpretations result in stark materialist reductionism we all suffer. But as I said, I haven’t read widely enough to recognize either a rejection of science in early ecopsychology OR a swing back the other way into all-science-all-the-time in Kahn and his fellow writers.

    I’ll be interested to keep reading your thoughts on the topic!

    • tadedeaux says:

      I think the idea is that ecopsychology is an answer to what science was missing so to go to a more scientific approach would make ecoosychology less viable.

      This could serve as a clean slate as Kahn takes over but we shall see.

      I shall be sharing more of my own thoughts on the work in the future (and Kahns commentary on my book should he provide any now that he’s emerged from the wilderness and has recieved it).

      • Wendy says:

        Those in the social sciences are often conflicted by the necessity of recognizing, for example in psychology, the non-material (psyche, spirit, soul or what have you) as being part of human experience, while still feeling the pressure to be Scientists in a materialist way. I wonder if this turn toward quantifiable data is a result of this perception and an attempt to bring the materially-unquantifiable into the legitimizing-arena of science. Anyway, I should just go read… 🙂

      • tadedeaux says:

        There has been a ‘need’ to have data to back up claims and then a rolling of the eyes when studies are done because the results seem so common sense!

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