Use the wonders of nature to solve patients' psychological problems.
What does an Ecopsychologist do?
The world today is a crazy place. Literally, according to Ecopsychologists, who hypothesize that humanity’s disassociation with nature is responsible for many people’s mental, social, and emotional problems. Based on that belief, Ecopsychologists help their patients reunite with the environment in pursuit of greater health and well-being.
As an Ecopsychologist, you believe that the built environment, more than genetics and socialization, negatively shapes the human mind. And yet, that mind is equally driven by base human instincts, which evolved long ago in nature. The result, you believe, is internal conflict that can only be addressed by returning the mind to its “natural” state.
Part Ecologist, part Psychologist, you therefore prescribe environmental therapies to patients who are prone to mental illness, unhappiness, depression, anxiety, and violence. Those therapies might be as simple as walks in the park, or as complicated as learning survival skills, such as how to navigate in nature or how to live off the land. Other examples include animal-assisted therapy, horticultural therapy, wilderness retreats, sweat lodges, ropes courses, art therapy, and meditation.
Whatever the therapy, it’s your goal as an Ecopsychologist to satisfy what you believe is a basic human need for a physical and spiritual relationship with the environment. And when that relationship is broken? You’re the Mediator.
If someone has a compulsive need to destroy the environment, for instance, they’ll come to you for counseling. So will someone who has a phobia of climate change, or guilt about their carbon footprint. At the end of the day, therefore, you’re like a Marriage Counselor — except that one half of the married couple is always Mother Nature!