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 hours working in the garden. Yet we are also a techlogical species and have been since we fashioned tools out of stone. Thus one of this century'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 techlogical selves. This book takes on that challenge and proposes a reenvisioned 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 essays offer a vision for human flourishing and for a more grounded and realistic environmental psychology.
Peter H. Kahn, Jr., is Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Human Interaction with Nature and Technological Systems Laboratory at the University of Washington. Kahn and Hasbach are coeditors of Ecopsychology: Science, Totems, and the Technological Species (MIT Press, 2012). Patricia H. Hasbach is a licensed clinical psychotherapist in private practice in Eugene, Oregon, and an adjunct faculty member at Lewis and Clark College and Antioch University Seattle. Kahn and Hasbach are coeditors of Ecopsychology: Science, Totems, and the Technological Species (MIT Press, 2012).