In his response to the book by Sally Atkins and Melia Snyder, Stephen Levine not only notes the high merits of their writing, recognizing it as the best book that he has read on nature-based expressive arts therapy, but shares his personal experience in relation to the environment. He notes the human need to set down roots, and also to going beyond the boundaries of a habitual environment.
This review outlines a two-volume edition in German and English that reflects the current state of diverse psychotherapeutic and rehabilitation approaches that integrate work with various aspects of the environment. The publication is one of the first basic works that introduces this relatively new area of therapeutic activity and psychosocial support.
The interview focuses on Arran Gare’s thinking about ecological civilization and the relation between it and new theoretical ecology, strong democracy and political philosophy based on “ecopoiesis” or “home-making.” Gare believes that it is possible to create a global ecological civilization that empowers people to augment their ecological communities. In order to make it happen, complex transformations including the social and economic organization of societies as well as a radical transformation of our conception of humans as a cornerstone of new ecological (eco-human) culture are required.
The interview focuses on James Miller’s thinking about the relation between Daoism and ecology. Miller believes that, to develop a foundation for ecological sustainability, we need to break down the separation between human beings and the world we live in. This can be done by Daoist techniques of bodily cultivation, based on the concept of the body as porous and interpenetrating with the environment. Practices such as these will lay the groundwork for an aesthetic foundation of ecology.
This review outlines Miller’s argument that the Daoist tradition offers an important perspective for ecological thought based on the pervasion of nature in human existence and the porosity of the human body. Somatic practices can build a basis for the aesthetic perception necessary for ecological action. The reviewer suggests that there is a possible convergence between Daoism and the thinking of poiesis that shows the importance of the creative and expressive arts in ecological theory and practice.
Publication of the book Environmental expressive therapies: nature-based theory and practice, edited by Alexander Kopytin and Madeline Rugh by the publisher Routledge is a significant event in the expressive art therapies milieu and related fields of the health-promoting practices based on the creative expression and human interaction with the environment.
This book is centered on the historic damages caused by the early colonizers of America and how their descendants may recognize and heal the harm done to the earth and Native peoples. Louise Dunlap tells the story of the beloved land in California’s Napa Valley: how the land fared during the onslaught of colonization and its consequences of drought and wildfires that are present today. She looks to awaken others to consider their ancestors’ role in colonization and encourage them to begin reparations for the harmful actions of those who came before. More broadly, the book offers a way for readers to evaluate their current life actions and the lasting impact they can have on society and the planet.
The broad range of ecopsychology topics is discussed in this interview with one of the Russian ecopsychological founders and leaders, Viktor Panov. As he reviews the specifics and different directions of this scientific and practical discipline, Panov pays special attention to ecopsychological research associated with the psychology of environmental consciousness. During the discussion, different types of human interactions with natural objects are described, including those corresponding to the nature-centric type of ecological consciousness.
Moscow artist Maxim Demin gave an interview to our journal, in which he talks about the connection of his work with traditional iconography and its interaction with the environment, time, space, his study of natural dynamics and life cycles of natural materials and objects, and spiritual sources of creativity.
In this interview, Gracelynn Lau talks about the experiences she has had that lead her to question her thinking about ecopoiesis and nature-assisted arts therapy. After spending more than five years living in an ecovillage and interacting with the neighbouring indigenous people, she has developed a perspective based on a decolonizing approach to ecopoiesis. Her involvement with the Work that Reconnects, the approach to ecological activism developed by Joanna Macy, has reinforced her sense that although it is essential to draw on the beneficial aspects of being in contact with nature, a truly ecopoietic approach must go further and work to transform our environment and ourselves.
The interview begins with the author summarizing his new book, Dump Philosophy, in which he gives a phenomenological description of the devastated world we live in today. Hierarchy has been replaced by a levelling process in which the boundaries and distinctions between different regions of being no longer obtain. As he says, “All the world’s a dump.” There is no position outside of the dump that is uncontaminated. In response to the interviewer’s objections, he goes on to say that neither art nor philosophy constitute exceptions to this process. Rather, what we must do is be faithful to the experience of the dump itself and not look for exceptions elsewhere. Even the very air we breathe has become part of the dump in which we exist. We must engage in “…learning to be in the middle…even in and especially if one is in the middle of a dump.”
Two artists from NYC, Jean Davis and Nancy Wu, gave an interview to our journal in which they talk about their environmental artistic endeavors linked to Resurrect Studio which entails gathering broken, discarded, but ultimately luminous pieces of glass fragments found on the ocean coastal line. The glass sculptures collectively tell a story of hope and inspiration, of sacred and profane.
Psychologist, musician, composer Vadim Ryabikov - about co-creation with the natural world, geopoetics, ecological grief, psy-geographic music as a special way of human interaction with natural landscapes, transforming the experience of the landscape into aesthetic images that can change our attitude to the environment and have a healing effect on us and our life world.