When two people form a couple, they also unwittingly form a kind of unintentional community of these intra-psychic street kids. And, once the honeymoon is over, all of these parts make themselves felt. Sometimes they hook into each other unhelpfully. Perhaps one of your parts withdraws from contact for fear of hurt, and this activates the part of me that is terrified of abandonment. Before long we find ourselves in difficult interactions - activated, angry, scared, defensive, or resentful. We are often stunned and confused by our own feelings or the words of our partners.
In one way, eco-psychology is the result of psychology trying to grapple with this “belated concern for the fate of the planet”. As we shall see, until recently, Western psychology has been strangely silent about the natural world that gave rise to it.
So what is eco-psychology? We might say that it is an ecologically informed psychology. As a field, it asks the question, “What would psychology look like if it were grounded in an ecological perspective?”
I’m convinced that through our lack of courage we are undermining our children. In 21st century Australia, “safety is everything”. No running, no touching, no climbing. There it is, we’re all safe, but are we slowly dying on the inside? Is the absolute emphasis on safety actually keeping us safe from harm? I doubt it.
The question at the heart of this inquiry is: What happens when a person spends time alone with nature? The inquiry was born out of a longstanding personal interest in the experience of being alone with nature, and a sense that a deeper experiential understanding of the human-nature connection might contribute to a healthier relationship between humanity and its home planet. The inquiry was conducted over three years between 2014 and 2017.