Ecopsychology is the place where ecology and psychology meet. It explores questions about the psychology of our relationships with the rest of nature, for example:
- why do we think, feel and act like we do towards the rest of nature?
- what is it about our personal and social psychology that prevents us from living sustainably?
- what can we learn from psychology about making the changes necessary to live sustainably?
- how do experiences of nature impact our psychology? Can they be used to encourage us to live more sustainably?
- how do ecological catastrophes and frightening news about the environment impact our mental health?
- can spending time in nature improve our mental health?
It is a new field of psychology and there are still many different interpretations, some of which are less helpful than others! My own work remains squarely at the empirical end of the spectrum: we are animals living in ecosystems and we must align our sense of self with that reality or we will not survive.