Ecotherapy: A Field Guide

This book by David Key and Keith Tudor presents an extensive review of the field of ecotherapy which unearths a number of ambiguities in the way this therapy is understood and described. The review explores six themes derived from a critical analysis of the findings: human and nature; therapy and therapeutic; wilderness and wild; physical and meta-physical; culture and indigeneity; and the skin-bound self and the ecological Self. Throughout their exploration, the authors privilege traditions which predate the modern interest in this subject. Finally, they propose a new metatheory for ecotherapy practice that aims to bring some cohesion to the field, to honour its heritage and support its future development. Ultimately, the guide argues that great care should be taken in how ecotherapy is practiced and described, as many of the terms currently being used are culturally inappropriate and therapeutically counterproductive.

Available in print and as an ebook on Karnac Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Hive and at your local bookshop.

 

"This excellent book is as refreshing as it is academically rigorous, documenting some of the entangled epistemological issues within ecotherapy literature alongside contemporary accounts of the ancient hermeneutic practice of deep listening to land. It is an important contribution to the emerging dialogue between deep ecology and indigenous relationships with nature"

Roger Duncan
MSc UKCP Systemic, Family and Ecopsychotherapist, Systemic supervisor and author of Nature in Mind: Systemic Thinking and Imagination in Ecopsychology and Mental Health.


"This timely and exciting book provides an excellent overview and analysis of the field of ecotherapy, comprehensively outlining the territory of diverse contexts, terminology and practices and bringing much-needed cohesion and clarification. With a helpful metatheory which incorporates the different paradigms involved, the authors propose an elegant inclusive way of understanding thorny, ongoing issues and debates. Most pertinently, this thoughtful guide skilfully embodies the principles and paradigm it is espousing, including indigenous voices and poetic expressions that sing to our soul and convey the felt sense and spirit of our connectedness and belonging with “the wild earth that holds and heals us all”. Dave Key and Keith Tudor offer a welcome and important contribution to this emergent field so significant for our troubled times."

Tania Dolley
Counselling Psychologist and Ecopsychologist


"A refreshingly critical view of ecotherapy, seeking to make better sense of this emerging field at a pivotal time in its development. I also love the way it attempts to bridge western and indigenous ways of thinking about nature, which is essential to the healing that industrial growth culture so desperately needs."

Mary-Jayne Rust
Art therapist, Jungian Analyst, Ecopsychotherapist, and author of Towards and Ecopsychotherapy


"Accurate, accessible and understands both the subtleties and the gravity of the issues that the ecotherapy world is wrestling with. It offers clarity in a field that can be confusing. I will reference this book in my teaching workshops."

Matthew Henson
MSc UKCP, ICP, existential psychotherapist, eco therapist, trainer and group facilitator in private practice


"Forget everything you have ever heard about ecopsychological therapy. This book deftly explores the cultural issues that plague modern ecotherapy, combining old ways of knowing with new ways of practice. This book takes you on a literary journey into meta-theory and the cultural complexities of modern ecotherapy practice, and grapples successfully with issues of cultural appropriation in ecopsychology and therapy. A must-read for those struggling with whakapapa, belonging and cultural relevance. This book invites a deeper communion about the nomenclature and reframing of modern ecotherapy. Key and Tudor superbly illustrate the inner whakapapa that exists within culture and ecotherapy. A field guide to belonging, nature, and intimate human relations."

John Perrott (Te Arawa/Pākehā)
Associate Head of School: Māori Enhancement, School of Environmental Science, Auckland University of Technology


4 Comments

  1. Susanne6th August 2023

    Hi from England, I have pre-ordered my copy. Very much looking forward to reading it as I have found myself naturally operating in the field of Ecotherapy and want to advance my learning.

    Reply
    1. David Key7th August 2023

      Hi Susanne,

      Many thanks for your comment and for ordering my book. Sorry it’s taking so long to arrive – it was due out in March but there have been delays due to the publisher changing hands. Nearly there now though!

      Reply
  2. Gathuru Mburu10th May 2023

    Very good introduction….looking forward to the book launch when it happens.

    Reply
    1. David Key10th May 2023

      Thank you Gathuru. I hope you enjoy it when it arrives and look forward to hearing your thoughts if you would like to share them.

      Reply

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