Vital Signs
Psychological Responses to Ecological Crisis

Paper: 978 1 78049 048 9
Price: $41.95  
Published: February 2012  

Publisher: Karnac Books
326 pp., 5 3/4" x 9"
This anthology focuses on our psychological predicament as news of the Earth’s failing systems slowly penetrates our defenses and as we struggle both as individuals and as a society to find an adequate response. "Vital signs" are, of course, the basic physiological measures of functioning which health practitioners use to assess the gravity of a patient’s predicament. By “vital signs” the contributors to this volume also mean signs that such a response is beginning to take shape: signs of hope, signs of healing.

Ecopsychology is part of a much larger movement seeking to develop awareness of climate change together with all the other developing ecological crises (pollution, over-consumption of resources, destruction of habitats, etc). What distinguishes ecopsychology from many of the other players in this larger movement, however – apart from the psychological focus itself – is a very widespread perception of human beings as just one element in the global ecosystem; and an agreement, both ethical and practical, that humanity cannot save itself by throwing other species out of the sledge. The ecosystem stands or falls as a whole, human, other-than-human, and more-than-human; and a failure to recognize this is itself a symptom of our culture’s dissociation from its place in the larger whole, which is one of the causal factors leading to our current situation.

Ecopsychology in Britain has a distinctive voice and unique contributions to make. By bringing together these essays, this volume is designed to facilitate debate and dialogue within this new and growing field, in the hope that more developed theory and practice will emerge.

Table of Contents:
ABOUT THE EDITORS AND CONTRIBUTORS
INTRODUCTION: Nick Totton and Mary-Jayne Rust

PART I: CONTEXTS
CHAPTER ONE: The darkening quarter: an embodied exploration of a changing global climate, Viola Sampson
CHAPTER TWO: “It’s snowing less”: narratives of a transformed relationship between humans and their environments, Susan Bodnar
CHAPTER THREE: Gaia living with AIDS: towards reconnecting humanity with ecosystem autopoiesis using metaphors of the immune system, Peter Chatalos
CHAPTER FOUR: Longing to be human: evolving ourselves in healing the earth, Paul Maiteny

PART II: OTHER-THAN-HUMAN AND MORE-THAN-HUMAN
CHAPTER FIVE: The ecology of the unconscious, Margaret Kerr and David Key
CHAPTER SIX: Remembering the forgotten tongue, Kelvin Hall
CHAPTER SEVEN: Restoring our daemons, G. A. Bradshaw
CHAPTER EIGHT: Ecopsychology and education: place literacy in early childhood education, Inger Birkeland and Astri Aasen

PART III: THE VIEW FROM POSTMODERNISM
CHAPTER NINE: The ecology of phantasy: ecopsychoanalysis and the three ecologies, Joseph Dodds
CHAPTER TEN: Did Lacan go camping? Psychotherapy in search of an ecological self, Martin Jordan

PART IV: WHAT TO DO—POSSIBLE FUTURES
CHAPTER ELEVEN: Ecological intimacy, Mary-Jayne Rust
CHAPTER TWELVE: The politics of transformation in the global crisis, Mick Collins, William Hughes, and Andrew Samuels
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: “Heart and soul”: inner and outer within the transition movement, Hilary Prentice
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: “What if it were true …”, Jerome Bernstein

PART V: WHAT TO DO—INFLUENCING ATTITUDES
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: Back to nature, then back to the office, Tom Crompton
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: Denial, sacrifice, and the ecological self, Sandra White
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Fragile identities and consumption: the use of “Carbon Conversations” in changing people’s relationship to “stuff”, Rosemary Randall
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: The Natural Change Project, David Key and Margaret Kerr

PART VI: WHAT TO DO—CLINICAL PRACTICE
CHAPTER NINETEEN: “Nothing’s out of order”: towards an ecological therapy, Nick Totton
CHAPTER TWENTY: Dangerous margins: recovering the stem cells of the psyche, Chris Robertson

REFERENCES
INDEX



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