Training

Please also see the 'Links' pages for related therapy and psychology websites and blogs - this page lists ecopsychology trainings, and there are many other related trainings available....

This page details some of the different trainings available in ecotherapy and ecopsychology in the UK. Please contact individual training providers listed on this page for more details rather than contacting this website!

 

A useful starting point is a question we are often asked is how do I train to become an ecopsychologist?

It's a good question. There is no complete training available in this field, although there are both long and short term courses available. The first stage for most ecopsychologists is to train and gain working experience in fields such as: psychotherapy, counselling, bodywork or the caring professions, outdoor education or environmental work of some kind. The second stage is to use the wide range of courses now available to help integrate ecopsychology into your practice and ways of seeing. An important ongoing element in an ecopsychology training is to find and develop our own personal practice of which nurtures and supports our re-connection with the earth and other elements.

For practice days and weekend courses see Ecopsychology Ning Website. Longer courses are listed below; each course has a different emphasis.

Ecotherapy Practice

This course explores psychological, spiritual and practical aspects of working outdoors to facilitate personal and ecological healing. It is designed to help you develop the confidence to start working therapeutically in a variety of outdoor locations. The learning process combines theoretical perspectives with practical skills, delivered through a combination of experiential activities, group work, talks and guided reading. The course is split into three sections. A one-week residential programme will be followed by a series of six online seminars, leading to a second one-week residential. There will be a total of eight residential days and six, one-hour online sessions. Facilitated by Mary-Jayne Rust and Dave Key. Location: Common Ground, Common Ground is an education, retreat and ecotherapy centre based on a farm in Fermanagh (explore Common Ground's website for this and other short courses).

Environmental Arts Therapy offers a post graduate training consisting of 12 weekends spread over one year. This course is suitable for final year and qualified arts therapists who wish to enhance and extend their practice with working with nature. Facilitated by Ian Siddons Heginworth 

The Diploma in Nature-based Psychotherapy is a year long post graduate training delivered through experiential learning and taught seminars over 8 weekends. The course is fully immersive taking place in woodland and nature reserves within London. The training acknowledges nature as a therapeutic container, co-counsellor and primary source of attachment. Our own relationship with nature is central to nature-based psychotherapy and the course focuses on supporting your connection to nature through embodied and sensory experiencing. The training incorporates anthropological perspectives, traditional ecological knowledge and attachment theory. Facilitated by Beth Collier.

Natural Change Facilitator Training: A two-year course to train facilitators to lead programmes that use the Natural Change approach. The course is based around four wilderness residentials with mentoring, seminars, self-guided reading and the development of personal and professional practice in-between times. More information.

Natural Academy: is a non-profit, eco-social enterprise which has offered training in nature-based facilitation to individuals and organisations for the past 12 years, with its main training base being a woodland in North Somerset, just outside Bristol. It is nationally accredited with the Open College Network in London. The Academy offers webinars, ongoing support meetings, three-day ‘threshold’ courses and longer courses. It offers a year-long foundation in Ecopsychology and Nature Based Practice, which is a level 3 accredited course designed for people who want to develop their work with others in nature. It also offers the two-year Pathway Diploma in Ecopsychology and Nature-Based Practice which is designed to ensure practitioners are able to deepen already established learning and experience and/or begin t:o work within the 3 realms of practice: 1. Nature, Health and Wellbeing: 2. Natural Healing and Development/Ecotherapy and 3. Deeper Nature/Spiritual Ecology. More information. Course facilitators: Rhonda Brandrick and Michéal Connors. Contact information.

Ten Directions: Now in its sixth year, this ecotherapy programme appeals to counsellors/ psychotherapists wanting to take their work out of doors, as well as to people engaged in outdoor fields who want to include therapeutically orientated work with individuals or groups. The programme, which is grounded in a synthesis of Buddhist and Western approaches, consists of 5 x 3 week on-line courses followed by a practical weekend of skills and theory, held in Narborough, Leicestershire. These 5 units are followed by a 5 day intensive in Wales. There is an option to carry on for a 2nd year of mentored practice. For those unable to come to the UK, it is possible to take the 5 on-line units on their own. More information. Course Facilitators: Caroline Brazier (lead trainer of Tariki psychotherapy programme and author of Acorns Among the Grass), Debbie Swain and Elise Tate.

Wild Therapy: Running since 2012, this one year training brings therapy into the wild, and wildness into therapy. Wild therapy is an exploration and celebration of therapy’s wildness, its capacity to transcend the limitations we place on our own creativity and connectedness. Central to the year is encountering the other-than-human and more-than-human, and exploring their role in the therapeutic process. From this we can learn to transform fear-based defensive practice into contact-based adventurous practice. The sequence of three residentials and a non-residential weekend takes participants into increasingly wild environments, and finally into the city to explore how the journey has changed relationship with familiar domestication, and how Wild Therapy can be integrated into participant's work. More information. Wild therapy was founded by Nick Totton and is now taught by Jayne Johnson, Emma Palmer (formerly known as Kamalamani), Allison Priestman, and Stephen Tame.  

WTR Facilitator Development Adventure: a  one year-long facilitator training and development group journey for people already facilitating The Work That Reconnects and similar eco-psychological processes, or those who wish to do so. Venue: Bath. Facilitators: Kirsti Norris, Jenny Mackewn and Chris Johnstone  (author of “Find Your Power” and “Active Hop” written with Joanna Macy).

There are more longer ecopsychology courses listed within ‘Academia’ below (e.g. see the CHE module).

Ecopsychology within Psychotherapy and Counselling trainings

Wild Therapy, mentioned above, is a 1 year course which is an optional Year 3 of the Embodied Relational Training.  It is an exploration and celebration of therapy’s wildness, its capacity to transcend the limitations we place on our own creativity and connectedness. Central to the year is encountering the other-than-human and more-than-human, and exploring their role in the therapeutic process. From this participants can learn to transform fear-based defensive practice into contact-based adventurous practice. There is one ‘indoor’ residential, preparing for two residentials camping in a relatively wild environment, and a final weekend focused on bringing what we have learnt back into ordinary life and therapy practise. For more info visit the Wild Therapy website.

Sweet Track Counselling Training, based in Glastonbury integrates ecopsychology into their work, including 'Re-wilding Ecotherapy'.

Academic Courses

Undergraduate Ecopsychology

Keele University: offers a Psychology Bachelor’s degree with a module in Ecopsychology taught by Dr John Hegarty, as well as other degrees incorporating ecopsychology. 

Postgraduate Ecopsychology

The Centre for Human Ecology, Glasgow is a network for ecological and social transformation, offering courses for people who want to “be the change,” help organisations pursue greener, more ethical practices, and work towards tackling the root causes of global issues.

 

London South Bank University: Paul Maiteny tutors and writes for the MSc programme in Education for Sustainability. His units are informed by ecopsychology. This distance learning course has been running since 1995.

Nottingham Trent University: David Kidner ’s research and teaching interests are focused around the conflict between the natural order and industrialism, and include the shaping of selfhood in industrial societies, the effects of industrialisation on psychological well-being, and the relationship between culture and the natural world.

Schumacher College, Devon: Offer an MSc in Holistic science as well as short courses in ecopsychology.

Wales University, Lampeter: Patrick Curry ‘s ongoing project concerns enchantment as a common but little-mentioned human experience – one which touches on and connects a wide range of strange bedfellows: nature, erotic communion, art, divination and spirituality. He is also very interested in related issues such as the nature of truth, metaphor, embodied phenomenology, pluralism and post-secularism.

 

Warwick University: John Pickering lectures on ecopsychology and related subjects in the Dept Psychology to PhD level.

 

Warwick Fox (author of  Towards a Transpersonal Ecology, published by  Shambala in 1990) is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Central Lancashire. He offers independent academic courses on deep ecology and more.

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