In this issue
Wild therapy (free article)
How can we change our relationship with the ecosystem of which we are a part? Nick Totton argues that therapy needs to help us shift our consciousness and behaviour.
Explorations in intimacy
Have you ever considered the similarities between psychotherapy and the Argentine tango? Claire Spooner explains what the most intimate of dances has in common with psychotherapy.
Sexual addictions in couple counselling
More and more couples are presenting with what are being called ‘sexual addictions’. How can counsellors work effectively with these issues?
Haiti: responding to disaster
Having flown out to Haiti a year ago to offer psychological support in the aftermath of the earthquake, Ann Steel reflects on best ethical practice in international volunteering.
Kevin Chandler: Let us speak one time of live
In the client's chair
Orla Murray: A place to be
From the chair
Dr Lynne Gabriel: Enhanced voluntary registration
The Wednesday Group
Conflict with the Ethical Framework?
Day in the life
Additional online content
Why I became a therapist
Characters on the couch
Colin Feltham discusses with Nick Totton the role of ‘wild therapy’ to address issues of social isolation and disconnectedness with the natural world.
Many readers will be familiar with ecopsychology – the study of our psychological relationship with nature, particularly in the context of climate change – first introduced to this journal in 2003. In his new book, Wild Therapy, Nick Totton argues that therapy itself now needs to play an active part in the way we change our relationship with the ecosystem of which we are a part.
One of Nick’s central arguments is that therapy is by nature ‘wild’ and has always stood against the dominant cultural drive to want to be in control of oneself and one’s environment, being more concerned with helping people tolerate existential uncertainty and insecurity. Much therapy today of course attempts to do the opposite of this: to help highly urbanised people to function and be ‘successful’ in contexts that are in many ways alienated from nature.
In a way Nick is arguing that therapy needs to return to its roots in order to help the world heal itself – a pretty tall order as Colin Feltham points out in our ‘In conversation with...’ on TherapyToday.net . As a self-confessed urbanised, ‘cognitivised’ and technologised individual, Colin asks how realistic is it to expect that radical therapeutic change could happen amongst the alienated urban majority?
As I was reading this piece a couple of days ago, I was listening to Start the Week on Radio 4 with Australia’s leading climate change campaigner Tim Flannery discussing rewilding of the planet. In response to Andrew Marr’s challenge that if we believe in manmade global warming there are no sources of optimism, he also talked about how people all over the world are discussing these issues and the internet is helping us develop a global consciousness, a ‘human superorganism’ which could act as a global intelligence for the planet. I listened to this with a sense of relief that not everyone is – in Nick’s words – ‘in overwhelm, under the bedclothes with their fingers in their ears’.