Ecopsychology Book

The first ecopsychology book in Hungarian (entitled The Ecopsychological Paradigm) has been published on May 4th, 2016 and is being translated.

Book review

Zselyke Molnos: The Ecopsychological Paradigm

Ecopsychology is the science of connection to both inner and outer nature, which is the basic condition of health, harmony and well-being, and also an actual answer to the global crisis we are facing today. Having a background in biology, ecology, and psychology, the author interprets ecopsychology as a broad and integrative system that can help us get closer to the basic question: how to be well so that it fits in the well-being of the wider systems we are integrated in; how can we live our colorful diversity, complexity and completeness at the same time, and yet to be united with the world? The novelty of this book lies in completing the literature of this emerging field with several new approaches and methods, and also placing it in a new framework. The ecopsychological paradigm outlined in the book is a three-by-three matrix formed at the intersections of the three basic concepts of ecopsychology and the three elements of a paradigm,[1] forming an exciting, novel, but well-traceable and applicable tool, a guide to paradigm shift.

The structure of this book is symmetrical and easy to understand. The first chapter puts this dynamically developing field into context, briefly presenting its history, theoretical backgrounds, its connections to other fields, and prepares the expansion of the ecopsychological paradigm followed in the next three chapters. The second, third and fourth chapters present and explain the three basic principles of ecopsychology in connection with the three elements of Stephen Sterling’s paradigm model. All these chapters begin with some inspiring questions that help the reader continually expand his/her horizons. The interconnectedness as the first principle of ecopsychology is unfolded through systems theory and network science and then proceeds towards deeper interpretations of the unity by the more abstract phenomena of self-expansion and non-duality. The concept of ecological self – understood as one of the central concepts of ecopsychology and deep ecology – is presented in a new framework, thus extending beyond the metaphorical definition of this concept and interpreting it from a psychological point of view. The third chapter outlines and discusses the sickening effect of alienation (as a second principle) in the context of the three paradigm elements, and the next chapter deals with the third basic idea of ​​the healing, harmonizing force of reconnection, and at the same time organizes activities and practices – considered as applied ecopsychology – according to many different aspects. Playback improvisational theatre as a community theatre form has not been mentioned yet in ecopsychological literature as a means of sharing and working with environmental pain. At the end of each chapter there is a proper message – based on the current basic principle of ecopsychology – for psychology and nature conservation. The last chapter, as a concise essence, presents the three-by-three matrix of the ecopsychological paradigm in its entirety, creating multiple connections between the concepts and thoughts presented previously. The Glossary and the self-readable Notes, as well as the photos and graphics serving as illustrations enrich further the complex message of the book.

[1] Based on the Stephen Sterling’s paradigm model (2003).