So what is Ecopsychology? Two descriptions:
1) Ecopsychology applies ecological and psychological theories and research methodology to study the relationship between people and the natural world. There is a focus on wellbeing. (Quote from Palmer, 2014; 2015:2)
2) Ecopsychology studies the relationship between human beings and the natural environment through both ecological and psychological principles. Ecopsychology seeks to develop and understand ways of expanding the emotional connection between individuals and the natural environment, thereby assisting individuals with developing sustainable lifestyles and remedying alienation from nature (Blaschke, 2013: 3) (e.g. Buzzell & Chalquist 2009; Milfont 2012).
A related area of social and mental health research experiencing recent rapid growth is that of positive psychology, a psychology of positive human functioning, which aims to ‘achieve a scientific understanding and effective interventions to build thriving individuals, families, and communities’ (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi 2000). (Quote from Blaschke, 2013: 3.)
The impact of the length of the day and night can also be considered in ecopsychology research.
Blaschke, P. (2013). Health and wellbeing benefits of conservation in New Zealand. Science for Conservation 321. Department of Conservation, Wellington. 37 p.
Buzzell, L. & Chalquist, C. (2009). Ecotherapy: healing with nature in mind. Sierra Club Books.
Milfont, T. L. (2012). The psychology of environmental attitudes: conceptual and empirical insights from New Zealand. Ecopsychology 4(4), 269-276.
Palmer, S. (2014). “I’ll go anywhere as long as it’s forward,” said David Livingstone. “You can’t navigate without a decent map,” retorted Christopher Columbus. Closing keynote paper given at the BPS SGCP 4th International Congress of Coaching Psychology, London, 12 December 2014.
Palmer, S. (2015). Can ecopsychology research inform coaching and positive psychology practice? Coaching Psychology International, 8, 1, 11-15.
Seligman, M.E.P. & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: an introduction. American Psychologist 55(1), 5–14.