What Is Ecological Psychology (Ecopsychology)?


If one understands the workings of the world, one can understand the workings of humankind. – Paracelsus

Ecological Psychology As Pioneered at Viridis

Viridis Graduate Institute established ecological psychology theory, application, and practice as an educative rather than just a clinical approach to understanding that humans are ecological lifeforms; the same ecological processes that affect complex narratives and behaviors of Earth affect the complexity of human narratives and behavior.

Ecological psychology recognizes that we live with a complex and responsive planet that acts upon all life forms as much as we act upon the planet. A fast-changing climate is a prime example.

Problems nonhumans and humans face today, from climate disruptions to the destruction caused by ecocide, culturecide, and genocide, are not new.

These interrelated problems stem from human narratives and their practices – from our psychology.

Viridis’ innovative approach to ecological psychology examines how ecological processes of energy exchange, diversity, change, decay & renewal, and relationship reconfigure human narratives, thereby transforming detrimental behavior and practices toward each other and the planet.

Thus, nudging along responsive and responsible narratives supporting life’s flourishing, land-waterscapes, society, culture, organizations, and institutions.

Students want to be effective in helping to educate and reconfigure detrimental practices in organizations, communities, institutions, and professions.

Likewise, organizations and institutions must meet environmental, social, and governance (ESG) requirements and seek qualified candidates to guide this process. Viridis graduates are trained to use ecological psychology tools and strategies to assess an organization’s practices and performance on various sustainability and ethical issues.

Whether you are in an existing profession or are seeking to begin a new career, it is essential to bring ecological literacy and knowledge combined with communication skills and psychological capacities necessary to the endeavor.

Viridis Graduate Institute offers unique programs to assist you in achieving your professional goals.

A Brief History

Distinguishing Our Approach

Although the term “ecopsychology” was already in use by some environmentalists and psychologists, Theodore Roszak (1933-2011) popularized the term in his 1992 book The Voice of the Earth, that posited humans are separate from nature and thus our social and environmental problems.

However, Viridis takes a different approach in that we recognize the impossibility of being separate from nature as we are an ecological organism (i.e., a holobiont, naturehuman, and natureculture).

Viridis distinguishes its theory, practice, and application from an earlier discipline that emerged in the 20th century by J. J. Gibson (1904–1979) and E. J. Gibson (1910–2002), that focused on experimental psychology, cognition, and how perception allows humans to adapt to their environments.

Viridis acknowledges a more current understanding and deeper history of both ecology and psychology that begins with the earliest forms of life and eventually humans, that is not steeped in individualistic, colonialistic, anthropocentric narratives, and forms the pedagogical basis of our academic curricula and learning experience.

The terms ecology (from the Greek oîkos and logía) is the study of home, and psychology (from the Greek psyche, or soul -i.e., imaginative possibility), the study of how we understand who and what we are as “ecological organisms” in relation to other lifeforms and earthscapes, are not relegated to the human experience alone.

All lifeforms carry knowledge, respond to information, solve complex problems, and understand their surroundings or Umwelt. We all live with an agential, sympoietic, and symbiotic planet.

Thus, ecology is shifted from being mechanistic and psychology is shifted from being singularly located within the human realm.

Ecological Psychology examines the interdependence and plurality of Earthlife as a shared multispecies home and the many ways of being in the world that need not be destructive.

A Career-Changing Education

Most professions and industries recognize that policies and practices must include ecological literacy and psychological skills in working across multiple organizational landscapes and complex issues.

Therefore, highly sought-after skills, which include critical and ethical thinking, innovative strategies and collaboration, imagination, communication confidence, ecological knowledge, psychological capacities, and matured sensibilities in problem-solving leadership, are taught within the curriculum.

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Student Testimonials

Google Reviews

Andra *****

My experience with Viridis Graduate Institute has been the most fulfilling educational experience of my life thus far! I was seeking a program that would support my understanding of humans as ecological creatures, and the school’s approach delivers on that and beyond. VGI successfully combines the convenience of online education with a level of regard for each student and faculty that engenders a deep sense of community.

John *****

What Viridis offers is so unique and very needed in education. I loved my time as a student with them. The curriculum is truly on the leading edge of educational evolution towards participation with all life. Don’t hesitate to join if you are looking for an affordable degree with a quality curriculum.