Ecology is about communication; communication between parts of a system, between beings, between species. This edition of Frontiers appropriately brings articles which are all intensely personal, communicating through the immanent, lived experiences of the authors contributing. Within this Summer 2017 edition there are many perspectives presented, with some overlapping parts and some differences – this forms a burgeoning ecosystem of approaches to combining psychotherapy and ecology.
To begin our journey, in ‘An Ecology of Chaos’ I bring my perspective (inspired by my time in the Amazon) on the necessarily chaotic nature of an ecological approach, and how this familiarity with chaos relates to the process of psychotherapy; How the chaos of immanent experience can sometimes present an answer to questions which cannot be found when an order is imposed ‘from above’. Following this along from this Sam Bloxidge in ‘Guilt, Ideology, Anxiety, Ecology’ talks about the way in which he grappled psychologically with an ideology of purity – linked to punk and vegan subcultures. The process of moving away from this and finding a more ecological relationship with ones self.
Next Suzie Chick in ‘Mother Earth – A Balancing Act’ talks about the importance of gaining ecological balance and the myth of Gaia, how the mythology of mother earth may hold some archetypal significance for our current situation. Following this, Cristina Preda in ‘Goddess in the Local Park’ also talks about balance, drawing on Jungian theory she talks about the link between environment and ecology. How the two issues are interlinked and again how these elements need to come into balance in order for us to survive and thrive.
Next we have a book review highlighting the way in which traditional medicine can be brought into partnership with Western treatment, in a way which leaves a partnership rather than privileging one perspective over the other. Susan Tomlinson, who comes from New Zealand herself, reviews the important new book Collaborative and Indigenous Mental Health Therapy, which deals with the encounter between Western and Maori mental health professionals.
Sam Agnew provides us with a view into her powerful explorations of her inner environment in her piece ‘Phantasmagoria – Art Born of the Void’ in which she elaborates the way in which her art reflects the process of connecting with different inner landscapes, allowing a communication between her conscious and unconscious worlds, providing an ecological communication between the two, allowing her to relate to the void of change and rebirth.
Finally as ever we have our issues dilemma – what happens when you have a client who wishes to drastically change their mental health treatment?
We hope you enjoy reading this latest issue of Frontiers!
Nick Opyrchal (editor)