What is Project NatureConnect?
Within the field of ecopsychology, it is proposed that the modern perception of humans as separate and not connected to nature is one of the phenomena that leads to the destruction of the environment. This consequence is thought to follow in part by seeing Earth and other species as little more than resources or as something to be conquered and tamed.
However, since we come from nature, are a part of nature, and actually require nature to even exist, we feel this destruction through stress, depression, feelings of isolation, and a rash of social ills as we subconsciously try to deny our connection to nature. We deny the pain we are actually inflicting upon ourselves, future generations, other species, and the supportive ecosystem of all life. We deny the obvious fact that knowingly destroying one's life support system is a good definition of insanity.
Project NatureConnect (PNC) presents both an established and accredited academic curriculum, and a validated method of psychologically therapeutic healing through application of the Natural Systems Thinking Process (NSTP). In these roles PNC, and by extension ecopsychology, can have an extremely consciously profound effect and may even become a life altering experience for an individual. Some people express this as mental well-being with increased measures of self worth and esteem, others as a spiritual awakening and appreciation of Nature. Some people talk about experiencing a personal wholeness or in finding a meaningful fulfillment in honoring the integrity and the unity of Nature. Others say they've learned that the greatest good can be simply to enjoy life and cause no undue harm, and then perhaps to take the next step: to constructively contribute to the community of all life in a harmonious actualization of balanced evolution.
As a scientific psychology and therapeutic methodology in restoring natural balance through personal wellness, the Natural Systems Thinking Process is being shown to be highly effective in a number of settings and populations, from at-risk youth to corporate structure. By psychologically reconnecting to nature, we can reverse these self- and nature-destructive activities and trends. Toward these ends, the NSTP based nature reconnecting program promotes physical and emotional health on a personal level, shows how to build healthy and responsible relationships that we are all an intricate part of, and leads to social and environmental health by replacing greed and other destructive behaviors.
The overall effect of Project NatureConnect is to teach and enable people to enjoyably and positively take part in a consciously motivated and balanced co-evolution with Nature toward a sustainable world.
Project NatureConnect, at the Institute of Global Education, recognizes that every individual is biologically, psychologically and spiritually part of Nature's nonpolluting, intelligent ways. Humanity suffers great personal and global troubles because over 95% of our time and 99.9% of our thinking is disconnected from nature. We want from nature's loss, and when we want there is never enough. In compensation and ignorance, too often we enter unreasonable, hurtful, or greedy relationships.
Project NatureConnect's educating and counseling with nature program, the Natural Systems Thinking Process (NSTP), helps people reverse their harmful disconnectedness. It enables them to thoughtfully reconnect with nature and thereby rejuvenate their natural intelligence. We learn how to recycle our destructive thinking, fill our emptiness, and restore ourselves and the environment. This is vital for the wellness of people and Earth.
At the Institute of Global Education (IGE), a nonprofit organization that is a special NGO consultant to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Project NatureConnect researches and teaches NSTP in order to make it available to the public via education in most disciplines and fields of endeavor. The stated purpose of IGE is: To research and provide education that helps the United Nations meet its manifesto for environmentally responsible personal growth and social justice.
About Dr. Cohen
Applied Ecopsychologist Michael J. Cohen, Ed.D., conceived of Project NatureConnect during 45 years of founding and directing outdoor environmental education programs including the Trailside Country School and the National Audubon Society Expedition Institute at Lesley College. His books include the award-winning Connecting With Nature: Creating Moments that Let Earth Teach, Reconnecting With Nature, and Well Mind, Well Earth. He is the Director of the Department of Integrated Ecology for IGE, and the Chair of the Applied Ecopsychology Department of Greenwich University. Dr. Cohen conceived the 1985 National Audubon International Symposium and Conference "Is the Earth a Living Organism?" and is the recipient of the Distinguished World Citizen Award.
Project NatureConnect April 2001 GatheringTravelogue/monologue/something... pictures (click on the small pictures in the monologue for full size photos, and if you're on a dialup connection, please be patient, as some of the photos are over 1 Megabyte, and the rest are pretty damn close), reflections, and musings by _dave_ for the
This is where I received my introduction to PNC. As you'll see, there's nothing about the workshops that makes one a better photographer, but it's helped me in every other way :-)
When you're done browsing here, head over to Dr. Cohen's website for The Eco-Sensory IQ test. How Naturally Intelligent are You?