Our August Mother Nature is suffering: The Eco-Phenomenological Approach in Gestalt Therapy

Each part of the earth goes under various environmental pressures – to a greater or lesser degree. All the areas, though, interact with each other in the way of handling the environmental issue: An issue that defies national borders, but is related to the social and economic inequalities.

This video presentation posits the below questions:

1. What has gone wrong in our relationship with the environment?

2. Why are truths so difficult to be revealed?

3. Is there a possibility of “magical intervention” that will make us live forever?

4. Is there hope that our attitude towards nature will be redefined?

Gestalt Therapy, as an eco-phenomenological approach, is supported by principles and concepts such as “organism/environment”, “contact”, “awareness”, “polarities”, “existential dialogue” and “social responsibility”- concepts that can help therapists, patients, organizations and society to raise awareness on the environmental challenges of our century.

Paul Goodman invites Gestalt therapists to become “revolutionaries” by attending to social and political actualities and by working actively with these actualities. He reminds us that people who “separate themselves from nature have to live every minute of their lives without the power, joy, and the freedom of nature.”

Facing the culture of dichotomy, phenomenological approach in Gestalt therapy restores the «lived body» experience in a relational stance of organism/environment and enables us to build our relationship with the environment by unfolding our experience and by giving meaning to it.

If we appreciate the reciprocal nature of interrelated phenomena in the organismic/environmental field, embrace the complexity of our connecting experience to the world and sustain the existential uncertainty, we will contribute in taking steps towards developing a new “ethos” in our relationship with the environment, so that we “are no longer living on earth but living as earth” (Bennett, 2010).




Eco-phenomenology, Environmental Crisis, Awareness, Organismic/environmental field, New “ethos”

Important note: This video presentation, which is based on an article first published inEpoché” Journal, Athens 2020 (vol.10, Summer 2020) can be mailed to the participants of the free communication, upon request.