Let Nature Guide You: Ecopsychology Course

Thursdays from September 16 through November 4
6:30 – 8:00 pm
MacEwan Field Station

Amidst social distancing and physical isolation, the COVID-19 pandemic has invaded our lives in an unprecedented way. Experts have highlighted the complex toll this can take on our mental health. This course aims to provide an experience where you will interact with others and share nature-based experiences to help bring hope, resilience, and positivity into your life right now.

Course participants will be introduced to some key concepts of ecopsychology and participate in hands-on eco-art therapy activities. Such concepts include:

  • Wisdom in nature
  • Engaging with nature and our surroundings beyond the five senses
  • Personal validation through personal “in-the-moment" experiences
  • Interconnections in nature and concepts of time, forgiveness, patience, love, and care as observed in nature
  • Communication beyond language, as observed in nature
  • Finding wisdom in nature and breaking free from societal rigidity and structure

Activities will then be based on these learnings, using personal experiences, ecopsychology learnings, and simple items found in your surroundings. 

What are ecopsychology and eco-art therapy?

Ecopsychology studies the relationship between human beings and the natural world through ecological and psychological principles. The field seeks to develop and understand ways of expanding the emotional connection between individuals and the natural world, thereby assisting individuals with developing sustainable lifestyles and remedying alienation from nature. 

Eco-art therapy is the use of principles and theories of ecopsychology within an arts-based therapeutic modality. It is an expressive modality that explores self-discovery, personal insight, conflict resolution, and inner healing. It aims to connect nature's wisdom with the human inner self. Nature is the mediator, while art is the expressive mode. 

What will each session look like?

Each week, participants will meet in person. The instructor will guide participants through aspects of key concepts in ecopsychology through discussion and group-based learning. 

Participants will then be encouraged to make real-life connections. They will then spend time independently in natural environments contemplating the concepts and will also have an eco-art therapy activity to complete.

When participants meet the following week, they will share their individual experiences and artwork, and engage in group discussions to help add multiple perspectives and insight to the concepts and learnings. 

About the Presenter

Memona Hossain is a mother and wife pursuing her PhD with Project Nature Connect and certification in Art Therapy. Memona completed her Master's in Education at the University of Toronto. She has worked in the fields of mental health, addiction, and developmental disabilities for over 15 years. Memona has taught Ecopsychology at the University of Guelph Arboretum and The Riverwood Conservancy. Memona is involved in eco-diverse conversations, engaging with individuals and groups of diverse backgrounds as they pertain to climate action. Memona is currently engaged in a global research project exploring women from around the world and their connection to the earth and environmental activism.