A propos a recent discussion on the 10,300+ member Ecopsychology group on Facebook of cultural appropriation issues in ecopsychology and ecotherapy:
While America is once again been convulsed with the necessity to face up to its cruel history of European conquest, colonialism, slavery and current racist practices, some in the original European colonizing and slave trading countries have until this week felt none of this applied to them. But in the last few days, amid statue-toppling and calls for street and building renaming in many European and UK countries, The Washington Post now openly discusses the "European blind spot: Though many on the continent look in horror at the United States’ police violence and explosions of racial unrest, fewer feel the need to atone for the imperial systems of injustice that in many cases built the economic and societal foundations of their own modern nation-states." And, I would add, those of many colonized nations.
How does this relate to our field? Some of the culturally appropriated theory and practices embraced early on in ecopsychology and ecotherapy in the US have now spread to the UK and Europe, where we unfortunately find that various Indigenous nature-connection practices from colonized countries have been enthusiastically embraced without the kind of soul-searching that has started to happen on Turtle Island. Some in Europe feel this whole issue is an "American" problem, not realizing that it has also become a problem in the original European colonial nations as well.
The next online gathering of the Canadian Ecopsychology Network will discuss one such complex practice: wilderness ecotherapy. https://www.facebook.com/events/572322546997370/
I'd love to hear from European ecotherapists and ecopsychotherapists as to their experiences with things like sweat lodges, plant medicine, vision quests, four directions work, wilderness solos, etc.
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