Retuning To Nature – Exploring Ecopsychology with Jane Glenzinska
“I chose to join this course without any big expectations. I had a simple intention: to know myself a little better, and let nature steer the process. From our first weekend on zoom, talking openly to strangers hundreds of miles apart, I felt something new opening up inside, a quiet and inviting forest path, to a place I’d never been before, but had always wondered “what’s down there…”. What came next was a revelation. I’ve grown hooves and antlers. My eyes are whiter. My skin responds to the weather. The hair on my neck tells me what’s really worth living for. This process, however it might be explained, has changed the course of my life in a way I can only just begin to praise. And yet so much has changed. My love for nature, human nature, and our biological beginnings in the cold damp darkness of earth, is shining. Through some bizarre magic, I’ve discovered gifts long in the making, and the Earth is calling out for me to share them. I’ve witnessed tectonic shifts in my fellow participants, now friends. Their faces look different, confident, and strong. The kind of strengthening you get from relaxing into your truest nature. Deepening our roots to a place of wisdom that has the grace to weather the troubling patterns of our age.
It was so good. I could do it all over again. It’s with enormous gratitude for Jane’s loving hands that have sculpted this beautiful experience, that I say, if you’ve found yourself here, then keep going, it’s waiting for you”.
What is Ecopsychology?
1. The study of our emotional bond with the Earth
2. Re-defining “sanity” to reflect that fact that the whole world matters
3. The emerging synthesis of ecology and psychology
4. The search for an environmentally-based standard of mental health
5. The skillful application of ecological insight to the practice of psychotherapy
Ecopsychology is a broad subject matter which blossoms and blurs into overlapping topographies of deep ecology, eastern mysticism, transpersonal psychology, animism, shamanism and even quantum physics. Fundamentally, it is concerned with the process of repositioning the human psyche within the natural world to allow for a reawakening of our ecological selves. Its premise is that we need to fully grasp our culturally conditioned ego-centricity in order to move towards a more holistic and reciprocal eco-centricity. We are the first generation to live with the unprecedented possibility of the extinction of our species and so essentially, ecopsychology is an inquiry into how this shapes our conscious behaviours, unconscious motivations, our interpersonal relationships, energetic interconnections, our sense of self, our definitions of sanity, our making of meaning and crafting of soul.
Re-tuning to Nature: course outline
The course is based on a co-operative inquiry model and as such aims to become a relational and participative on-going spiritual practice for those who attend. Through a holistic experiential learning approach including individual learning contracts, the use of peer groups and peer and self-assessment, the course aims to honour individual differences, encourage student-led learning, facilitate transformative experiences, and build a lasting community of inquiry, support, and practice.
We will come together as a whole group in various formats 8 times throughout the year in line with the four Fundamental Solar Festivals and the four Cross Quarter Fire Festivals that make up the Wheel of the Year. The alignment with the Earth’s journey around the sun as well as a plant’s life cycle throughout the seasons, provides structure for each cohort to engage with explorations of re-tuning to nature over the course of the 2022. The eight meetings will consist of one immersive, virtual weekend and three in-person, immersive residential weekends, with 2 hour zoom meetings in between. In addition to these gatherings of the whole group, there will be ongoing contact with a small group of peers and one-to-one tutorial sessions with Jane. You will also be asked to engage with experiential, creative, and theoretical homework assignments and to present your learning during the residential weekends. A continuous engagement with the course content and cohort is invited so that you are ‘Living Life as Inquiry’ throughout the year and beyond.
-For a fuller description of the 8 meeting points throughout the year, please explore here
-For a fuller description of Living Life as Inquiry, please see here
-For a fuller description of virtual meetings and residential weekends, please see here
Who is it for?
While many Ecopsychology courses are aimed exclusively at psychotherapists, this course is aimed at anyone who questions the wisdom of modern-day customs and culture, who seeks to explore the relationship between the human and more than human worlds or who yearns for a holistic engagement in questioning what it is to be both human and humane. It is designed to help facilitate a personal transformation from an ego-centric towards an eco-centric self and to allow for engagement to take place through experience, creativity, critical thinking, and practical application. It is for those who are willing to re-define social realities, to participate whole-heartedly and to take full responsibility for their learning journey. This course requires wholehearted engagement while foregoing the comforts and accoutrements of modernity for three weekends of basic woodland living and while foregoing the distractions of domesticity for the initial weekend of virtual immersion.
How is it taught?
Transformative Education/ Holistic Learning
As the subject of Ecopsychology concerns itself with the facilitation of the transformation from ego-centric to eco-centric ways of being, the course is built upon theoretical foundations of transformative education and holistic learning. At its core, transformative learning is a process of perspective transformation to include our concepts of self, our convictions, and our behaviours. The tenets of holistic learning are similarly resonant with the subject of Ecopsychology as they attend to the learner’s body, intention, actions, intellect, imagination, intuition, emotions, and empathic, psychic, and spiritual dimensions. It requires learners to be fully participant in their own learning and in the learning of their peers in an intimate, resonant, and affective mode where there are no external experts, no lectures or exams and no marks out of 100.
There will be ‘homework’ assignments between each weekend and although these will be outlined by the facilitator, they will be defined by self-learning contracts: you will set yourself up to fulfil your own requirements and these learning contracts and their outcomes will be overseen by peers. This learning model allows for deep and lasting shifts in perspective, or as one previous participant put it, ‘the learning is now in my bones and it’s not going anywhere.’
When will we meet?
The course will meet at intervals of roughly six weeks in alignment with the festivals of the wheel of the year. The immersive, experiential offerings will be held over four weekends, with ample time in between for personal exploration, peer group inquiries and shorter, virtual meetings. (Please see Course Outline for a full description) The first immersive weekend will take place over zoom and the following three weekends will be in-person, residential camping weekends. Although aligned with the 8 points on the wheel of the year, the weekends and zoom meetings will not take place on the actual dates so that practicing pagans are able to join in celebrations with their communities. The dates will be announced later this year. Please email address below to be added to the mailing list so that we can let you know when the dates are finalised.
For a fuller description of virtual meetings and in-person gatherings, please explore here
Where will we meet?
Residential Camping Weekends
Residential weekends are held in Sussex. Basic camping equipment and waterproof clothing will be required. We will agree on a rota for sharing food that takes everyone’s dietary requirements into consideration. There is running water, cooking equipment, crockery and cutlery on site. Further information on practicalities and equipment will be provided upon registration for the course. These are not wilderness expeditions or endurance tests so there’s no need to be particularly intrepid or at peak physical fitness.
Feedback from previous participants
The course is being offered on a sliding scale. Fees cover administration and joining fees, facilitation of the first online weekend, facilitation and camping fees for x3 residential weekends, x4 2 hour group zoom sessions, x3 one-to-one tutorials totalling a minimum of 108 contact hours with the course facilitator and many more hours of contact time with your peers from the cohort.
£1020- instalments of £85/month
£1200- instalments of £100/month
£1440- instalments of £120/month
We believe in offering concessionary fees where needed. However, the cost of the course is an accurate reflection of its value so please only apply for concessionary consideration in extreme circumstances.
Terms and conditions as well as methods of payment will be made available upon registration for the course.
Jane’s qualifications and experiences are widely varied and just about make some sort of cohesive sense when viewed through the wide-angle lens of Ecopsychology. Her academic undertakings include a BA in psychology from a liberal arts university in Chicago, a post-graduate diploma in Counselling Psychology, an NVQ in Horticulture with a specialisation in Forestry, and a master’s degree in Human Ecology which included what was the only academic offering in Ecopsychology at that time. Immediately after completing the MSc, she re-developed and delivered the Ecopsychology module for the Centre for Human Ecology as it made its departure from mainstream academia. When she first arrived in the UK, she worked on a farm with homeless people and as a landscape gardener thus carrying out eco-therapy long before she ever had a name for it. Since discovering the world of Ecopsychology and its related subjects, she has been delivering eco-education to thousands of people from all over the world, planting orchards with young homeless people, facilitating Commercial and Community groups around the city on behalf of One Planet Brighton, working with the Values and Sustainability Research Group at the University of Brighton and delivering projects on behalf of the International Tree Foundation. She has enjoyed further training in the Work that Reconnects with Joanna Macy, Carbon Conversations with Rosemary Randall, Collective Grief Tending with Maeve Gavin ,Sophie Banks, and Sobonfu Some, Non-Violent Communication for Social Change with Neil Howard, Good Grief Network’s 10-Step Programme for Eco Anxiety with Laura Schmidt and Amiee Lewis-Reau, Deep Collaboration with Miki Kashtan, Dancing with Mountains and Making Sanctuary with Bayo Akomolafe. Facilitating transformative processes and collective conversations about the possibilities for enlivening senses and ourselves is what defines her work and makes her heart sing.
Application process for 2022 - please read carefully.
To apply, please email [email protected] with ‘ECOPSYCH 2022’ in the subject box.
Please submit a personal statement that addresses these questions (no more than 1000 words please):
* What is it about ecopsychology that interests you?
* How might you apply what you learn about ecopsychology on this course to your everyday life?
* What life experience do you feel you bring that relates to this course?
*What support systems do you have in place to sustain and support you through a transformative process?
If you are uncomfortable with providing written responses to these questions, you are welcome to send a voice or video clip or to get in touch to arrange a phone or video call instead.
Applications will be dealt with on a first come-first served basis and places are limited to a maximum number of 7 participants per cohort. If you have a group of 6 people who would like to undertake the course in a different location, please get in touch to inquire.