1st Edition

Eco-Centred Therapy Revisioning Person-Centred Psychology for a Living World

By Bernie Neville, Keith Tudor Copyright 2024
    244 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    244 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Offering a much-needed update of Rogerian theory and practice, and based on insights from cultural studies and ecopsychology, this book breaks new ground by questioning the relevance of certain ways of thinking about counselling and psychotherapy not least in the current planetary emergency.

    In response to the growing need for therapists to address increasing anxieties about the climate crisis, Bernie Neville and Keith Tudor address the issue in terms that help therapists reflect on their practice. Based on the authors’ previous publications and incorporating new material, this book presents and explores ideas that have been largely neglected in person-centred literature. It re-visions person-centred psychology (PCP) from what has become predominantly its application to individuals to a broader perspective on and about life and the living world. Further, it takes a philosophical and cultural perspective to re-present and re-vision PCP as a 'we' psychology, an eco-psychology, and an eco-therapy.

    This book will be of interest to those working in the fields of person-centred therapy, ecopsychology, and ecotherapy as well as those involved in the education, training, and supervision of counsellors and psychotherapists.

    Introduction Part 1: Ground 1. Taking Rogers seriously 2. The mind of things 3. We is: The ground of being 4. Person-centred psychology and therapy, ecopsychology and ecotherapy Part 2: Conditions 5. We cannot imagine without the other: Contact and difference in therapeutic relating 6. Crying for the loss of nature: Incongruence and alienation 7. Being anxiously congruent, and congruently anxious 8. Accepting hopelessness as a hopeful process 9. Five kinds and four modes of empathy 10. Experiencing and perceiving Part 3: Freedom – with Responsibility 1. Setting therapy free 12. Setting therapists free 13. Setting Bernie free: A eulogy


    Bernie Neville (1938–2021) was a De La Salle Brother before marrying and having a family, an academic, counsellor, and author with a deep interest and presence in person-centred psychology, Jungian psychology, and process philosophy. He was a Professor in the Faculty of Higher Education, Swinburne University of Technology, and at the Phoenix Institute, both in Melbourne, Australia.

    Keith Tudor is Professor of Psychotherapy at Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, where he is also co-lead of a Group for Research in the Psychological Therapies. He is an internationally-recognised author; his latest books include (with David Key) Ecotherapy: A Field Guide (Karnac, 2023).

    "The whakataukī/proverb "Ka titiro ki muri, ka haere ki mua – I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past" instills in us the importance of remembering who we are. Carl Rogers’ original ideas have always been foundational to Keith’s discussion of person-centred psychology (PCP) throughout his career, and he has led the invitation to reimagine PCP with the hope of creating new pathways for practitioners. This book provides another disruption to our familiar and comfortable notions of PCP, and extends our considerations to include cosmological landscapes."

    Shirley Rivers (Ngāi Takoto, Ngāpuhi, Waikato), Head of Mission, Methodist Mission Northern, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand.

    "What a treat to have this book as a legacy to Bernie Neville's lived presence in this world: a fitting tribute to his life as an embodied being, sharing his unique contribution to our 'we-ness' and experiences of understanding and healing our relationships ecotherapeutically. 

    Neville's co-author Keith Tudor has done a fabulous job of honouring their interweaving theories and ideas and bringing this book to fruition: a generous gift to our world. They provide a depth of understanding, an academic rigour and the radical hopefulness we need to understand our pain and anxiety and to find healing, active and growthful ways forward. Accompanied by the soundtrack of Archie Roach, poems, images and voices of colleagues and Neville's daughter, Alisoun, this book sets us free to imagine and re-vision what is possible.

    The book reflects my meetings with Bernie over the years at international gatherings: the embodied excitement of sharing life-changing ideas; the incredible depth of processing and reflection; the challenges of facing and accepting hopelessness and despair and the down to earth, every day practicalities of living as humans; and delighting in each other's company and the fact of being alive. This book has a lot to say about daring to live a meaningful life."

    Suzanne Keys, Person-centred practitioner and environmentalist, UK.

    "This is a deeply moving book on multiple levels. Firstly, there is a profound sense of care and deep respect from Keith and associated secondary authors as they strive to articulate the final published words of Bernie. It is deeply moving in the way this is managed, knowing from the start that this book represents the culmination of Bernie’s lifetime of academic work, yet he was unable to see the project through to its end. Secondly, the book "moves deeply" through its subject matter. We are entering an age of growing awareness of the enormity of the challenge to our very existence from our "planetary emergency". This book offers not just a theoretical framework to grapple with our place in this, but also fosters a deep "hope", informed and grounded in Rogers’ person-centred approach. As such, this book will be of profound relevance to contemporary person-centred academics, students and practitioners, and indeed all of humanity, as like it or not we are all in this together."

    Dr Brian Rodgers, Senior Lecturer, Te Kura Tauwhiro Tangata | School of Counselling, Human Services & Social Work, Waipapa Taumata Rau | The University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand.

    "This is an amazing book. It encompasses and connects us with somatic, psychological, anthropological, and interpersonal phenomena in the whole of nature. Specifically addressing the field of psychotherapy and therapists, the authors gently and firmly invite us to think about who and what we are, essentially. The book offers us a guide to discovering and confirming the universal relating principle(s) in universe, including ourselves, who are never the centre of this planet."

    Izumi Kadomoto, Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, Taisho University, Japan.

    "In this time of ecological crises, too much in our psychotherapeutic traditions appears feeble, unsuited to the problems of our age, or, worse, complicit in those very problems. In Eco-centred Therapy: Revisioning Person-Centred Psychology for a Living World, Bernie Neville and Keith Tudor dive deep into Carl Rogers’ thought and emerge with something novel and urgently needed: a vision of a psychotherapy for both person and planet. This book looks to the past, yet it is about our future."

    Dr Rhys Price-Robertson, gestalt therapist, researcher, and educator, Australia.