Environmental Expressive Therapies: Nature-Assisted Theory and Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Environmental Expressive Therapies

Nature-Assisted Theory and Practice, 1st Edition

Edited by Alexander Kopytin, Madeline Rugh


266 pages | 46 B/W Illus.

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Environmental Expressive Therapies contributes to the emerging phenomenon of eco-arts therapy by highlighting the work that international expressive arts therapists have accomplished to establish a framework for incorporating nature as a partner in creative/expressive arts therapy practices. Each of the contributors explores a particular specialization and outlines the implementation of multi-professional and multi-modal "earth-based" creative/expressive interventions that practitioners can use in their daily work with patients with various clinical needs. Differentforms of creative/expressive practices—such as creative writing, play therapy techniques, visual arts, expressive music, dramatic performances, and their combinations with wilderness and animal-assisted therapy—are included in order to maximize the spectrum of treatment options. Environmental Expressive Therapies represents a variety of practical approaches and tools for therapists to use to achieve multiple treatment goals and promote sustainable lifestyles for individuals, families, and communities.


"This thought-provoking book is a rallying cry for the integration of nature-based practices and expressive arts therapies. Collectively, the authors provide a theoretical, philosophical, research, and practical foundation for creative therapists interested in the intersection of individual and environmental recovery."

Catherine Hyland Moon, MA, Professor & Chair, Art Therapy Department, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

"Kopytin and Rugh bring together a thoughtful compilation of materials that challenge expressive therapists to expand their philosophies and practices to incorporate humankind’s essential relationship with nature. In each chapter, poignant vignettes and case examples richly illuminate the authors’ environmentally conscious therapeutic strategies so that approaches can be readily understood by readers. Upon completion of Environmental Expressive Therapies, readers will have a deeper understanding of how nature-based strategies may enhance and support clients’ well-being."

Barbara Parker-Bell, PsyD, ATR-BC, Associate Professor, Director of Art Therapy, Florida State University,

"Scientifically, without using stories, the life of Nature's unified field loves to create its self-correcting time and space, moment by moment, which includes us. In any natural area our 54 senses love to blend into Nature’s perfection and this reduces our disorders and nature-injurious ways. The information in Environmental Expressive Therapies tends to affirm this process. It supports our 54 senses and sensibilities, integrating Nature’s love, balance and beauty and we benefitting as Nature reasonably transforms us."

Michael J. Cohen, PhD, Director, ProjectNatureConnect.net

Table of Contents

List of Figures Foreword Shaun McNiff Introduction Alexander Kopytin and Madeline Rugh Part I. The Emerging Paradigm and Theoretical Constructs of Environmental and Ecological Expressive Therapies Chapter 1. Nature Assisted Art Therapy: Technique or Transformation? Madeline Rugh Chapter 2. Environmental and Ecological Expressive Therapies: The Emerging Conceptual Framework for Practice Alexander Kopytin Chapter 3. Nature Therapy – Highlighting Steps for Professional Development Ronen Berger Part II. Nature-Assisted Expressive Therapies Practice Chapter 4. Drawing Nature Jean Davis Chapter 5. Inner and Outer Landscapes: Bringing Environment into the Therapeutic Relationship through Expressive Writing Mary Reynolds Thompson and Kate Thompson Chapter 6. The Art of Utilizing the Metaphorical Elements of Nature as "Co-Therapist" In Ecopsychology Play Therapy Janet A. Courtney Chapter 7. The Art of Mindful Walking in Earth-Based Art Therapy Beverley A’Court Chapter 8. Marble House Project: The Creative Process Inspired by Nature Dina Schapiro Chapter 9. Music – Nature – Therapy: Outdoor Music Therapy and other Nature-Related Approaches in Music Therapy Eric Pfeifer Chapter 10. Expressing the Fullness of Human Nature through the Natural Setting Lia Naor Chapter 11. Digging Bones and Crossing Thresholds: Healing Individuals and Communities through Nature-Based Expressive Arts, Ceremony and Ritual Sally Brucker Chapter 12. Until Death Do Us Part: The Relational Heart of Human-Animal Bonds Straja Linder King

About the Editors

Alexander Kopytin, PhD, is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, professor in the psychotherapy department at Northwest Medical I. Mechnokov University, head of postgraduate training in art therapy at the Academy of Postgraduate Pedagogical Training at St. Petersburg, and chair of the Russian Art Therapy Association. He introduced group interactive art psychotherapy in 1996 and has since initiated, supported, and supervised numerous art therapy projects dealing with different clinical and non-clinical populations in Russia. Dr. Kopytin has also written and edited several books on art therapy and art psychotherapy.

Madeline Rugh, PhD, ATR-BC, is an assistant professor in psychology and visual art at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Dr. Rugh has facilitated numerous workshops, both internationally and in the United States, on art therapy with disabled older adults, art therapy and spirituality, and art therapy and eco-psychology.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health