1st Edition

Nature in Mind Systemic Thinking and Imagination in Ecopsychology and Mental Health

By Roger Duncan Copyright 2018

    Nature in Mind explores a kind of madness at the core of the developed world that has separated the growth of human cultural systems from the destruction of the environment on which these systems depend. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the contemporary Western lifestyle not only has a negative impact on the ecosystems of the earth but also has a detrimental effect on human health and psychological wellbeing. The book compares the work of Gregory Bateson and Henry Corbin and shows how an understanding of the "imaginal world" within the practice of systemic psychotherapy and ecopsychology could provide a language shared by both nature and mind. This book argues the case for bringing nature-based work into mainstream education and therapy practice. It is an invitation to radically reimagine the relationship between humans and nature and provides a practical and epistemological guide to reconnecting human thinking with the ecosystems of the earth.


    About the author


    Chapter 1

    Our indigenous heritage

    Chapter 2

    The wilderness experience

    Chapter 3

    Mind and nature revisited

    Chapter 4

    Into the woods

    Chapter 5

    Maps and territories

    Chapter 6

    Soul encounter beyond the borders of language

    Chapter 7

    Patterns of systemic relationships in nature

    Chapter 8

    Reimagining human development





    Roger Duncan is a registered Systemic Psychotherapist who works with children and adolescents in the NHS and in private practice with individuals, families, and organizations.

    "In this remarkable book Roger Duncan presents a merging of his life experiences teaching adolescents, vision-questing, and practicing psychotherapy together with theories ranging from language studies, Rudolf Steiner´s educational ideas, and indigenous holism. In the process, he gives us a glimpse of the relationship between human psychological development and nature--and offers a means toward healing ourselves and our deteriorating world." --Chellis Glendinning, author of My Name Is Chellis and I’m in Recovery from Western Civilization

    "For the past 25 years I have been engaged in the study and teaching of ecopsychology, mostly in the United States. During this time there have been few books to support the growth of this field or my own ideas, as well as a lack of current literature to pass on to my students to increase their awareness of the relationship between humans and the rest of nature. Every once in while a new person comes along and attempts to fill the gap – some have achieved this and some have not. Roger Duncan’s book however, goes a long way towards accomplishing this goal with Nature in Mind. What he has done is provide a good deal of the essential ecological aspects of ecopsychology that is sorely lacking in the literature that is out there. Indeed, making connections with what young troubled youth need in order to heal with how plants grow is both revolutionary and ecopsychological. This book therefore marks a milestone in the field, with Duncan’s eloquent and evocative descriptions of how we can treat (and teach) our most troubled children through engaging them in them nature based practices. It is my hope that those professionals who are engaged in various youth treatment programs will take heed and use the valuable information in this book. In doing so, we may well give birth to a new generation of adults that can heal a whole lot more than their own traumas, by bridging the gaping chasm between all that is out there and all that is in here." --Lorraine M. Fish, Ph.D.