1st Edition

Terrapsychological Inquiry Restorying Our Relationship with Nature, Place, and Planet

By Craig Chalquist Copyright 2020
    172 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    172 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Terrapsychological Inquiry is a qualitative research methodology seeking a form of inquiry that takes seriously our intense inner responses to the state of the natural world. Terrapsychology is a theory and practice approach that studies, from the standpoint of lived experience, how the world gets into the heart. Oceans and skies, trees and hills, rivers and soils, and even built things like houses, cities, ports, and planes: How do they show up for us inwardly? How do our moods, feelings, and dreams reflect what happens in the world?

    Terrapsychological Inquiry evolved over a decade of experimentation by graduate students, instructors, workshop leaders and presenters, and other embodied creatives to offer a truly Earth-honoring mode of story-based qualitative inquiry, one that changes all involved from passive spectators of the doings of the world into active, sensitive participants. Learn how to use this methodology of reenchantment in a variety of settings inside and outside academia, and by doing so reenter an animate world. 

    Written in an engaging and accessible style, this introduction to a new research methodology will be of great interest to students and scholars of environmental psychology, ecotherapy, and environment and sustainability studies more generally.


    Introduction: Inquiry as Response to the Animate World

    Chapter 1: What Is Terrapsychology?

    "My Name is San Diego"

    Hearing the Soul of Place
    A Widening and Deepening Inquiry

    Terrapsychology’s Ancestors and Allies

    Evolutions of Terrapsychology

    Chapter 2: Philosophy of the Methodology

    Ontological Premises

    Epistemological Observations

    Commitments of Terrapsychology
    Sharing Flesh with the World

    Animism Reexamined

    Chapter 3: Preparing for the Work

    What Kinds of Research Projects Are Suitable for T. I.?

    Comparison with Other Methodologies

    Formulating the Research Question

    Levels and Degrees of Topic Involvement

    Understanding Symbol, Dream, Archetype, and Myth

    Chapter 4: Terrapsychological Inquiry in Practice

    Phase 1: PREPARE for the work

    Phase 2: INVESTIGATE the topic

    Phase 3: COAGULATE the results

    Managing Ecological Complexes

    Finishing the Practice Phase

    Chapter 5: Analyzing the Data

    Data Analysis as Ritual




    Thematic Analysis

    Chapter 6: What the Findings Mean

    Making Sense of What Was Found

    Validity, Reliability, Generalizability

    Significance of the Findings

    Chapter 7: Sharing the Results – and Onward!

    Structuring Your Writing

    Storytelling Your Findings

    Communicating the Nonverbal

    After the Study


    Appendix I: Common Research Obstacles

    Appendix II: Place Assessment Checklist

    Appendix III: Creating Heartsteads

    Appendix IV: Exploring Deep Ancestry



    Craig Chalquist, PhD, is core faculty in the Department of East–West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, USA. 

    "While psychology has taught us how to understand the ways our family has shaped us psychologically, it has neglected how the places we inhabit also profoundly create our psychic space. How are we to get to know--really know--the places our lives unfold in and that are inextricably woven into our memories, thoughts, and images? How do we develop our relationship with a place so that its unconscious layers begin to reveal themselves to us? Let Craig Chalquist be your guide. He has devoted himself to these tasks over several decades. In this insightful book he crystallizes what he has learned so that others can launch their own inquiries into the places that matter to them. As you explore terrapsychological inquiry, stand on his shoulders and tell us what you come to understand!" - Mary Watkins, Ph.D. Chair, Depth Psychology M.A./Ph.D. Depth Psychology Program, Pacifica Graduate Institute. Author of Mutual Accompaniment and the Creation of the Commons. Co-author of Toward Psychologies of Liberation

    "An important new guide for all who struggle to find original, creative ways of understanding and addressing this critical moment in human-nature relations. The denial of subjective experience – in humans and other Earthly beings -- by conventional psychology has been the ultimate modern absurdity, aptly described by Craig Chalquist as the delusion that "jumping off a bridge to go swimming [is] no different from jumping off a bridge to commit suicide." This narrowly limiting, Procrustean approach is part of the reason we now find ourselves tone deaf and autistic to Earth’s warnings and cries. Chalquist’s beautifully written Terrapsychological Inquiry offers us a creative way forward as we relearn deep listening and resonance with all that is." - Linda Buzzell, co-editor, Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind (Sierra Club Books/Counterpoint)