Ecopsychology is a newly developing area in psychology. A good description of this can be found in the mission of the journal Ecopsychology as written by Thomas Doherty.
In plain language, the mission of Ecopsychology, as proposed by Roszak (1992) is to validate that an emotional connection to nature is normal and healthy and, in doing so, to help the environmental movement to be more effective by appealing to these positive ecological bonds rather than promoting conservation based on messages of fear or shame.
Thus, first generation ecopsychology can be characterized as:
Countercultural (Roszak, 1968/1995), offering an alternative to mainstream western urban industrial and consumer culture
Holistic in seeing the needs of the planet and the person as a continuum and finding support in earth systems science (e.g., Lovelock, 1991)
Ecocentric in terms of having earth-based values and presenting a philosophy of life in the tradition of deep ecology (Naess, 2008; Sessions, 1995)
Experiential and nature-based, stressing the importance of personal connection and sensuous participation in nature (Abram, 1996; Cohen, 1995)
Romantic in its worldview (Gergen, 1991/2000), valuing psychological depth, passion, intuition, the soul, and the stereotypically feminine (i.e., versus rational, scientific, competitive, and stereotypic male attributes of the enlightenment and modernism). ...
A holistic ecopsychological perspective did not readily find a voice in mainstream academic psychology and psychiatry. The outsider status of ecopsychology was also encouraged by its countercultural framing. However, the cultural landscape has changed, and there is eagerness to engage in a discussion of environmental issues and sustainability across academia, mental health disciplines, and public and private institutions. A mission of this new journal is to lay the foundations of a second-generation ecopsychology that honors its countercultural origins without being limited by them, accepts that one can work within the system while also challenging the status quo, and recognizes that tending data sets and tending souls are not mutually exclusive.
This second-generation perspective is influenced by developments in the environmental movement itself, including empowerment resulting from its worldwide reach (Hawken, 2007) and pragmatic attempts to make it a viable and comprehensive social and political force (Nordhaus & Shellenberger, 2007). There is renewed urgency as the psychological impacts of environmental toxins (Koger, Schettler, & Weiss, 2005) and climate change (Fritze, Blashki, Burke, & Wiseman, 2008) make the human–environment relations a recognized concern of psychology and health care.
Taking a cue from Fisher’s (2002) identification of developmental and critical tasks for ecopsychology, the inauguration of this new, peer-reviewed journal gives an opportunity to suggest other tasks: Self-reflection, pluralism, and pragmatism.