One thread runs though the considerable diversity of my life; a fascination with the human condition and our relationship to the other than human world. That fascination has never been purely theoretical and I’ve always been concerned with how life might be nurtured to fuller flowering. This thread led me through philosophy, art, activism and academia, until finally I saw the connection; ecopsychology. I facilitate nature connection workshops, practice as a Counselor and conduct research. I have a PhD in Religious Studies and have published work on ecopsychology, animism, embodied knowing and the power of place.
I am a recent academic having just completed my D Phil in Psychology with the theme: Integral ecopsychological investigation of Bonsai principles, meaning and healing. I am a full time lecturer and HOD in the Department of Psychology at the University of Zululand in South Africa and I also have a limited private practice. I have a registered research project working with bonsai and rehabilitation of perpetrators.
As a profession, she -along with her colleagues- manages a counselling service and works behind the scenes to ensure that the service stays open for those in need. She is passionate about providing access to mental health services, especially to those who encounter obstacles in obtaining support. She holds a Canadian Certified Counsellor designation.
When she is not at the counselling office, you can find her online as an instructor in psychology (and soon: ecopsychology!) for a global online university. Or you might catch her buying yet another book for her dream library.
Intensely interested in nature of all kinds (Nature with a capital N, human nature, animal nature, nature of relationships, etc.), much of her studies and leisure are related to ecopsychology, ecotherapy, psychology, relational cultural theory, and others.
Convinced that much of our nature is connected to early development and inheritance, Mary is also drawn to subjects like neuroscience, attachment, epigenetics, the formation of values and culture and their relationship to identity, and the subsequent effects of all these on individual and generational resilience.
On a path of unhurried spiritual reflection, she is undergoing a process of decolonization and development by re-immersing in inherited nature-based indigenous traditions and philosophy. One of her most valued inheritance is the innate understanding of living nature namelessly and corporeally (how does one explain this?). She wishes to integrate decolonization methods in the study and teaching of ecopsychology, and in the practice of ecotherapy.
When there’s an extra minute or two, she volunteers for a center on indigenous studies, a school of Thai massage, and sits on a couple of non-profit boards. And when she gets more than a minute, she may dance, pick up a paintbrush, use an old typewriter, and give massage. Everyday she non-verbally communicates with plants and animals and gives thanks through the air. She also sings for no reason at all and to no one in particular.
She hopes to widen her eco-sensitive connections through this directory.
I identify as a depth therapist – psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and ISTDP (intensive short term dynamic psychotherapy.) I have also researched, written about, and practice ecopsychology/ecotherapy. With some clients this includes doing outdoor therapy sessions, when appropriate. At times I also draw on mindfulness and buddhist perspectives.
At times I am able to offer reduced fees to activists, and am available for sessions via skype for those who are not Christchurch or NZ based.
Selina has a strong interest in environmental issues and is committed to supporting people with the impacts of climate change. For example, helping people to understand and address the psychological impacts of climate change, developing personal sustainability to reduce burn-out, and offering a place for people to be heard and seen (to counter the denial and invisibility of climate change).
Selina is a practicing Buddhist and draws on mindfulness practices in her therapy work. She also runs mindfulness workshops with activists, and is developing her work to support organisations working directly with issues related to climate change.
The Centre has been established to further research into the links between Ecopsychology, health and wellbeing.
The Director is Prof Stephen Palmer PhD.
The Centre for Ecopsychology and Wellbeing, International Academy for Professional Development, has been launched to further research into the links between Ecopsychology, health and wellbeing.
The Centre offers an Ecopsychology coaching service. Ecopsychology coaching is an approach to coaching informed by evidence based ecopsychology research. It focuses on enhancing physical and psychological wellbeing through facilitating coachees to maximise the opportunities to undertake Green Exercise and other interventions involving the natural environment.
The Centre for Ecopsychology and Wellbeing, International Academy for Professional Development, runs accredited and recognised coaching courses.
The Centre staff are psychologists, biologists, scientists, psychotherapists and health educators.