Remedy for the 'Last Child in the Woods' Crisis: Controversy Flares as Outdoor Education Offers Human-Nature Psychology Antidote to Improve Mental Health

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FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. - June 27 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- "A form of insanity grips modern, consumer-oriented cultures; it is a nature-deficit sickness that can only be cured by genuinely reconnecting with the natural world that nurtures us," reflects Dr. Charles Yaple, Editor, in his June column in "Taproot," the Journal for Education in the Outdoors at SUNY, Cortland. Disputing noted science writer Alan Caruba, Yaple and his experts say that we have lost the sanity to bond with things of lasting value in nature so we stressfully pursue endless temporary fixes. For this reason we suffer from anxiety, mental illness and the pollution our inadequate substitutes for nature produce.

Taproot's introduces "Ecopsychology," an environmentally sound relationship-building psychology, as an excellent tool to stop the "nature-deficit disorder," that Richard Louv identifies in his book "Last Child in the Woods." Ecopsychology improves our well-being by enjoyably reconnecting our thinking with the balancing and restorative powers of nature.

"Taproot's" lead article salutes Dr. Michael J. Cohen, the pioneering founder of Project NatureConnect who directs course, job, grant and degree programs at the Institute of Global Education. It explains Cohen's Organic Psychology, a sensory, healing way of thinking and feeling with natural systems, within and about us. Organic Psychology improves our ability to build constructive relationships.

Taproot says it offers Cohen's nature-sensitivity enabling tools to help us consciously connect our thinking with the natural world's unifying grace and cooperative ways; because we passionately support what we love, we personally and environmentally benefit from embracing the beauty, intelligence and sanity of nature.

"Gatherings," the International Ecopsychology Journal, states, " 'Taproot' makes a significant contribution to improving our relationship with ourselves and the environment." In disagreement, Caruba declares Ecopsychology is an absurd pseudo-science, a hogwash psychobabble about problems it alleges we cause by living our extremely nature-separated lives. Cohen notes, "Sadly, Mr. Caruba is a victim of socialization that trains us to believe the lies of our nature-exploitive ways."

The Coalition for Education in the Outdoors is a supportive non-profit network of environmental education centers, conservation and recreation organizations, schools, fish and wildlife agencies, and businesses.


Dr. Michael Cohen: 360-378-6313,,

Dr. Charles Yaple:,


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REFERENCES: , , Ecopsychology, Taproot, Improve Mental Health, Alan Caruba, Dr. Charles Yaple, Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Organic Psychology, Gatherings, International Ecopsychology Journal, Coalition for Education in the Outdoors, Friday Harbor, Washingtonm Project NatureConnect, Journal for Education in the Outdoors at SUNY, news, press release from Project NatureConnect and Taproot, Jun 27, 2005, Education and Schools, , , , , Remedy for the 'Last Child in the Woods' Crisis: Controversy Flares as Outdoor Education Offers Human-Nature Psychology Antidote to Improve Mental Health