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Continuing Education

Second Annual Oregon Ecopsychology Symposium Schedule

Friday Program

8:30 a.m. Registration and Gathering
9:00 a.m Greeting
9:10 a.m. Symposium Overview   

Section I: Global Issues

9:30 a.m. Adapting to Climate Change in Oregon, Emily York, Climate & Health Program Coordinator at Oregon Health Authority
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the doom and gloom of climate science. Projections for Oregon show increasing risk of drought, wildfires, heat waves, storms, and floods, and predictions for worldwide consequences are even more scary. These impacts threaten our health and the systems that support us, but maybe there is a silver lining in this dark cloud looming? Climate change may be the greatest challenge we have known as a society, but it is also the greatest opportunity to achieve the kind of systemic change needed to improve the health of our communities and our environments. In this session, Emily will share how Oregon’s Public Health Division is working with partners to integrate climate resilience strategies into Oregon’s public health system and how the latest research in psychological resilience is informing action at the social systems scale.

10:00 a.m. Break

10:15 a.m. Sustainability, Globalization and Place-based Education, Greg Smith, Lewis & Clark Graduate School

10:45 a.m. Ecological Worldviews to Advance Sustainability Leadership Education and Practice, Steve Schein, Ph.D.
Based on insights from integral ecology, deep ecology, eco-psychology, and developmental psychology, this session presents findings and implications from an empirical study of ecological worldviews of global sustainability leaders. Drawing on interviews with 75 senior sustainability executives in more than 40 multinational corporations, NGOs, and consultancies, this workshop offers educators new ways that an understanding of ecological worldviews and selves can enhance sustainability education. Based on the pioneering 2015 book A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership: The Hidden Power of Ecological Worldviews this session explores the relationship between high impact sustainability leadership development and the opening/deepening of ecological self and associated worldviews.

11:15 a.m. Morning Panel and Large Group Q & A Session
12:00 p.m. Networking Lunch – Making New Connections

Section II: Practices with People and Systems

1:00 p.m. Ecopsychology Techniques Live Demonstration: Working with Large Groups and Individuals, Thomas J. Doherty, Psy.D.
Dr. Thomas Doherty will demonstrate ecopsychology techniques with symposium participants and volunteers. Part I: Techniques for groups sized 8 - 100+ to complete focus groups, identify key interest or stakeholder groups in communities and organizations, and to explore diverse beliefs regarding environmental issues, global climate change, and ability to undertake sustainable lifestyle behaviors, etc. Part II: Eco-counseling and coaching techniques in intimate settings for individuals, couples or small groups to address grief or despair about environmental issues, clarify motivations and resources, and support positive environmental identity development, empowerment, and leadership.

1:30 p.m. Integrating EcoWellness into Clinical Settings, Ryan Reese, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS
Connection with nature impacts human wellness, yet few resources currently exist in the literature to help guide mental health professionals in the ethical integration of EcoWellness into therapeutic practice. The purpose of this talk is to explore some of the common ethical challenges inherent to EcoWellness practice and introduce ethical principles to help professionals mitigate those risks.

2:00 p.m. Break

2:15 p.m. The Nature Imagery In Prisons Project: Bringing Technological Nature to Inmates in Solitary Confinement, Patricia Hasbach, Ph.D.
A basic tenet of ecopsychology is ‘We need nature for our physical and psychological well-being.’  Studies have shown that direct contact with real nature and even exposure to nature imagery reduces stress, anxiety, and aggression; enhances mood; reduces mental fatigue and improves problem-solving ability; increases cognitive performance; and reduces illness in a wide range of venues including hospitals, schools, and assisted living centers.  Our study explored whether exposure to nature imagery can serve as an effective tool for reducing stress and violence in severely nature-deprived environments such as solitary confinement cell blocks in maximum security prisons, where access to real nature is impossible due to security issues.  This presentation describes the project implementation and highlights research findings for the Nature Imagery in Prisons Project – named by Time Magazine as one of the “25 Best Inventions of 2014.”

3:15 p.m. Doing Good Work with Indigenous Peoples, Cornel Pewewardy (Comanche-Kiowa), Ph.D., David E. Hall, Ph.D.
Cornel and David will lead a conversation around culturally responsive and appropriate ways for Ecopsychologists, and Psychologists in general, to learn from and work with Indigenous peoples.  To help provide a framework for the conversation, they will use a five phase model of decolonization: (1) Rediscovery and recovery, (2) Mourning, (3) Dreaming, (4) Commitment, and (5) Action.  As part of the conversation, they will open space to explore questions of how western psychological concepts might apply to the thought, values and healing concepts of Indigenous peoples, as well as what are some cultural guidelines in working with Indigenous peoples.

4:00 p.m. Afternoon Panel and Large Group Q & A Session
4:30 p.m. End of Day and Informal Discussion

Saturday Program

9:00 a.m. Greetings and Welcome

Section III: Ecopsychology and Other Species 

9:15 a.m. Empathy into Action: Does Definition Matter?, Alison Heimowitz, M.A.
Empathy toward wildlife is a potentially powerful driver of conservation action. However, evidence suggests that not all empathetic responses are the same. Drawing on what psychologists have long known, this interactive session will explore how our actions may be influenced by how we define a word.  Both anthropomorphic and bio-centric concepts of empathy in relation to behavior will be discussed.

9:45 a.m. The Animal Human bond: Companion Animals and Counseling, Pilar Hernandez-Wolfe, Ph.D.
The animal human bond is a well-documented phenomenon that has been around since humans began domesticating animals. Research has documented the therapeutic benefits of animals, and animal companion facilitated therapy as highly consistent with systemic approaches fostering ecological consciousness and wellbeing. Caring relationships between humans and animals have a significant impact on human and animal neuro-chemistry, enhancing well-being. This presentation will examine the nature of the relationship that humans have developed with companion animals and the emotional bonds that enriches both of them, as well as the real and lasting impact on social and natural ecosystems.

10:15 a.m. Break

10:30 a.m. Ecotherapy and Equine Assisted Therapy: A Combined Curriculum
Joyce Korschgen, LPC, EAGALA, Beth Kuchenreuther, M.A., EAGALA
The Center at Heron Hill and Alliance Counseling have been developing a protocol for combining Eco and Equine therapies for 4 years. Working with Native Youth and now the general Portland area, Alliance and The Center are proud of the accomplishments we have made. In the presentation Beth and Joyce will explore continuing progress in the development of the program and methods drawn from The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning association (EAGALA)  applied to our farm based eco therapy program.

11:15 a.m. Morning Panel and Large Group Q & A Session

12:00 p.m. Networking Lunch – Meeting with Interest Groups

Section IV: Balancing the Personal and Planetary  

1:00 p.m. Ecopsychology Techniques Live Demonstration Part II: Working with Individuals on Private Goals and Concerns, Thomas J. Doherty, Psy.D.

1:30 p.m. Discovering our Interdependence through Agenda 2030, Kim Smith, Ph.D.
Achieving a sustainable future requires a transformation of our identities toward local and global citizenship.  With the adoption of the UN’s new Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ecopsychology offers a framework for exploring our interdependence within and across species and societies. This session will examine the SDGs and help participants connect their work to these broader initiatives

2:00 p.m. Break

Section V: Human Equity and a Healthy Local Environment

2:15 p.m. The Oregon Outdoor School Initiative and the Activist’s Tool Kit, Rex Burkholder, Outdoor School for All

2:45 p.m. The Intertwine Alliance and its Health and Nature Initiative, David Cohen, The Intertwine

3:15 p.m. Lessons from Tribal Equity, Se-ah-Dom Edmo, Lewis & Clark Graduate School 

3:45 p.m. Break
4:00 p.m. Afternoon Panel and Large Group Q & A Session
4:30 p.m. Reporting on New Connections and Commitments for the Future
4:45 p.m. Symposium Closing