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A best buy, free, unique, gift idea. Learning With Nature psychology, mental health, art and education courses enable you to improve health, relationships and job opportunities.

Project NatureConnect
Institute of Global Education
Special NGO consultant to United Nations Economic and Social Council





Integrity 101: The Remarkable Benefits of Thinking and Learning With Nature

The destructive secret of natural attraction desensitization and how nature-connected thinking improves health and relationships.

A free, distance learning, online, Learning With Nature course uncovers important surprises in mental health, psychology, art, health and education.




Mardi Jones, Ph.D., is an environmental educator, writer and counselor who has pioneered the use of NSTP in her private practice in Washington State, USA.

Michael J. Cohen, Ed.D., is an award winning author who directs several university programs in Applied Ecopsychology. He conceived and developed the 1985 International Symposium "Is the Earth a Living Organism", and is the recipient of the Distinguished World Citizen Award.


Course Synopsis

The art of this free Learning With Nature course enables you as part of nature, to connect with attractions in natural systems and expand your thinking and intelligence. The course empowers you to improve your personal and professional relationships and teach others to do the same.

FREE COURSE OVERVIEW: We suffer our greatest troubles because the contamination of our thinking prevents us from finding solutions for our problems even when they sit right before our eyes. Learn about an enabling, nature connecting process that transforms our contaminated thinking and its destructive mental heal effects into constructive art, health, education and psychology relationships. Discover your 53 inborn intelligences and how you can restore them. Advance your reasoning, health and spirit. Increase your contribution to the wellness of yourself, society and the environment.



SECTION ONE Course Description and Process


Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson, an accomplished expert in science and speculation, went on a camping trip. They pitched their tent in an open area and turned in for a good night's rest. In the middle of the night Holmes awakened the good Doctor.

"Watson," Holmes queried, "What do you see and what do you deduce?

Watson rubbed his eyes and looked at the open sky and replied. "I see the sky and I deduce that among all the planets and stars in the heavens there must be some planets like earth. And if there are planets like earth there is a high probability that there is life out there."

Holmes replied, "WATSON, YOU KNUCKLEHEAD! Somebody stole our tent! "


For the same reason as the unnoticed loss of the stolen tent by Dr. Watson, in contemporary society far too much of our integrity has similarly disappeared.

While we excellently learn to concentrate on science, economics and technology, we have been robbed of much integrity by a seldom recognized but easily curable mental health disorder known as Natural Attraction Desensitization Syndrome (NADS). NADS causes our quality of life to suffer and our state and national budgets to soar yet few of us even recognize we suffer from the disorder. Why? Because it is normal.

Through the "Watson Disappearing Tent Effect" NADS produces contemporary humanity's most challenging personal, social and environmental troubles.


As demonstrated by the state of the world, yet without us noticing its activity, the Natural Attraction Desensitization Syndrome prevents our consciousness from registering the traumatic loss of our innate ability to register the intelligence and emotional rewards of the natural attractions that pervade nature and ourselves. Their loss, however, causes our inborn biological and psychological selves to want.

To compensate for our great loss most people strive for the substitute economic and social gains obtained by conquering natural systems within and around us. However, when we want there is never enough. We become excessive and psychologically addicted to these rewards and numb to their destructive side effects. Although many signals warn us of their danger, the signals tend to disturb us so we continue or increase our wanting and excessive ways under the flags of progress, normalcy and economic growth. In turn the quality of our personal art, health, psychology and education deteriorate.

As demonstrated in Dr. Cohen's class in the Introduction, just a short visit with attractions in nature productively begins to address NADS. That class has been repeated hundreds of times with the same results. I find very few people, however, who have had such learning required as part of their education nor seek it.



This professionally designed and reviewed course introduces an easily accessible nature connected psychology, the Natural Systems Thinking Process (NSTP). It is a hands-on, learning with nature program created by Dr. Michael Cohen and his workers at the Institute of Global Education. NSTP counteracts NADS by empowering people to genuinely reconnect their thinking with local and global natural systems, backyard or back country. This enables nature's intelligent healing qualities to interact with our psyche and help us resolve our many addictive, often unsolvable problems. It has shown to improve our mental health, psychology, art, health and education as well as the environment.

NSTP works because Nature contains intelligent, unifying, attraction powers that recycle, regenerate and purify contaminated aspects of itself. That is an intelligent thing to do. When genuinely connected to authentic nature, as part of nature our psyche benefits from these restorative energies. It is intelligent to want to make this connection as well as make it.

NSTP is a social technology, a tool we can use to transform our destructive bonds and addictions into constructive relationships and mental health.

This course describes NSTP but does not teach it. Sample activities are offered and their results considered. A ten day, online, Orientation Course is shown to effectively teach NSTP and help people begin to counteract NADS.

I suggest you read some of the questions this course addresses or, better still, give yourself a before and after evaluation regarding your familiarity with this material. To do this go to the questions page and then return to this page

To help insure accuracy, this Course links to an additional 164 references in a companion article. The article documents extensive research that shows that in most situations nature connected thinking improves health and relationships.



"It made perfect sense to me. Cost benefit studies showed that countries whose thinking allowed natural systems to remain intact enjoyed greater economic and social health than countries that had allowed these systems deteriorate. For example: the benefits of letting an intact wetland recycle contaminated water from a town far exceeded the economic and environmental cost of developing that wetland into a shopping mall and then building an electrically operated water purification plant to deal with the water contamination.

This same principle applies to most other areas of contemporary life including the contaminated process by which we are educated, socialized, and learn to think."

- Michael J. Cohen


This short, free course is self-guiding. Simply read its statements and respond to the questions concerning them as honestly as you can.


Empirical Evidence and Thinking

This course stems from a "utopian community" experience in nature and online. Nature-connected thinking theory and system models have been constructed to explain why this community works.

To help improve your or our health and relationships it is well worth taking two minutes to read about and become aware of the workings and outcomes of this community; select here to do so then return to this page.



Most of this Integrity 101 course material comes from parts of the Orientation Course "Psychological Elements of Global Citizenship." However, the learning process here is not the same as there. There, knowledge is gained from direct, empirical, sensory contact with natural systems within and around us, not just from reading words that abstract these systems. The difference between the two courses is like the difference between just seeing a picture of the ocean and additionally wading in the water and waves to learn more about them. To our loss, the latter process is omitted in most education. What results is natural systems within and around us are only partially known and understood, and often misunderstood. What we don't understand we usually relate to incorrectly. This causes the systems and us to suffer our troubles.

This course offers you responders that present quoted different views of the material presented. They allow you to notice and further explore what you think and feel regarding the view they present.

Here is an example of a responder that concludes this introductory section of the course


YOUR EXPERIENCE: Has nature ever taught you something in a deeper way than just reading about it? Can you remember and write down one or more experiences you have had in an attractive natural area that reflect the points made in this section of the course? Save them, they will be of further use later.

Responder: Choose the A or B statement that most closely reflects your thinking and read the response to it.


A. "I am interested in exploring how and why I can make health and relationships improve by learning to make direct sensory contact with natural systems within and around me."




B. "This course already sounds disappointing because it uses the same limited learning procedures I am already familiar with at school."


Option: visit the Orientation Course






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