Journal of Organic Psychology /
Natural Attraction Ecology (OP/NAE)
Project NatureConnect Akamai University Institute of Applied Ecopsychology
VOLUME 2 NUMBER 2012-2013 Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Editor
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Ecopsychology in action!
Learn how to create moments that let Earth teach.
Homepage: Remedy the psychological and spiritual illness that underlies our personal, social and environmental disorders.
SPECIAL: A fundamental-unity sensory science reverses the corruption caused by nature-disconnected personal and environmental disorders
Enjoy further information about Organic Psychology and Natural Attraction Ecology:
Overview: How Nature Works
The Distinguished World Citizen Award
July 29, 1994. Dr. Robert Mueller and the Board of Directors of World Peace University, a United Nations special consultant Non-Governmental Organization, today announced that World Peace University Professor Michael J. Cohen, Ed.D. is the recipient of the 1994 Distinguished World Citizen Award. This award honors his extraordinary 35 years as a founder of nature-connected education, healing and mental health programs. His applied ecopsychology methods and materials help us catalyze global awareness and increase personal, social and environmental well being. Through a sensory form of Integral Ecology, in natural areas, backyard or backcountry, Educating, Counseling and Healing With Nature enables us to make conscious sensory contacts that interlace our thinking and feeling with authentic strands of the web of life (webstrings).
The following is an transcript from Taproots, Journal of the Coalition for Education in the Out of Doors edited from a telephone interview with Dr. Cohen (MJC) by Harriet Kofalk (HK), Associate Editor of Talking Leaves magazine.
Earth Kinship: Liberate Your Natural Self
HK: Dr. Cohen, you say that your nature connecting work teaches people how to culture their kinship as children of Mother Earth, that this improves their relationships with themselves, society and nature. What do you mean by Earth kinship?
MJC: Even though you and I may never meet, we are psychologically connected through 54 natural senses. We share a beautiful nurturing home, our living planet, Earth. We enjoy genetically base natural sensory attractions to the same migrating birds, whales and butterflies. We desire to breathe the same air, drink the same water and love our sweet land. The webstrings in Nature' web-of-life community connect us. We are kin.
HK: How is that kinship useful in helping us achieve more balanced and responsible relationships?
MJC: Have you ever sat near a roaring brook and felt refreshed, been cheered by the vibrant song of a thrush or renewed by a sea breeze? Does a wildflower's fragrance bring you joy, a whale or snow-capped peak charge your senses? Do you like pets, house plants or heart to heart talks? People learn dramatic new ways to culturally reinforce and sustain those feelingful webstring relationships and thereby let nature unite and further their lives.
HK: How do your techniques do that?
MJC: In natural areas, backyard to back country, I develop and teach applied ecopsychology activities that create thoughtful nature-connected moments. In these enjoyable non-language instants as many as 54 inborn webstring attraction senses safely awaken, play and intensify. Additional activities immediately validate and strengthen each sensation. This emotionally empowering process feelingly connects, fulfills and renews our inner nature with the natural world's beauty, wisdom and peace. We all sense it in common.
HK: What results from doing this?
MJC: We feel rejuvenated, more colorful and thankful and these feelings give us support. They nurture us, they satisfy our deepest natural wants. As we satisfy these wants by co-creating with nature we remove stress and dependencies that cause our disorders. Nature recycles, purifies and transforms them into wholesome relationships. The process triggers critical thinking that values natural sensory relationships. It regenerates natural connections and community within ourselves, others and the land. We become more knowledgeable, more environmentally and socially responsible. We feel better.
HK: Why do your nature-connecting activities focus on senses and feelings?
MJC: We neither learn nor earn our ability to sense, feel and enjoy natural sensations. Rather, we inherit this gift. It is a biological survival function of, by and from the dance of the web of life. For example, imagine working hard on a hot day, the sweat dripping off your forehead, your throat parched. All that you can think of is your thirst for an ice cold glass of water. To urge us to drink water when we need it, nature created the sensation we call "thirst". It makes us aware of the dehydrated state of our being and attracts us to water. When we drink water, we connect with the water cycle part of nature. It flows through us and we feel enjoyably unstressed, rewarded, quenched, fulfilled. Similarly connecting each of our 53 other natural senses with nature achieves the same results and makes perfect sense. It relaxes and enjoyably fulfills us. We feel connected.
HK: What are these 53 inherent natural senses? What roles do they play in our lives ?
MJC: The natural webstring senses include the distinct attraction sensations of: color, smell, trust, taste, community, touch, nurturing, place, play, belonging and thankfulness as well as reason, language and consciousness. In congress, these many attraction sensitivities sustain our inner nature's integrity just as natural attractions sustain the integrity and vitality of wild populations, for example: wolf communities, ant colonies or forests.
In natural areas or in caring interpersonal relationships, our natural senses are nurtured. They come alive in us as feelings and joyfully resonate and self-regulate with their natural counterparts. The result: we feel good, unified and relate in naturally balanced ways. Most of us have experienced this in natural areas.
HK: It sounds like we each inherit a natural harmonic integrity. How do we lose it in our culture, while in other cultures it increases as people mature?
MJC: As a twig is bent, so grows the tree. Western authorities, from our parents to presidents, teach us to spend an average of over 95% of our lives indoors, cloistered from nature. Collectively we spend less than one day per person per lifetime in tune with natural areas. We live well over 99% of our adult lives knowing Nature through detached stories and pictures, not through the sentient pleasure of experiencing webstring connections with our natural and spiritual origins in people and places. With respect to authentic nature, we are as crippled and bewildered (wilderness disconnected) as a person born and raised in a closet. Our detachment traumatizes, prejudices and estranges us from Mother Nature and each other, from natural love, community and balance. This frustrates or injures many senses, and our disorders result.
HK: Since nature connecting activities promote personal and global integrity, why don't more people use and teach them?
MJC: Most people don't recognize the grave underlying cause of our problems. Our greatest problem is the numbing effect our prejudice against nature and nature-closeted lives have upon our thinking. We grow up unaware that most personal, social and environmental problems result from our excessive separation from nature. We learn to conquer and injure, not embrace, nature's wisdom and sensations within and around us. We lose the benefits of nature's restorative powers.
HK: So you see reconnecting with nature as a major solution to our problems?
MJC: Dramatically, educational nature-connecting activities have shown to lastingly reverse our sensory estrangement and its adverse effects. The activities relax tensions by re-bonding our inner nature to its supportive biological home, the natural world, a form of "higher power". This restores the natural self-regulation lost by our disconnection. Our runaway non-sense changes into common sense, into ethics and stress management. We act from a supportive balance of questions answered by our natural loves and this promotes unity, confidence and self-esteem. Best of all, anybody can do and teach these activities. Therein lies hope.
HK: Where is your applied ecopsychology process being used?
MJC: The nature connecting techniques enhance personal growth in self-help programs and the fields of counseling, education and science teaching. They also contribute to spirituality, peace and environmental studies. Professionals in education, recovery programs and mental health use them. Some Native People call the process "Indigenous Peoples' Science" and "Awakening the Great Spirit within". It is recognized as "Natural Attraction Ecology" or "Organic Psychology".
HK: Do people have to attend your classes to learn how to use your methods?
MJC: No, most people learn the techniques through my home study training books, our email courses on the Internet or my local workshops and internships.
HK: I see that parts of your book Well Mind, Well Earth won a national award for excellence and that Vice President Albert Gore used the Connecting With Nature portion of it in his book Earth In Balance. How may people contact you or obtain your self-guiding training manuals?
MJC: Most of our descriptive materials are available at our web site, or take our free online course. You can write me, Mike Cohen, at P.O. Box 1605, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 (360) 378-6313 or by email or Skype mjcohen6313
- Read an exciting, controversial interview with Dr. Cohen by a traditional school superintendent
- Read the provocative interview with Dr. Cohen by the editor of the Ecopsychology Journal.
A letter from the Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr. Robert Muller:
Institute of Global Education
An Associate of the United Nations Department of Public Information
Portland, Oregon 97220
January 3, 1995
FROM: Dr. Robert Muller
VIA: Dr. Richard Schneider
Dear Friend of Planet Earth and its People,
In recognition of his 39 years as Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, his establishment of the University for Peace and development of global education schools, books and curriculums, Dr. Robert Muller received the Albert Schweitzer Peace Prize and the UNESCO Prize for Peace. Today, as Chancellor of the University for Peace, United Nations, Dr. Muller says:
"We must not shy from new opportunities to relate more responsibly to each other, spirit and the environment. For this reason I urge people to become involved with the remarkable grassroots learning program of Project NatureConnect. It offers an environmentally sound, hands-on educational process whose sensory nature connecting activities reduce apathy, catalyze peace and promote mental health.
"My warmest congratulations to Dr. Michael Cohen, director of Project NatureConnect, for receiving his well-deserved Distinguished World Citizen Award. I perfectly understand what he advocates. All the basic laws of optimal living are right in front of us in nature but, to our cost, we are taken away from them. The natural senses that Dr. Cohen shows we inherit are wise, unspoken, non-material attraction forces that have no name, yet Nature within and about us principally lives with them all along.
"I am familiar with Dr. Cohen and his ecopsychology work. It fulfills our personal and economic needs, deeper ideals and spirit. His self-guiding materials and courses deserve the attention of every person who seeks to reverse our troubles."
Dr. F. Richard Schneider, Chancellor
Institute of Global Education
What you can do:
Our Orientation Course, responds to 32 critical life relationship questions. They are answered by enabling you to enjoy and then share online ten authentic, sensory, Nature connected attraction experiences over a 14 day to 11-week period.
After you obtain information about the Project NatureConnect program from this web site, a free, helpful 15 minute discussion by phone with a faculty member is the most efficient way to customize the program to your goals. 360-378-6313
You are invited to discover or explore your natural attraction powers through the natural attraction activity at http://www.ecopsych.com/giftearthday1.html
Online Natural Attraction Trail at
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Make a potent contribution by building mutually beneficial relationships through conscious sensory contact with authentic nature's attraction singularity rather than via relationships to dualistic stories, images and rituals about nature.
- Social Network this page and/or quotes from it: Facebook, Twitter etc via a press release
- Sign and strengthen our Natural Attraction Ecology petition
- Help yourself and others experience and benefit from NAE by taking our accredited, online Orientation Course. Experience is the best teacher.
1. Cohen, M. J. 2008, Educating Counseling and Healing With Nature Illumina Publishing.
2. Cohen, M. J. 1995, Education and Counseling With Nature: A Greening of Psychotherapy. The Interspych Newsletter, Vol 2, Issue 4
3. Doherty, T. J. 2010, Michael Cohen: Ecopsychology Interview Ecopsychology Journal, Vol 2 No.2. Mary Jane Liebert Publishing.
4. Project NatureConnect 2007, Natural Attraction Ecology
5. Project NatureConnect, 1996, A Survey of Participants
6. Project NatureConnect, 1990, Connecting With Nature, World Peace University Press
7. Project NatureConnect, 1986 New Vistas Dawn: The Only Life of its Kind That We Know, “Reconnecting With Nature”, Ecopress 1997
8. Project NatureConnect 2008, How to Transform Destructive Thinking Into Constructive Relationships.
9. Project NatureConnect 2007 Whom Am I? Who or What is Your Natural Self?
10. Project NatureConnect 2005 Thinking and Learning With all Nine Legs
11. Project NatureConnect 2007 Challenge: The Considerations of a Nature Expert
12. Project NatureConnect 2007 Who, What or When is the acronym NNIAAL?
13. Higgs Boson Discovery
14. Project NatureConnect Adds a Nature-Love Practioner's Cooperative to its Natural Attraction Ecology Program.
About Mike Cohen:
Recipient of the 1994 Distinguished World Citizen Award, Applied Ecopsychologist Michael J. Cohen, Ph.D.(audio interview), is a Program Director of the Institute of Global Education where he coordinates its Integrated Ecology Department and Project NatureConnect. He also serves on the faculty of Portland State University and the Akamai University Institute of Applied Ecopsychology whose program he initiated and has directed since 1990. In 1965, Dr. Cohen discovered that Planet Earth acted like a living organism and, based on this observation, he founded sensory, Gaia rooted, degree granting Environmental and Expedition Education outdoor programs independently and for the National Audubon Society and Lesley University. He conceived the 1985 National Audubon Society International Symposium "Is the Earth a Living Organism," at the University of Massachusetts and established the science of Natural Attraction Ecology. He is the Editor of the Journal of Organic Psychology and Natural Attraction Ecology and an award winning author of ten books dealing with Applied Ecopsychology including "Educating, Counseling and Healing With Nature," "The Web Of Life Imperative" and "Reconnecting With Nature." Dr. Cohen is also an accomplished folk song artist and contra dancer who presents, on San Juan Island, Washington, traditional music programs using guitar, banjo and accordion for the U.S. National Park Service, the Cask and Schooner Public House and the Skagit Valley College Road Scholar program.
- Key Page Index<http://www.ecopsych.com/annotatedpages.html>
- Publishable Article<http://www.ecopsych.com/hallucinatearticle.html>
- Process Synopsis<http://www.ecopsych.com/transformation.html>
- Fundamentals <http://www.ecopsych.com/mjcohen22.html>
- Testimonials <http://www.ecopsych.com/testimonials.html>
- Free Course <http://www.ecopsych.com/eco800bb.html>
- Orientation <http://www.ecopsych.com/orient.html>
Benefit from empowering, online, your livelihood and prior experience to be more resilient, validated, green, holistic, environmental, sustainable, natural, nature-connected, healthy, spiritual, organic and peaceful.
Achieve a degree or certification that strengthens your contributions as a counselor, healer, teacher, environmentalist, coach, therapist, spiritualist, leader or health and wellness mentor.
You may obtain an Educating, Counseling and Healing With Nature degree or certificate in conjunction with:
Earth Day Activities
Dog Cat Pet Care
Jesus & Wilderness
Hope & Life Relationships
Stress Relief Management
Natural Health and Wellness
Parenting & Child Development
Spirit & Spiritual Development
Native American Indian Ways
War On Terrorism
Body Mind Spirit
Attention Deficit Disorders
Nature Deficit Disorders
Abuse, Addiction, Loneliness
About Dr Cohen:
Applied Ecopsychologist Michael J. Cohen, Ph.D.(audio interview), is a Program Director of the Institute of Global Education where he coordinates its Integrated Ecology Department and Project NatureConnect. He also serves on the faculty of Portland State University and the Akamai University Institute of Applied Ecopsychology whose program he initiated and has directed since 1990. In 1965, Dr. Cohen discovered that Planet Earth acted like a living organism and, based on this observation, he founded sensory, Gaia rooted, degree granting Environmental and Expedition Education outdoor programs independently and for the National Audubon Society and Lesley University. He conceived the 1985 National Audubon Society International Symposium "Is the Earth a Living Organism," at the University of Massachusetts and established the science of Natural Attraction Ecology. He is the Editor of the Journal of Organic Psychology and Natural Attraction Ecology and an award winning author of ten books dealing with Applied Ecopsychology including "Educating, Counseling and Healing With Nature," "The Web Of Life Imperative" and "Reconnecting With Nature." Dr. Cohen is also an accomplished folk song artist and contra dancer who presents, on San Juan Island, Washington, traditional music programs using guitar, banjo and accordion for the U.S. National Park Service, the Cask and Schooner Public House and the Skagit Valley College Road Scholar program.
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INSTITUTE OF GLOBAL EDUCATION
Special NGO consultant United Nations Economic and Social Council
Readily available, online, organic psychology tools
for the health of person, planet and spirit
P.O. Box 1605, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
360-378-6313 <email@example.com> www.ecopsych.com
ADVANCED ECOPSYCHOLOGY IN ACTION
The Natural Systems Thinking Process
Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Director
All programs start with the Orientation Course contained in the book
The Web of Life Imperative.