Web Site

Project NatureConnect

Website Search Engine

SYNOPSIS: Revolutionary alternative holistic programs Benefit from natural, hands-on, funded, alternative therapist courses and career education training jobs and degrees online. Increase your personal and environmental well-being.

What We Do
Who We Are
Learn in Nature

Site Map

Education Index



Free Course
Free Activity


Organic Psych
Natural Systems


Key Book


Return to Homepage






































































































HELP-WANTED. Nature-Connected Learning and Healing: online Alternative Therapist degrees, jobs and accredited training courses enhance personal and professional goals. Our grant-funded methods and materials help you safely tap into the beneficial grace, balance and restorative powers of natural systems, backyard or backcountry.

Use the hands-on application of ecopsychology to strengthen your effectiveness and reduce stress and disorders. Add the supportive sunlight and beauty of the natural world to your relationships.

Visit our Homepage for complete information


Project NatureConnect
Institute of Global Education
Organic Psychology
Special NGO Consultant, United Nations Economic and Social Council
Practical distance learning that increases energy, expertise and spirit.



References and Validation for the Science of Applied Ecopsychology from Field Experience, Self-Evidence and Published Research findings.

NOTE: To read most recent and updated articles and references Select Here

See Additional material. More is also available in the Journal of Organic Psychology

"Ecopsychology is a reasonable and practical way of learning to think about and experience our environment, wordlessly relying on our 53 senses.  This alternative therapy course taught me to slow down and pay attention to sensory experience and connect with nature as something to be acknowledged and appreciated and not taken for granted as we often do as products of our society.  The Earth has a lot to teach us if we take a step to learn her language, and that is a alternative to traditional therapy as it is mostly involved with people to people relationships. 

The language of Earth's multi-sensory experience is one we are born knowing but is gradually more and more obstructed by the teachings of our culture as we grow older.  We distance ourselves psychologically from our supportive web of life by renaming our home and calling it natural resources.  Not only should we be living in a sustainable and harmonious way with the world we are children of because that is a natural and supportive way of behaving but we are at a crisis point where choosing to live sustainably, in harmony with our planet, is the only way to avert irreversible environmental ruin.  The alternative therapist education and counseling in Natural Systems Thinking Process taught in this course is a wonderful alternative therapy tool for establishing a common ground of language and reference for changing the way we treat our biosphere.

Contact and connection with nature is a means to learn many of the solutions to our worldwide dis-ease.  Nature is a willing teacher.  If left to its own cycles of life the Earth operates in a completely sustainable fashion, nothing is wasted, there is no trash, and everything has its place.  Through this course in Ecopsychology I have learned to slow down and reach out to this process of the eons and ask permission to share in the web of life that is all around us.  I have accessed many valuable tools for understanding what is being taught to us by our natural world and to pay attention to my direct sensory experience and not give full credence to my abstract thoughts which might manipulate the information my many senses are giving me.  I look forward to continued learning in nature and sharing the webstrings with others.

I have learned many important steps and processes for communing with nature and integrating those experiences into my awareness throughout this course.  The idea of five leg thinking, the way most of us go about life by mentally abstracting things to create distance and categories, is very helpful for keeping us limited within our culture’s structure but it is also essential in showing the value of the Natural Systems Thinking Process.  Four leg knowing is a metaphor for direct experience, for acknowledging and using the information that our senses are relaying to us.  The holistic nine leg philosophy demonstrates the possibilities of taking what we learn and know through our senses and sharing and relating by converting this knowledge into words to make stories and conveyable lessons.

A great philosopher once coined the phrase “the felt presence of immediate experience” to teach people about the value in trusting our own senses and not the manufactured stories which are all around us.  “Well, to my mind, the felt presence of immediate experience is the surest dimension, the surest guide that you can possibly have. Feeling is primary. All rationalization and intellectualization and analysis is secondary, and comes out of culture. No matter what your culture is, it has answers. Cultures think up answers.”<#_ftn1>[1]  I can’t think of a better way to word where five legged thinking by itself has taken us.  I have gained a lot from understanding the implications behind the need for a Natural Systems Thinking Process.   My four leg sensory experiences throughout this course have shown me that sustainable living in balance and cooperation with nature really is the only answer for the human race to survive on this planet.  For instance, if I paid attention to our culture telling me that disposable everything is good and convenient and creates demand in the economy then I would be a compartmentalized, disconnected robo-person operating within the very strict boundaries of consumption: eat, sleep, work, buy and pursue the American Dream.  This is not a sustainable practice for living in harmony with and within our biosphere.

At the beginning of the course we were asked to evaluate our confidence in our ability to reasonably respond to questions which ask us to delve deeply into ideas about the web of life which question our held beliefs and concepts of our perceived reality.  For example, “Life has a purpose.  What is it?” and “How and where do you collect self-evidence?”  Did I have confidence that I could answer questions like this in a nature-connected and genuine way?  My overall score of confidence in my ability to answer these questions now compared to my score at the beginning of the course has certainly improved.  At the same time, I am glad to know that my actual answers to the questions in the beginning were not completely abstracted five legged philosophies which had more to do with how I wish to see myself as opposed to how I am and what I see around me.  I feel confident in my ability and very gratified to answer “Can you be sane if you are a good citizen of an insane society?”  No is the answer.  Empowered with what we have learned in this process I am glad to have a meta-view of our social and cultural structure.  It is our job as awakening and connected citizens of the world to share our webstrings and empower others to ask these questions of themselves.

Another valuable dimension of this course is the interaction we have with other group members who are taking the course and doing
the activities at the same time.  “So, we’ll start this organic journey of remembering with this very important part of you, the natural
systems within you.”<#_ftn2>[2]  We would go into nature to learn that experiences are facts.  We would come back, evaluate our experience, email each other and share our webstring attractions.  Even though I have never met in person, and may never meet the people in my group, I feel a bond of shared experience and the friendship gained through thinking and relating on this journey.  Dehab, Michelle, Don and Jessica all have very unique writing styles, each a reflection of their personalities and their approach to what we were learning.  I looked forward each week to the various stories and new perspectives shared by everyone.  When we were learning about sensing and

feeling webstrings. 

Dehab wrote “My experience in nature shows me that I am a person who gets good feelings by observing growing
grasses, particularly naturally growing grasses found under other plants. For me, these simple green grasses represent the whole world

that we live in; its green color shows me pure nature, its togetherness (since I never noticed a single strand of grass standing alone at
a place) shows me natural attractions, its simple yet amazing texture (when I touch it, it is smooth as well as rough based on the

direction that I stroke) shows the plain yet the complicated world, its smell shows pure air (I just know it, even though I am not able
to smell it with my nose),.. etc ”.  This is a beautiful, genuine statement.  Dehab is from Ethiopia, it was wonderful to compare the

differences and similarities in our cultures in how we relate to nature and speak about it. 

Regarding our activities around the idea of
Natural Consensus Don wrote “I compared how I felt about being in this mutually supportive moment in nature compared to how I
felt before the activity.  What happened was my chest became less tight and I was reminded to live in the present and not be so
concerned about aspects of the future (as I was prior to the activity). Being present (mindful) and asking for consent from nature is a way for a human to do his part to create a mutually supportive moment. Nature's part are the attractions themselves.”  Don has a lot of life experience working in protecting the environment.  He has much to share and many wonderful stories which will help others in the

Natural Systems thinking process. 

When we were examining the idea of “I sense and feel, therefore I am” Michelle said “For this first teachable moment I went into my backyard with the intent of finding an element in nature to connect with. What ended up happening is that almost immediately I was greeted by a brisk winter wind that was blowing in before a cold snap. * What happened was that the breeze stopped me very suddenly and I couldn't help myself but concentrate on its affect on my skin and nose. * What it offered was the
simple truth of air movement across the earth as the movement of air into and out of my lungs. * It felt life giving.”  Her descriptors were always clear and real and enhanced my own enjoyment of my nature experiences. 

I believe that Jessica is the youngest of the group and still in college.  Her writing is fresh, full of emotion and brought me into her world in a very inclusive way.  The story she shared about one of the young students she works with still stays with me “Also, as I am sitting here writing this at a coffee house, one of the special
needs kids I work with is sitting here with me. His name is Johnny and he is high-functioning autistic and ADD. He is also very emotionally sensitive and talks to cars and animals and gets very upset if he sees anyone or anything suffering. A lot of people try to make him stop this behavior. I think this is a common thing - stopping the imagination by repeatedly telling children that they can't have it or through Western education that values empirical knowledge over imagination. He is reading through everyone's comments with me and thinks everyone is so intelligent. He was reading and looked at me and said, "You know, these people are speaking 100% facts. When you open
your eyes to the true world, you see you never have been and never will be alone." I really hope he doesn't lose this insight.”  Wow.  This process of posting our experiences, while daunting at first, has become one of the most valuable parts of learning about The Web of Life

Once we begin to become aware of the real impact of our separatist abstract thinking on the physical world a kindling fire starts to burn
to do something about it.  This is the logical next step.  And, when we start to reexamine different writings and literature it is almost a
revelation to realize that people have been speaking and writing about the need to re-balance ourselves in dynamic cooperation with
this Earth for many years in many different ways.  “The unity of man and nature. Human beings live in the realm of nature, they are
constantly surrounded by it and interact with it. The most intimate part of nature in relation to man is the biosphere, the thin envelope
embracing the earth, its soil cover, and everything else that is alive. Our environment, although outside us, has within us not only its image, as something both actually and imaginatively reflected, but also its material energy and information channels and processes.
This presence of nature in an ideal, materialised, energy and information form in man's Self is so organic that when these external natural principles disappear, man himself disappears from life. If we lose nature's image, we lose our life.”<#_ftn3>[3]  We lose what is our true life if we do not recognize that nature is a part of us as we are a part of nature.  This is the deep lesson that Ecopsychology has taught me as I have learned to pursue natural attractions which have reawakened in me the innate love of sensory experience which we all have.

[1] Terence McKenna at St. John the Divine's Cathedral, Synod Hall, New York, April 25, 1996

[2] The Web of Life Imperative

[3] Alexander Spirkin, Dialectical Materialism, 1986










Special NGO consultant United Nations Economic and Social Council

Readily available, online, natural science tools
for the health of person, planet and spirit

P.O. Box 1605, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
360-378-6313 <email> www.ecopsych.com

The Natural Systems Thinking Process

Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Director

send email

All programs start with the Orientation Course contained in the book
The Web of Life Imperative.


.Topics addressed on this website
Holistic certification Massage therapy Jobs Mid life crisis career
Teacher continuing education Human services Careers Alternative therapist
Human services Online Human services courses Mental health ceu
Psychology Careers Alternative Psychology Holistic wellness
Stress management courses Support group Online Peace corps fellowship
Holistic Therapy Alternative wellness Alternative Healing
Naturopathic Online Self help Online Holistic Healing
Massage therapy courses Master degree life experience Art Therapy Courses
Psychology Distance learning Human services Jobs Art therapy careers
Distance learning Therapy Naturopathic degrees Naturopathic remedies
Massage therapy ceu Naturopathic courses Psychology courses
Online Psychology Alternative Peace Corps Natural Therapy
Alternative Therapy Americorp grants Therapist continuing education
Mid life crisis career change Life experience college degrees Environmental education internships