We know it in our bones, as well as our brains – the enormity of the times we live in, the cultural and environmental challenges, the opportunity to re-vision a human culture living in harmony with our planet.
As a former psychotherapist and as a student of eco-psychology, I was thrilled to learn of Bill Plotkin’s work several years ago if for no other reason that that he describes himself as a “psychologist gone wild.” Within today’s dismal mental health scene dominated by the pharmaceutical industry and the not-so-hidden agenda of producing malleable consumers who blend compliantly into the milieu of empire, Plotkin’s work resuscitates the mental health landscape with notions of vibrant humanity and unprecedented aliveness.
By and large, mental health professionals in the modern world are able to connect the dots between the explosion in the number of clients suffering from addictions, depression, anxiety, attachment disorders, learning disabilities, and other illnesses with world events at large. Most fall somewhere on the liberal side of the political spectrum and support efforts to maximize the quality of life for humans and the quality of the environment for all species. Yet I believe that most clinicians who are not familiar with the “Three E’s” of energy, environment, and economics as converging crises signaling the collapse of industrial civilization, will be emotionally challenged in working with a client who embraces this perspective.
For me, the topic of peak psychotherapy is not about wild speculation regarding the status of mental or other health care two decades from now. Will psychotherapy even exist, and if it does, what will it look like? We cannot answer that with certainty, but it is safe to assume that it will look very different from how it looks today and that however it looks in the future, it will be accessible to many fewer people than it is in present time—which may or may not be a good thing.