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Wednesday, April 26, 2006 

Volume No. 1 Issue No. 80 - Monday April 24, 2006

First Ecopsychology Workshop Conducted in Dominica

Terri Henry

Recently, Dominica’s first Ecopsychology workshop was successfully conducted by local Dominican Terri Henry in Castle Bruce on the forested site of the forthcoming ‘Richmond Bay Ecolodge’ project. The one-of-a-kind workshop was commissioned by EDSA, the largest ecotourism planning and ecolodge design firm in the world and was attended by Hitesh Mehta Project Manager and the worlds leading authority in Ecolodge design and planning. Also participating were other EDSA employees, a local architect, project clients and investors.

This unique workshop was specifically created to help the planners, designers and project investors increase their appreciation of the forest ecosystem and develop a connectedness with the land that in turn would bring a greater sensitivity to their planning.

Throughout the two and half hour workshop participants were guided through a series of activities to enhance their sensory awareness and perception. This enabled them to learn from the ingenuity of natures design and work in harmony with the natural area when designing and implementing the project.

Group sharing and short written assignments bought forth clarity of communication and an open expression of thoughts and feelings which resulted in further unity as a collective working group with a common vision. All participants commented favourably on the outcomes of the workshop and felt that it made a significant contribution to both the project and their personal lives. Ecolodge guru, Hitesh Mehta enthusiastically concluded that “The workshop was professionally run and Terri is an awesome facilitator.

I have been enlightened and will definitely use her wisdom and expertise in our future tourism projects”. Terri Henry has been researching and practicing natural living and healing therapies for the past 16 years and has been studying Ecopsychology since 2004. She is currently seeking a scholarship to further her studies in this area with a Masters Degree. Director of the Environmental Co-ordinating Unit Mr Lloyd Pascal has supported this endeavour stating that ”Dominica stands to benefit tremendously by having Ms. Henry serve in this field.”

Ecopsychology is a field that is developing in recognition that human health, identity and sanity are intimately linked to the health of the earth and must include sustainable and mutually enhancing relationships between humans and the non-human world. Ecopsychology places human psychology in an ecological context and is aimed at healing the divisions between mind and nature, humans and earth.

The central concern of Ecopsychology is the physical, psychological and spiritual health of both human and nonhuman species and an understanding of the psychological processes that either bond us to the natural world or alienate us from it. Whilst Ecopsychology is relatively new as a formalised discipline many of its theories and practices are rooted within ancient and indigenous wisdom sources such as the aboriginal populations of both Australia and the Americas.

At this critical juncture in Dominica’s development Ms Henry feels it is imperative that we embrace the techniques of applied Ecopsychology to foster an ‘ecological consciousness’ which would inform our choices from everyday actions to policy decisions.

She states that “even as Dominica is becoming increasingly well-known and marketed as the ‘Nature Island of the Caribbean’ and has an economy largely based on the abundance of natural resources, especially agriculture and ecotourism, environmental degradation continues to be a problem that both affects and is caused by all sectors of society.

The solution to this pervading problem is found in the perspective of deep-ecology. When we are able to fully appreciate nature, not just as a profit-generating or survival resource but as intrinsically valuable in and of itself the desire to preserve and regenerate our environment is more than just self-preservation but a demonstration of the highest self–respect as the self expands to encompass all life.”

She also adds that “This transformation demands nothing less than a complete paradigm shift which shatters the illusion of human’s separation from nature and instils us with a complete awe and reverence for life.” The practices of Applied Ecopsychology are relevant for all sectors of society. Indeed all workshop participants agreed that significant positive change would occur if a large segment of the population became involved in the ‘Reconnect to Nature’ process.

For further information or to make a booking for the “Reconnecting to Nature” workshop please contact Terri Henry on 235 6256, email onelove@onelovelivity.com or visit the website www.onelovelivity.com

© Copyright 2002 TheDominican.Net

Hi, I only just found this article about my workshop on your site so even though it's a few years later I'm really honoured that you chose to feature this information. Thanks. Terri

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