Ecopsychology and Spiritual Ecology: Changing Perspectives, Engaging Hearts, and Inspiring Action

When:  May 8, 4:10 p.m.

Where: COA, McCormick Lecture Hall

John Craigo and Dennis Kiley, both A Climate To Thrive (ACTT) board members, will explore how targeting the ways people think, feel, and relate is essential to catalyzing meaningful environmental action. This talk, entitled "Ecopsychology and Spiritual Ecology: Changing Perspectives, Engaging Hearts, and Inspiring Action", will look at the need to engage the minds and hearts of our community to best realize success.  ACTT, an organization on MDI seeking to make the Island energy independent by 2030, is working to become a pillar of sustainability for others to follow. They recognize that to achieve their goals, they must constructively apply psychology. Dennis and John will drawn on the insights of ecopsychology and spiritual ecology to share a path for doing this.

The disciplines of Ecopsychology and Spiritual Ecology invite us to rethink who we really are, to reconsider our relationship with ourselves, each other and the world around us. People have forgotten the sacred part of nature and our belonging to it. This has dramatically altered our perspective, changing the very ways that we act, feel, relate and think.  Perceiving ourselves as separate from the non-human world has impacted our health and well-being, and that of our communities and planet. Climate change is a direct result of these psychological tendencies. To address climate change as well as the pressing social issues of our time, we must fundamentally reexamine the ways we understand ourselves and the world around us. The key to meaningful change lies in recognizing our interdependence with all of life, and the re-integration of natural principles into our lives.  This talk will delve into how our individual and collective psychology has exacerbated climate change, and what we can do about it. Dennis and John will offer insights and actions people can use, as well as share what ACTT is doing to better engage our community.


Dennis Kiley is the founder and president of the EcoPsychology Initiative; he is also the vice-chair of A Climate to Thrive, yoga teacher, and counselor at the College and in private practice. After growing up on MDI, he moved back eight years ago and lives with his wife, Johannah Blackman, and their daughter, Gwinna, in Somesville. 

John Craigo is a Physical Therapist at the Community Health Center in SWH, single parent of two boys, MDI resident for 20 years, ACTT board member, and continually looking for a way to live in balance with the Earth.