Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Nature-Psychological aspects, Mental health, Environmental psychology, Jung, C. G. (Carl Gustav), 1875-1961, Psychoanalytic interpretation, Psychological health, Ecopsychology, Qualitative, Psychoanalytic, Psychoanalysis


This qualitative study explores the relationship between nature and psychological health from the perspectives of 12 clinicians from a variety of training backgrounds. During 30 to 45- minute interviews, participants were asked a variety of questions about their personal and clinical experience as they have informed their perspectives on the question: How does nature influence psychological health? Major findings of the study showed there to be a significant difference between the importance of nature in clinicians' personal lives and nature's role in clinical practice. Findings indicated that although nature was important to participants' personal psychological well-being that nature was not widely utilized in clinical treatment. Findings also indicated that nature is a powerful clinical tool in some treatment relationships providing benefits for both client and therapist, but that there were limitations to whom nature is effective in treating and to which issues nature was most effective in addressing. Findings are interpreted from psychoanalytic perspectives, which are also discussed at length in the literature review.




iii, 94 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 80-87)