Experiential Deep Ecology for Psychologists: An introduction to facilitating The Work That Reconnects

activism nature connection grief deep ecology facilitation experiential community psychology
Hosted by Psychology for Ecology
Enquiries to rosienjones@yahoo.co.uk
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With increasing awareness that climate change and ecological degradation is a catastrophic threat within our lifetimes, many clinical practitioners are asking how they can apply their skills to support people with their emotional responses to this unprecedented situation and to make a positive contribution towards a 'great turning' towards a regenerative society.

The Work That Reconnects

In the field of ecophilosophy, a very well developed and powerful methodology has been elaborated over the last 40 years by Joanna Macy and associates. This methodology, variously called 'deep ecology workshops', 'grief and empowerment workshops' and now 'The Work That Reconnects', whilst not having significant research to support it from standard outcome research methods, is rooted in a sound and coherent theoretical framework consistent with psychological theory and practice. It has also been experienced by many thousands of participants over the years who attest to its power in releasing stuck grief, moving people and from panic or despair to empowerment, and introducing powerful new perspectives to people's lives.

This training will provide an introduction to The Work That Reconnects. During the two days participants will experience the 4 stages of the spiral: rooting in gratitude, honouring our pain for the world, seeing anew with ancient eyes, and going forth with committed intention. This will be interspersed by teaching and discussion of facilitation skills and issues. We will particularly focus on questions and issues relevant for Psychologist facilitators, potentially including:

  • Mapping TWTR onto psychological models
  • Getting out of the clinic: Appropriate settings for TWTR
  • Self-disclosing in groups (being a participant facilitator)
  • Getting comfortable with strong emotional releasing
  • Letting go of pathologising, fixing, and status (even when we think we have already!)


Participants should read 'Active Hope' or 'Coming Back to Life' prior to attending the workshop.

Participants are recommended to have experienced a workshop in TWTR or similar grief space prior to attending, but this is not a requirement.


A £40 deposit is required to book a place, which will be fully refundable with 4 weeks cancellation notice, and part-refundable thereafter.

This deposit will be retained to cover practical costs of the training (admin, venue, materials, food). Beyond that, the workshop is offered in the Gift Economy, to encourage non-transactional, gratitude-based relationships. I now give most of my time to regenerative projects, fusing permaculture and community healing and development. Donations support me to be able to do more of this work. You have the option to make a donation before or after the workshop on a ‘give as you feel’ basis.

Accommodation and food:

The venue is my house which has an inviting workshop space. Depending on the weather we have the option of some outside sessions on a neighbour’s beautiful land. 

My two children‘s bedrooms and a dorm space are available on the Friday night, sleeping 6 in beds for £10 a night, plus more room for camping mats. There are also airbnb’s in the area, and lovely rooms at The Forester and Flower pub 1 minute away. 

Please bring a vegetarian dish or nibbles to share for a potluck lunch on Friday. I will provide ingredients for us to cook and eat a dinner together on the Friday night, which is a lovely aspect to the group experience, and you are encouraged to stay for this even if sleeping elsewhere or at home. For Saturday lunch I will provide soup, bread and salad and there will be lots of tasty leftovers no doubt. 

 A co-created evening activity on Friday night is also welcomed, for example a campfire. A large variety of teas and coffees will be available throughout.


I am a clinical psychologist and spent my early career working in adult mental health services, IAPT, and left the NHS in 2014 to work in private practice. I have had a long standing engagement with ecological issues and have been involved in various environmental movements over the years, including the Green Party, the Transition movement, Extincton Rebellion, and now predominantly permaculture and bioregionalism. In 2017-18 I discovered, experienced and then trained in facilitating the Work That Reconnects and found it to be personally transformative. Now most of my offering to the world is focussed on supporting ecological action and community building, which I see as going hand in hand. I offered this training to 2 cohorts of Clinical and Counselling Psychologists in 2019 and it was very well received by attendees. CPD certificates can be provided for this workshop.

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