Lupa posts on bioregionalism, animism, and ecopsychology.
When M. was in grad school in psychology in the 1990s, she hoped that ecopsychology would be the Next Big Thing. Articles on the psychological affects of interacting (or not) with the non-human world were popping up in places like McCall’s magazine. Addressing “nature-deficit syndrome” would be a component of it–even the Girl Scouts are onto that.
But as an overarching concept–even without acknowledging “spirits of place”–ecopsychology does not seem to have caught fire except in a low-level therapeutic way: “Gardening makes you feel better.”
Possibly related is the way in which a certain kind of self-righteous environmentalism may be ripe for mocking. Are we still too leery of assigning spiritual value to non-human nature? Doing so has been a component of American spirituality since around 1800, as Catherine Albanese wrote in Nature Religion in America: From the Algonkian Indians to the New Age. But it has always been a minority position, although a well-established one.
I used to start my nature-writing students with the “Where You At?” quiz. It offers a quick immersion in bioregional thinking and blends both non-human and human cultural material.