Doctor of Arts Program
If one understands the workings of the world, one can understand the workings of humankind. - Paracelsus
Doctor of Arts in Ecopsychology & Environmental Humanities
3-year, 90 quarter credit program
The Doctor of Arts is a terminal degree designed to equip students with advanced ecological knowledge, psychological capacities, and communication skills necessary to effect change in human narratives and their resulting practices toward each other and the planet.
Ecological psychology (ecopsychology) is an educative approach to understanding the human is an ecological lifeform.
The same ecological processes that affect complex narratives and behaviors of Earth affect the complexity of narratives and behaviors of the ecological psyche.
Viridis Graduate Institute offers a unique science-humanities educational program that draws appropriately from ecology, narrative, ecological psychology, evolutionary developmental ecology, anthropology, native science, cultural mythology, literature, and the arts.
The doctoral program emphasizes the narrative transformation required for behavioral change necessary for policy-making interventions, ecological and social justice action, interrelated economic/social/ecological practices that affect climate and planetary livability.
By changing the narrative, one changes the behavior and therefore the practice, creating fresh new ideas and understanding in a deeply systemic way, the multiple interactions between our physical world and our psychological life.
An ecopsychological education is the most powerful tool we have available for making the necessary changes at the community, organizational, institutional, and global levels.
The emphasis on narrative change and reconfiguring behavior and practices, in combination with a supportive distance learning program, encourages personal and social development, helps to foster ecological knowledge, psychological capacities, intellectual vitality, confidence, independent thinking, contextual leadership, and flexibility.
Doctor of Arts (D.A.) degree is a transdiscipline-based doctoral degree (develop skills and approaches to a variety of issues). The Doctor of Arts is an alternative to a traditional research-based Ph.D. However, for the most part, there is not much distinction between them and how they are respected academically. Its purpose was to offer a shift away from an emphasis on research and more on the advanced study of a specific area of expertise, with more emphasis on skill development.
MA and DA Graduates in Ecopsychology and Environmental Humanities practice as non-licensed ecopsychology professionals, much like environmental or conservation psychology professionals, cultural or social ecologists.
Clinical and Therapeutic Application
Students interested in ecological psychology (ecopsychology) clinical and therapeutic applications obtain a comprehensive psychological education for how to work with the human and organizational ecosystem and their ecology of behaviors.
Viridis Graduate Institute is listed on The American Psychological Association's (APA) Division 34 website that includes Ecopsychology, Environmental, Conservation, and Population Psychology.
Course examples in the degree program curriculum include ecopsychology I, II, III, IV, narrative foundations of ecopsychology, biogeography: humans and landscapes, contemporary narratives of supremacism and its forms of sexism, misogyny, and racism, ecotoxicology, climate crisis and ecopsychological applications, art, imagery & perception, ecological ethics, native science and indigenous epistemologies, business ecologies, and ecopsychology applications.
Completion of the Doctor of Arts program requires passing two comprehensive exams and successful completion of a doctoral project.
Viridis invites worldwide participation - we are an online education provider and all programs are held live via Zoom technology. Our classes are intimate where learning is an interactive engagement.
Ideas That Matter
Ecological psychology (ecopsychology) is an educative approach to the ecological psyche and its entanglements with a responsive and damaged planet. To understand that the human psyche is ecological is to grasp ecological processes that affect and co-shape complex narratives and behaviors of Earth (energy, cycling, diversity/multiplicity, involution/evolution of change, and relationships) affect and co-shape the complexity of narratives and behaviors of the human ecosystem.
We live with a remarkable and beautiful symbiotic planet that acts upon us as much as we act upon it.
Complex patterns of human psychology, entangled in an affective ecology, carry stories of both needing relations with - and being a threat to - life. The most striking examples are a climate crisis resulting in human and non-human forced displacement; diversity extermination and extinction of necessary organisms and ecosystems, and devaluing the imagination. It is precisely this obligatory ecological relationality among biotic beings and abiotic processes that require us to examine and reconfigure the reality of our (human) narratives and their exploitative practices.
Ecological relationality has to do with our involvement with the world – its movements, its physical matter, politics, beauty, and suffering – all of which matter. An ecopsychological education asks: What are you doing with what you know? How is it changing your matters of concern? What kinds of commitments are you willing to take on in this life, including commitments to yourselves, and who you may become?
The entanglements we are a part of reconfigure psyche, imagination, institutions, societies, our manner of living and dying.
The entangled issues of our times are persistent interrelated narratives of thought that continue to inflict human exceptionalism, supremacism, and notions of sameness on an interdependent and multispecies world resulting in divisive and destructive practices.
The study of ecopsychology offers an extensive knowledge base that examines ecological and psychological processes:
- energy exchange,
- Intra-actions and waste,
- relationality, and
- decay and renewal (ecological and psychological composting) that underpin all ecologies including the human psyche.
At VGI, students engage with affective ecopsychology and environmental humanities that offer practical and effective ways to reconfigure narratives, thereby transforming behavior, such that we become accountable and responsible for what we enact on nonhuman and human others and the Earth.
Change in attitude and behavior reconfigures our relations with difference and recognizes a shared symbiotic Earth of agentive ecologies and lively configurations that co-form and co-shape each of us adding complexity and relationality.
Ecopsychology is a deepening in one's understanding of the human ecosystem and its entanglement with others. It is an education that cultivates a sense of personal ethics, social conscience, psychological flexibility, and the capacity to hold various tensions.
Vital ideas matter because it matters what ideas we think other ideas with and what imagery we imagine the world through.
The Doctor of Arts is an excellent program for educators from any discipline, UNESCO and United Nations SDG educators, professionals in corporate sustainability management, environmental and energy industries, conservation, and land restoration, health care and therapeutic fields, community/urban design, business and executive leadership, governance and policy-making, community and civic leadership, local and international activism, artist, and environmental nonprofit executives.
All doctoral students may earn a Master of Arts upon successfully completing the first comprehensive examination and 48 graduate quarter credits from Viridis Graduate Institute.
We Look Forward to Your Involvement!
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