Ecotherapist Linda Buzzell, Panel Presentation for “Earth, Climate, Dreams”—A Summary

In a short presentation as a panelist for “Earth, Climate, Dreams,” an online event hosted by Depth Psychology Alliance™ that took place in April 2016, Linda Buzzell, MA, MFT, shared some insights into the power of “daytime dreams” and working to develop eco-resilience in the face of challenging times. I found Linda’s insights into eco-resilience quite powerful, prompting me to summarize them here in order to share them with you.

Linda begins by mentioning the work of Dr. Steven Aizenstat and psychotherapist, Lauren Schneider, both active in the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), and how they perceive that we can get direct communication from the rest of nature by observing the natural images that arise in our dreams.

Regarding dreams, Linda notes, it is also important to look at “daytime dreams” as well as those we have at night. With this, she suggests that young people in our country have been suffering from lack of an alternative vision of our climate and the ecological crisis. What would it look like if we were doing it right, she asks?

Linda has been working with Craig Chalquist, Ph.D., with whom she co-authored the 2009 Sierra Club anthology, Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind, to come up with principles of eco-resilience. As our society is going to be going through some difficulties, how can we be resilient as individuals, families, communities and ecosystems, she wonders. The Permaculture design course provides practical approaches to empower yourself, your family and community to allow you to be as eco-resilient as possible.

Linda mentions that she participated in a reading circle for Carolyn Baker’s, Navigating the Coming Chaos, which she found to be a very helpful book to engage around. Referring to “The Waking Up Syndrome,” an essay she co-wrote with therapist Sarah Anne Edwards, Linda describes how they engage Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ stages of death and dying to look at the ecological crisis and see how we go through denial, distraction, or despair.

She references how drastically each of us can be affected by news such as how climate change or ecological decline is happening much faster than predicted. We each experience trauma due to these ongoing “shocks,” Linda believes—what John Howard Kunstler calls the “Long Emergency” or Sarah Edwards calls “residual trauma.”

Engaging in community in order to look at issues, dreams, etc. helps with one’s personal eco-resilience, she suggests. The idea of a waking dream in nature is a way we can experience the larger psyche, by communicating with or spending much more time with nature, whether it’s in “little nature” nearby, or in the larger wilderness. This is one more way we can be guided by earth and the larger psyche of nature as to what we need to be doing individually and collectively as to what’s happening on our planet.


View the video of Linda’s panel presentation here (approximately 7 minutes)

View the full “Earth, Climate, Dreams” online panel and community c… (approx. 94 mins)

Linda is offering an Ecotherapy weekend workshop at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, May 13-15, 2016.  DETAILS & REGISTRATION HERE



Linda Buzzell, MA, LMFT, PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate), has been a psychotherapist for more than 30 years and has specialized in ecopsychology and ecotherapy since 2000. She and Craig Chalquist edited the Sierra Club Books anthology Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind, a core text in clinical ecopsychology. She is a member of the Editorial Board of Ecopsychology, the peer reviewed journal of the field, and was a keynote speaker at the 2014 Ecotherapy Symposium at the University of Brighton in the UK. She is Adjunct Faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. In 2002 she founded the International Association for Ecotherapy and is co-founder of the Ecopsychology Network of Southern California. She blogs on ecopsychology and ecotherapy at The Huffington Post. She is a member of the Ecopsychology Network for Clinicians, where she taught “The HOW of Ecotherapy.” In 2006 she received her Permaculture Design Certificate and with her husband Larry Saltzman has created a food forest around her home that serves as her ecotherapy office. For further information, and