ecopsychology Counseling and Consulting
One-on-One with Dr. Soule
Blessed are those who soften the emotional rigidity of their hearts,
for they shall have all the power of Nature. ~ Jesus / Yeshua (from original Aramaic)
Ecopsycholgy as therapy is like gardening. Issues are the health of your soil, the flourishing of what belongs, and knowing when to cultivate, plant, harvest. Like all creatures in the garden and on earth, the foundation for well-being and generosity is relaxed ecological belonging--the right to be, belong, and become.
If this belonging is broken because of trauma, addiction, or commodification, we lose our way.
Our natural sense of purpose flounders. An odd malaise sets in. We do not think coherently.
Authentic generosity ceases up. We lack direction. No flow. No luck. Missing in action.
Luckily, as with all things wild, our well-being and natural expression can be recovered and re-established.
When honored, given space, and protection, and watered, our sense of purpose grows & seeks expression.
Happiness and generosity are natural. Witness birds, flowers, the ocean, puppies, children.
Whether all is really lost
or not depends entirely on
whether or not I am lost.
~ Václav Havel
The primary focus of my One-on-One work is your unique alignment with the intelligence of Nature.
Cultivating a relaxed sense of belonging within our world and ourselves is a great protection.
Repairing and relaxing into innate ancient belonging, we confidently move forward in life.
Bowing down, we learn to come home. We honor the wisdom and ways of nature.
Always, we do our healing work for the sake of Life.
$90-125 / hour
Free 20 minute consult, contact me.
Nonviolent Communication Trainings
For the past 13 years, I have been a volunteer in San Quentin teaching weekly Nonviolent Communication classes in our Yearlong Program. Part of BayNVC's Safer Communities Project. As a cohesive team, we have helped transform the culture of San Quentin prison life. I also work with a weekly support group called "Aftercare" or ARC, a weekly support group for addicts committed to sobriety and accountability. My primary focus in San Quentin are paths of accountability that are healing, transformative, and empowering. These practices are also deeply needed by those living outside those walls. I offer skills and practices via NVC that heal all forms broken belonging--within ourselves and our relationships.
Currently all Online.
For couples, individuals, and groups.
Nonviolent Communication is therapeutic AND a skill.
My specialties are accountability and belonging.
Free 20 minute consult, contact me.
12-Step Eco-Recovery Program
Recovering from the Excesses of Modernity & Restoring Innate Ecological Belonging
When looking at our inability to face the ecological consequences of our our lifestyles and change, do you sometimes wonder, "Am I dealing with addiction here?" Addicts usually hit the wall before admitting they are powerless over their addiction. Well? Have you hit the wall yet? I have. I have lots I want to work on.
Please join me for an Eco-Recovery 12-step program, (the first of its kind, as far as I know) where we are each invited to pick ONE expression of addiction to western civilization (plastic? cell phone? late nights? driving? comfort? money? status?) and move through a modified nature-based 12-step program. The 12 steps are a tried and true healing path of accountability. Our healing journey will be fun, tough, profound, and creative. (How will you make amends to the ocean? insects? future generations?)
My work in San Quentin inspires me to convene this group. I observe that most of us are missing out the power and gravitas of accountability. We do not vigorously challenge our negative habits as the #1 job in our lives, nor do most of us openly acknowledge criminal thinking vis-à-vis our ecological family (and future generations). We are missing out! So, let's do this. And let's have fun transmuting complicity into conscious participation, each in our unique way AND with support of our eco-recovery community.
This group has a rolling "admission." Drop in anytime.
EVERY FRIDAY MORNING 10 -11am California time via Zoom.
Donations accepted via paypal, but not required.
Restoring the Dignity of Shame
Ongoing Offering ~ Because We Need It!
Shame gets a bad rap in today’s world. Is condemnation deserved? Or might shame play a vital healing role in living systems? After thirteen years as a volunteer NVC trainer in San Quentin, I understand that shame can be a powerful ally calling us home to repair all forms of broken belonging.
Whether a friend or enemy depends entirely upon our ability to work skillfully and lucidly with this powerful affect.
Restoring the dignity and healing power of shame is essential in our era of gritty reckoning and creative adaption.
It is high time that shame to play its crucial role in the healing of ourselves, our communities, and our beloved world.
Understanding the positive role shame can play within dynamic living systems.
Identifying four common shame avoidance tactics and their root causes.
Developing cognitive, somatic, and spiritual approaches that foster mature and lucid experiences shame.
Knowing better how to respond to unhealthy shame responses.
Gaining psychological clarity and therapeutic skills so shame can play a redemptive role in our lives.
Are the Seven Deadly Sins Really Deadly? It Depends!
If sins and dark emotions are so terrible, why do they exist?
Rumi says of the Divine:
There you are, inside the soul’s great fear,
within every vicious cruelty, and in every irritation.
Body, soul, shadow. Whether reckless or careful, you are what we do.
It’s absurd to ask your pardon when you’re inside repentance and sin!”
Instead of fearing the darker angels of our nature, can we learn to welcome them in ways that show us home?
What about Envy? Stinginess? Supremacism? Vengeance? Addiction? Really??
And what about those seven deadly sins? Are they indeed deadly? It all depends!
It all depends on our capacity to navigate these darker realms of human experience. Curious?
*~ INVITATION ~*
Camaraderie in Revelatory Times
Honing Skills ~ Reflection ~ Collaboration
We live in apocolyptic times. In this context, mythologist Michael Meade invites us to be Agents of Ongoing Creation.
If apocolypsus entails tough forms of revelation, what is being revealed to us? Let's break taboos and check in!
Monthly themes will contextualize our historic moment from an ecopsychological perspective.
This will be a loosely-woven ecologically-focused transformative learning community.
An opportunity to reflect together, share our work, and perhaps create together.
Here is what I am considering:
First Monday of the Month 6-7:30 pm PST
Once we have 5 participants, let's begin.
Curious? Please contact me
contact me if interested
Cultivating Intimacy with Climate Crises
Earth’s climate is vast, complex, and beyond our direct control. However, each of us is a participant within the vast systems of the planet. When we speak of “climate change,” maybe the real change (and challenge) we face is far more intimate, close, and within our control than earth's climate. “Climate” lends an aura of distance and abstraction. Sometimes this distance serves as a buffer, shielding us from the uncomfortable possibility that the real change we face is an “internal climate crisis” involving values, attitude, and the repair of a broken sense of belonging. However, even when we want to shift course or break a habit, we can stay stuck. Why? What are good reasons for resisting change? In this course, we will explore the inner dimensions of our Earth’s climate crisis and how this distressing situation can be an impetus for healing, creativity, and evolution.
View Zoom Recordings at Osher's Website (scroll to Spring 2020, Fridays)
Topic Outline for 7 weeks:
Mapping the Territory of Ecopsychology
Cultivating the Art of Sensitivity
Climate Crisis: A Rite of Passage for Humanity?
The Good Reasons for Bad Habits
Innate Belonging of the Ecological Self
An Evolving Sense of Purpose
Dynamic Sustainability—Within & Without
Emergent Truth in Soulful Times: How do we Face, Speak and Act in Truth in a World of Falsehood and Fear
Earthrise Center, Petaluma
Workshop: “Healing Shame by Cultivating Truth”
Sometimes truth is welcomed. Other times it is hard to swallow, let alone honor or share. Ecological accountability is one of those difficult truths. Even a whiff of blame evokes shame. As the truth of our complicity in causing environmental harm is exposed, tallied, and made clear, we walk deeper and deeper into fields of shame. This is a delicate situation for “truth workers” because wholesome responses to shame are not humanity’s strong suit.
Whether truth is experienced as a battering ram or a place of belonging depends upon our capacity to work insightfully and firmly with shame. In this workshop, we will explore the vital role shame plays in the maintenance, repair, and evolution of complex living systems. This participatory workshop will involve outdoor time in small groups, exploratory improvised theatre, and hopefully a few laughs. Along with belonging and empathy, humor is a time-honored way to mitigate the intensity of shame while still heeding its life-serving purposes.
Workshop: Transpersonal Dimensions of Accountability
Accepting accountability, responsibility, or agency for one’s life and behavior have long been emphasized as essential for psychological health and maturity by schools of psychology and philosophy ranging from existentialism to Buddhism. But accountability is gritty work. Denial, anger, shame, and heartbreak shape the contours of culpability. Might traversing this rugged terrain, where darker aspects of human nature are laid bare, be redeeming—and even transcendent? What are the transpersonal dimensions of accountability?
Twelve years teaching Nonviolent Communication in San Quentin has opened my mind and heart to the higher octaves of accountability. Men serving life sentences must face the Board of Paroles and demonstrate a mature capacity for accountability. Going to the Board is a challenge most of us will not face. So why should accountability matter to us? Tragically, what my students identify as “criminal thinking” is not relegated solely to criminals. Who among us has not been trapped in this kind of mindset, or related dysfunctions, at some point in our lives? From a transpersonal perspective, most of us are caught in a deceptively selfish mindset and dangerously limited sense of self.
Further, in a times ecological reckoning, how we engage accountability determines whether the consequences of our actions happen to us or for us. Having choice in this matter requires a capacity to endure shame in wholesome ways and be available to the transcendent dimensions of accountability.
Let’s turn to look clearly at complicity and culpability. Doing so reveals why this arduous undertaking is necessary and beneficial for all of us. The intention of this interactive presentation is to prepare us, both individually and communally, to forge a transcendent path of ecological accountability willingly, even gladly, and with as much good humor as we can muster.