Chapter Proposals for "Eco-anxiety, Eco-depression, and Planetary Hope"

Douglas Vakoch's picture
Call for Publications
April 1, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Psychology, Environmental History / Studies, Health and Health Care, Social Work, Social Sciences

Chapter proposals are invited for an edited book examining the nature and scope of eco-anxiety and eco-depression, with an emphasis on alleviating suffering through innovative treatment approaches that foster a sense of hope. Confirmed contributors to Eco-anxiety, Eco-depression, and Planetary Hope include:

  • “It’s About Time: Mother Earth Joins the Time’s Up and #MeToo Movements,” Merritt Juliano, JD, LCSW, Co-President, Climate Psychology Alliance North America
  • “Green Stuff: Towards a Phenomenology of Eco-anxiety, ”Eva-Maria Simms, PhD, Adrian van Kaam Professor of Psychology, Duquesne University
  • “From Eco-Anxiety to Ecoresilience: Toward a Psychology of Care,” Craig Chalquist, PhD, Professor of East-West Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies, and Linda Buzzell, MA, LMFT, Adjunct Faculty, Pacifica Graduate Institute
  • “Hope and Rejection: Moving from Hope, Anxiety, and Depression to Openness and Engagement,” John V. Davis, PhD, Professor and Director of Transpersonal Psychology and Ecopsychology (retired), Naropa University
  • “Cultivating Belonging: Healing Dissociation and Defensive Anxiety,” Jan Edl Stein, MFT, Director, Holos Institute
  • “Atmospheres of Anxiety: Phenomenological Practices for the Climate Emergency,” Sam Mickey, PhD, Adjunct Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Francisco

Interested authors should send a 300-word abstract, 200-word biography, and sample of a previously published chapter or article to Douglas Vakoch, PhD, at by April 1, 2020. Authors whose proposals have been accepted will be notified by April 15, 2020, and first drafts of full chapters (8,000 words) are due by October 1, 2020. Final chapters are due December 1, 2020. The book targets an academic and professional audience, and all chapters should include scholarly references. Preference will be given to authors who have completed their doctorates. Only previously unpublished works will be considered. The book will appear in the series Environment and Society, published by Lexington Books, an imprint of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.

Eco-anxiety is defined as “a chronic fear of environmental doom” in the American Psychological Association’s (2017) report Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance. The term “eco-anxiety” is used widely enough to merit its own Wikipedia entry. This book also includes the less-examined condition of “eco-depression,” which may be even more prevalent, as suggested by the World Health Organization’s (2017) estimate that 3.6% of the global population can be diagnosed with anxiety, while 4.4% has a depressive disorder. Relatively few clients seek out psychotherapy with an explicit goal of addressing their concerns about ecological threats, but many acknowledge that the climate crisis weighs heavily on them.

Appropriate topics for chapters include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Understanding whether eco-anxiety and eco-depression are pathological, adaptive, or both.
  • Defining and diagnosing eco-anxiety and eco-depression; comparisons to anxiety and depressive disorders in the ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision) are welcome.
  • The phenomenology of eco-anxiety and eco-depression.
  • Identifying eco-anxiety and eco-depression amidst other concerns presented by patients.
  • Understanding and treating eco-anxiety and eco-depression through various therapeutic orientations (e.g., cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, existential, family systems).
  • Using nontraditional therapeutic approaches (e.g., ecotherapy, wilderness therapy, wilderness rites of passage).
  • Using various modalities of treatment (e.g., individual, couples, family, group).
  • Pharmacotherapy for eco-anxiety and eco-depression.
  • Psychedelic-assisted therapies for eco-anxiety and eco-depression.
  • Engaging in sustainable practices and environmental communities and organizations as therapeutic treatment.
  • Bibliotherapy using climate fiction (cli fi) or other fiction or non-fiction.
  • Case formulation and treatment planning for eco-anxiety and eco-depression.
  • Political engagement for patients and psychotherapists as a response to eco-anxiety and eco-depression.
  • Reaching populations at increased risk.
  • Tailoring treatments for diverse populations.
  • The role of emotional resilience in eco-anxiety and eco-depression.
  • Coping with hopelessness and despair in the face of eco-anxiety and eco-depression.
  • Justifying a focus on eco-anxiety and eco-depression for managed care plans.
  • The history of concepts related to eco-anxiety and eco-depression and their relevance for contemporary theory and practice.
  • Conceptualizing eco-anxiety and eco-depression from disciplinary perspectives outside psychology and psychiatry. (Comparisons to psychological and psychiatric formulations of anxiety and depression are encouraged to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue.)

If the response to this call for proposals is sufficiently strong, separate volumes on eco-anxiety and eco-depression may be published. To make this possible, each chapter should focus on either eco-anxiety or eco-depression, but not both. Potential contributors who wish to write chapters on both eco-anxiety and eco-depression are welcome to submit separate proposals for each. Each proposal will be evaluated individually, without reference to whether the author has also submitted another proposal.

The editor of Eco-anxiety, Eco-depression, and Planetary Hope, Douglas Vakoch, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, as well as Director of Green Psychotherapy, PC, a private practice that helps clients with eco-anxiety and eco-depression. He also serves as general editor of Lexington Books' Ecocritical Theory and Practice Series. Vakoch's other edited books include Ecofeminism and Rhetoric: Critical Perspectives on Sex, Technology, and Discourse (2011), Psychology of Space Exploration: Contemporary Research in Historical Perspective (2011), Feminist Ecocriticism: Environment, Women, and Literature (2012), Ecopsychology, Phenomenology, and the Environment: The Experience of Nature (2014), Ecofeminism in Dialogue (2017), Women and Nature?: Beyond Dualism in Gender, Body, and Environment (2017), Literature and Ecofeminism: Intersectional and International Voices (2018), and Transecology: Transgender Perspectives on Environment and Nature (2020).

Contact Info: 

Douglas Vakoch, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus
Department of Clinical Psychology
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street

San Francisco, CA 94103



Green Psychotherapy, PC

2041 Bancroft Way, Suite 202

Berkeley, CA 94704


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