Tuesday, January 20, 2009

All in the Mind - Greening the Psyche

A great episode of All in the Mind. You might also want to check out this entry at the All in the Mind blog, Ecology and your mind.

Greening the Psyche

Intuitively we sense that nature relaxes us -- even small pockets of green in the concrete urban jungle seem to make a difference. But finding good scientific evidence for how and why has been more difficult -- until now. Crime rates, academic performance, aggression and even ADHD. Could a bit of greening make all the difference? And, ecology on the couch -- a self described 'ecotherapist' with novel techniques.

Original broadcast: 16/2/2008

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Kathleen Bagot
PhD candidate
School of Psychology Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine
Monash University

Ambra Burls
UK based ecotherapist
(Until recently) Senior Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University
Chelmsford, UK.

Associate Professor Frances E. Kuo
Director, Landscape and Human Health Laboratory
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Nancy Lehet
Artist in residence
St Kilda Bowling Club studio
Veg Out Community Garden
St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia

Community member and plot gardener, Veg Out Garden

Arabelle and her mother
Visiting the Veg Out Community Garden
St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia

Further Information

Natasha Mitchell's All in the Mind Blog post for this program
Contribute to the discussion!

Veg Out Community Garden, St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia

Veg Out Community Garden photo album

Research by the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Frances Kuo and colleagues' research on crime and vegetation

Frances Kuo and colleagues' research on ADHD and vegetation

Ambra Burls' concept of embracement
Developed as part of her PhD on ecotherapty

MIND (UK mental health charity involved in the Meanwhile Wildlife Garden project)
Kensington & Chelsea branch, London.


Title: Biophilia
Author: E.O Wilson
Publisher: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984.

Title: Social exclusion and embracement: a helpful concept?
Author: Ambra Burls & Woody Caan
Publisher: Journal of Primary Health Care Research and Development Vol. 5 191-192, 2004.

Title: Human health and nature conservation: Ecotherapy could be beneficial, but we need more robust evidence
Author: Ambra Burls and Woody Caan.
Publisher: Britsh Medical Journal 2005;331:1221-1222 (26 November).
URL: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/331/7527/1221?rss

Title: Environment and the Inner City: Does Vegetation Reduce Crime?
Author: Frances Kuo and William Sullivan
Publisher: Environment and Behaviour, Vol 33, No. 3, May 2001 343-367

Title: A potential natural treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Evidence from a national study.
Author: Frances E. Kuo and Andrea Faber Taylor.
Publisher: American Journal of Public Health, 94(9), 1580-1586, (2004).

Title: Coping with ADD: The Surprising Connection to Green Play Settings
Author: Andrea Faber Taylor, Frances E. Kuo, & William C. Sullivan.
Publisher: Environment and Behavior, 33(1), 54-77, (2001).
URL: http://www.lhhl.uiuc.edu/adhd.htm

Title: The urban forest as a source of psychological well-being.
Author: Stephen Kaplan [In G. A. Bradley (Ed.) Urban forest landscapes: Integrating multidisciplinary perspectives.]
Publisher: University of Washington Press. Pp. 101-108, 1995.

Title: Some hidden benefits of the urban forest.
Author: Stephen Kaplan [in C.C. Konijnendijk, N.E. Koch, K. H. Hoyer, and J. Schipperijn (Eds.) Forestry serving urbanised societies.]
Publisher: (Proceedings of the IUFRO European Regional Conference, 27-30 August 2002, Copenhagen)., Hoersholm, Denmark: Skov & Landskab.).
URL: http://sitemaker.umich.edu/cognition.and.environment/files/kaplan-hidden_benefits.pdf
Includes more detail on Kaplan's theory of 'directed attention fatigue'.

Title: Is contact with nature important for healthy child development? State of Evidence
Author: Andrea Faber Taylor and Frances E. Kuo [In C. Spencer & M Blades (Eds), Children and their Environments (pp 124-140),
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Title: The restorative benefits of nature: Toward an integrative framework.
Author: Stephen Kaplan
Publisher: J Environ Psychol 1995;15: 169-82.

Title: Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
Author: Richard Louv
Publisher: Algonquin Books (March 17, 2006)
URL: http://www.thefuturesedge.com/
ISBN-10: 1565125223.


Natasha Mitchell

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