Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

International Journal of Art Therapy

For a Special Issue on

Nature-based Art Therapy

Manuscript deadline
31 March 2024

Cover image - International Journal of Art Therapy

Special Issue Editor(s)

Dr Zoe Moula, King's College London
[email protected]

Dr Pamela Whitaker, Ulster University
[email protected]

Dr Caroline Hickman, University of Bath
[email protected]

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Nature-based Art Therapy

For far too long we have considered ourselves as separate from, and superior to the more-than-human world (Heginworth & Nash, 2019). The current ecological crisis is a strong message that we need to move beyond this anthropocentric worldview, towards an eco-centric worldview whereby humans are part of nature with the same value as all living beings (Gagnon Thompson & Barton, 1994; Oelschlaeger, 1992; Stokols, 1990).

Nature- and outdoor-based art therapy is theoretically underpinned by the principles eco-psychology and eco-therapy, according to which personal healing is stemming from mindful immersion in nature; this in turn empowers people with an ‘invigorated capacity to conserve the Earth’ (Clinebell, 1996; de la Motte, 2015). Through this reciprocal process, healing in nature is also healing for nature (Harper, Rose & Segal, 2019; Rust, 2020).

Nature- and outdoor-based art therapy can be beneficial in de-stigmatising ‘therapy’, creating a more accessible space for people who may find it challenging to engage in a traditional therapeutic room, and (re-)connecting people with nature. With nature as ‘co-therapist’, we can approach existential themes of impermanence, life and death, loss and new beginnings. (Boon, 2019; Hermann, 2020). We may also experience personal or spiritual growth and find meaning in life by witnessing the beauty and awe inspired by nature (Summers & Vivian, 2018).

Submission Instructions

In this special issue, we welcome research, practice, and opinion submissions on nature- and outdoor-based art therapy. We are looking for ethical, evidence-informed, original contributions, which foreground service user and lived experience perspectives. Whilst some possible themes are outlined below, we welcome articles on any aspect of nature- and outdoor-based art therapy:

  • Establishing and holding a therapeutic frame in natural environments
  • Ethical and safeguarding challenges and solutions
  • Exploring existentialism and meaning of life
  • Facilitating equity of access to nature
  • Cultivating cultural humility and anti-oppressive practice, recognising the ideological, cultural and political identities of ‘land’
  • Contributing towards finding a solution for climate and biodiversity crisis
  • Promoting connection with nature, environmental awareness and sustainability

Note: When submitting your paper to ScholarOne, please select the "Special Issue Title: Nature-based Art Therapy"

The deadline for mentorship is 10/09/23 by email to the Lead Editor

Deadlines for submissions: 1/03/2024 - 31/03/2024

Expected publication date: 01/03/2025

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