Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
International Journal of Art Therapy
For a Special Issue on
Nature-based Art Therapy
31 March 2024
Special Issue Editor(s)
Dr Zoe Moula,
King's College London
Dr Pamela Whitaker,
Dr Caroline Hickman,
University of Bath
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).
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