Ecotuning is a practice of applied ecopsychology. Ecotuners facilitate within people their re-connection with Life and the natural world or Earth. In these times of global warming and social injustice, this is necessary now more than ever.

Ecopsychology studies the relationship between humans and Nature. It states that humanity is disconnected from the natural world, resulting in climate change and social and environmental injustice.

Therefore, humans need to remember their innate connection to Nature, also known as Biophilia (E.O. Wilson). A reciprocal relationship with Nature unfolds when you consciously give back what you may receive from Earth (the place where we live and obtain our food, water, air, …). As a result, you start to make conscious choices, informed by your connection with Nature or the Earth. This reciprocal relationship becomes your inner life compass. From now on your choices will be guided by sensing whether your actions contribute to better self-care, care for others, society, and the Earth. Allowing yourself to live your life in this way ensures a healthy, meaningful, and happy life.

In the Training Applied Ecopsychology, Ecotuner, in Belgium, based on the training prescribed by IES, and adapted to their own culture and landscape, students learn how to facilitate within themselves and others (individual and groups) the reciprocal relationship with Earth. Despite the difficult circumstances due to Covid-19, a group of happy Ecotuners completed the training in October 2021. The training is transformative and offers a large range of ecopsychologically inspired theories and frameworks, guidelines and competences to facilitate the ecoself or the reconnection with Nature.

Below is a testimonial from one of our participants, Griet Bouwen, who weaves Ecotuning into the work she had developed earlier. It also shows that our training in Applied Ecopsychology can lead to new applications. We are proud of all Ecotuners –  whom we can call pioneers and messengers of the Earth – for doing such important work for the greater good, for humanity and Earth.

Ann Sterckx – EarthWise Education – IES School Belgium

Ecotuner Journey

A grateful Bow

On 24 October 2021, I completed the course Ecotuner, or ‘Applied Ecopsychology’, together with thirteen wonderful fellow travellers. I explored theory and experienced practices that I can now use to strengthen the soul connection between people and nature. The learning journey was one of a kind. Fascinating, transforming, confronting at times. Countless mind-and heart-opening hours of study and practice later, gratitude fills my soul.
Gratefulness for the deep learning journey in Ecotuning that I have experienced from early spring to late autumn 2021. Thankful for the rich community of knowledge, practices and inspired people in which I could come home. The field of ecopsychology and ecophilosophy brought me a perspective towards a life-long learning and growth. I feel grateful for the invitations to carefully weave my life history into the longing that has drawn me for so long. Grateful for the direction I discovered to further deepen my work-in-the-world, intertwining it with what is essential in my personal life.
Grateful for the place where I am now arriving. For seeing now how to weave my professional history into what feels like a call. For the start of a life and practice as an Eco-narrative facilitator and mentor, where I bring together my practice as a narrative worker together with the aims of Ecotuning work.

“This Ecotuning year, a deeply lived experience grew, and I came home to a quality of life I have longed for, for decades. Now there is room in my life for everything that is dear to me.”

Feeling that I am alive.
Caring for my home and place.
Studying.
Reflection.
The relationship with nature, the animated more-than-human world.
Being together with loved ones.
Work that fits and fulfills.

‘Work’, with which I struggled for a long time, finally got the place in my life it really deserved. No longer as a dominant, often oppressive structure. Now, I experience my work as an expression of my hopes, values and being. A life theme that has often bothered me now seems to have been worked through.
The ‘place’ where I live and with which I am connected, may now play a full part in my professional activities. I now see how this place wants to be hospitable, a source of inspiration for others, a sanctuary where people can rediscover their connection with sacred life. That too was a desire that had been dormant for years.I have arrived. I have arrived in a wonderful life of celebrating, harvesting and caring. Every day I marvel at the space and coherence that has been created in the past year. Life feels whole again, healed. Fresh and new and at the same time warm and familiar.

“I believe that the more familiar we are with the soul of the Earth, the more familiar we become with our own souls, for they are one in the same.”
– Tiana Cicco

Thank you to Ann Sterckx for making the Ecotuner training possible. Thank you to Arno, my husband, for all your appreciative questions and support in this time of transition. Thank you to my fellow travellers Ilse, Bastiaan, Annalynn, Ann, Hadewig, Benoit, Arne, Katrien, Nancy, Guus, Veraand Marianne.
Thank you Rizla, our dog, for our daily walks and your eyes and ears as my corridors to the natural world. Thank yo ufox, cows, horses, chickens and birds. Thank you vegetable garden, plants, herbs and place. Thank you sun and wind, moon and water. Thank you , house, you support my thinking and caring.
Thank you to the so many thinkers, writers and practitioners in the broad field of ecopsychology and ecophilosophy who brought me the joy of coming home. Thank you to Myrielle, Chené, Marianne and Els for welcoming my ideas and wanting to explore with me how we can bring the relationship between people and nature into our (narrative) work in the world.

We and the world are one another”
– Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961)

Thank you, you sacred, mysterious Life. It is a great gift, a privilege to be part of you. From here I harvest. And I give. So that we, 21st century earthlings, do not give up hope. That we bring into being the era in which we shall live and work in reciprocal, loving relationships with the earth and all the sacred Life to which we belong.

Griet Bouwen
Student Ecotuner-Applied Ecopsychology
Belgium, 2021
griet@zinspeling.be – www.zinspeling.be

Previous article“Applied Ecopsychology for Earth Citizenship” – IES International Online Seminar
In deep connection with nature, I live and experience it deeply with all my senses. In my personal and professional life you will know me as an ecopsychologist, cultural creative and lifestyleactivist. I'm a trainer and facilitator in nature connection and sustainable and regenerative activism. I developed a model that helps people to deepen their nature connection, in order to change their lifestyle. I'm also preparing a PhD that is related to nature connection. My mission and passion exists about helping professionals in re-connecting with their inner and outer nature, for a better self-care, care for the other, society and earth. My work is focused on inviting professionals in healthcare, education and other sectors to include the relation human-nature in their work and guidance. Very enthusiastic to join this international network, to learn from each other and especially support each other in the work we are doing.