That we are animals, and that we co-evolved just as all other Earth organisms, is the foundation for those psychologists who study biological psychology. Eco-psychology, evolutionary psychology, and even sociobiology, all share this premise.
These professionals realize the psyche is biological in origin and this fundamental shared origin is more critical than our early childhood fixations, or our dreams, delusions, or neuroses. None of these later things is dismissed in the biological view, but theories as to why we have such mental and emotional obstacles is seen from the perspective of our biology, and shared origins. In the field of ecopsychology, it is our separation and abstraction skills that are often thought to be the basis of why we have insanity, garbage, and war more so than other beings on earth.
Those who learn from biological psychology also study things such as language, one of our human traits that is distinctly more advanced in humans than in other creatures. For this reason, knowledge is sought which will reveal in what ways we are like the other animals and in what ways we differ. Our evolution is involved, so one branch of bilogical psychology has become known as evolutionary psychology ( EP).
Dr. E.O. Wilson, who coined the term Biophilia, noting our strong affinity for outdoor vistas and life, and who wrote a book on the subject by the same name, instructs us that biodiversity is the key to all successful flourishing of life, including human life, on planet Earth. He is an advocate for Earth, certainly, but more so for our own species, which in squandering our resources, is self destructive. Another eminent ecopsychologist is Dr. Michael Cohen, who runs Project Nature Connect. He shows with classes and programs in outdoor teaching, that we are less stressed, and more healed and nurtured when we use more than fifty senses to connect, or reconnect to nature.
In every day life, psychologists often study behavior, and traditionally have left out the critical piece that we are not just citizens of our own minds, but live in the real world as well. Psychologists do pay careful attention to environment, but when doing so, even the word “Environment” itself has become synonymous with upbringing, or nurturing, lack thereof, or the stimulus of social learning. Therefore, unlike traditional psychologists, biological psychology looks at the whole of the environment for clues as to what motivates, and what heals human beings.
Most crucial to the field of ecopsychology is the realization that all life is inter- dependent and connected. We destroy our inner psyche and mental health with junk thinking, trashy culture, and shallow values. We also externalize this inner destruction, and the outside world reflects it with pollution, garbage, war, and on- going conflicts.
Basing our view of psychology on the whole, rather than on individual behavior, brain disease, or any one part, allows modern psychology to have a stronger basis for interpretation of human thought, mental illness, behavior, and our role in creating a world in which we either thrive or perish.