"It's a uniquely startling time to be a human on this planet," says essayist and naturalist Diane Ackerman. For the first time in our planet's history, we've entered the Anthropocene--a "Human Age"--Diane says, where our actions have an indelible impact on the planet and its future. But what does this mean for therapists?
In the following video clip from Diane's 2015 Networker Symposium address, "Imagining Tomorrow: Healing and Hope in the Human Age," she explains why with unprecedented advancements in science and medicine comes a wealth of opportunities, challenges, and insights into the human condition that can both amaze and overwhelm us. "Researchers have now discovered that certain microorganisms can predispose us to psychiatric illnesses," Diane adds, "including depression."
Watch this clip from Diane's Keynote to find out why, even with these changes, "we really only exist in relation to the world and to each other."
Diane Ackerman is a poet, essayist, naturalist, and teacher. For decades, she's been writing scientifically informed books. Her latest book, The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us, explores the ramifications of the current Anthropocene Age--the first time humans are the dominant force of change on the planet.
"Long ago, the human tribe met to share food, expertise, ideas, and feelings," Diane says. While technology has distanced us from this level of intimacy, she adds that we still have the capacity to enjoy its benefits without losing sight of what technology also tells us about the primal needs of all humans--safety, connection, and love.
"Surely we can inhabit both worlds with poise," Diane says. "We’ll play outside and visit parks and wilds on foot, and also enjoy technological nature as a mental seasoning, turning to it for what it does best: illuminate all the hidden and mysterious facets of nature we can’t experience or fathom on our own."
Stay tuned for more clinical wisdom in our upcoming video blogs!
Did you enjoy this video? Check out Diane's article, Nature, Pixelated, to find out how the virtual world is shaping the way we live and build relationships, or our blog posts on Anxiety and Depression. Then let us know what you think in the comments section below!