Cultural Psychotherapy: a Depth Approach to Activism in Our Times

April 21, 2017


Next month (May 27), we will be hosting a morning in the company of scholar and activist Alastair McIntosh as he describes his use of depth psychology in activism for social and environmental change, drawing out especially his use of Freud’s and Jung’s thoughts woven through with the emerging discipline of transpersonal psychology. He will draw examples both from his early campaigning work on land and community issues, right through to his view of Donald Trump whose mother was born on the Isle of Lewis where he was raised.


Alastair came up with the term “cultural psychotherapy” in his work for land reform and environmental protection in the 1990s. In 1994, when he lead testimony at the government’s public inquiry into the Harris “superquarry”, one of his witnesses was the War Chief of the Mi’Kmaq First Nations in Canada. A local newspaper that supported the quarry ran a full front page of coverage with the mocking headline: Media out in Force for “transatlantic cultural psychotherapy session”. Since then he has developed the concept in his books including Soil and Soul which is on land reform, Hell and High Water on climate change, Spiritual Activism and most recently it is implicit to, Poacher’s Pilgrimage, which explores an ecology of the imagination.


Alastair is an independent scholar and activist, an honorary professor at Glasgow University and an honorary fellow of the School of Divinity at Edinburgh University. His books have been described as “world-changing” by George Monbiot, “life-changing” by the Bishop of Liverpool, “an inspiration” by Starhawk and “truly mental” by Thom Yorke of Radiohead. He is not a psychotherapist, but draws deeply on insights from depth psychology, theology and spirituality in his work. He lives in Govan with his wife, Vérène Nicolas, where he is a founding trustee of the GalGael Trust which works with issues of urban poverty.


Click here to register your interest in attending this event at our Glasgow training centre.

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