Maternal Ecopsychology: An Interview with Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond

interview maternal psychology Jun 24, 2022

Maternal ecopsychology is the name for an emerging interpretative framework where nature is reintroduced into the multiple domain levels of matrescence, or the developmental transition into motherhood (Athan & Reel, 2015; Raphael, 1975), to further our understanding of the transition to motherhood (Davis & Athan, 2022). By applying ecopsychological theories to maternal development, Aurelie Athan and I hope to provide additional alternative explanations for the presence and treatment of mental health disturbances in mothers.

Although we have been writing about this in a paper to be published soon, I‘m excited about the ways maternal ecopsychology builds upon matrescence’s developmental frame and strength-based approach and attempts to describe what might be considered normative growth and growing pains in this domain in order to best support mothers through their ecodistress. The inclusion of an ecological perspective only furthers and deepens the psychological story of maternal mental health, specifically the rise in maternal (eco)distress, in the fullness of its meaning.  

I’m was so excited I connected with Rosie Rickerson of Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond Media on their podcast to discuss how we can use this interpretive framework to approach and support the maternal ecodistress and ecoanxiety that often shows up in the perinatal and postpartum period. You can give it a listen here or go to their website at I’d love to hear your thoughts about this developing theory!


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