Susan Holliday

Susan Holliday
is a ClimateCultures Author

A psychotherapist and writer committed to the rewilding of human nature, exploring the correlation between despoiling our natural world and the desolation of the human spirit

I am a psychotherapist committed to the rewilding of human nature and a poet in the broadest sense of the word. I was born in the high Altiplano of the Bolivian Andes, spent my childhood in rural Wiltshire and have ancestral roots in Cumbria and the north of England.

My book Hidden Wonders of the Human Heart – How to See through your Sorrow was published in 2021. Weaving storytelling from my therapy practice with creative insight from artists, poets and musicians, the book is a personal testament to the power of creative conversation to unearth the deep nature of the human heart.

In my writing and in my therapy practice I am interested in exploring the equivalence and correlation between the despoiling of our natural world and the desolation of the human spirit. In both cases we are stripping away the potential for resonant encounter through language that labels objectifies and quantifies experience, rather than trusting in a poetic vision that is intimate and embodied. The language of psychopathology, rooted as it is in 19th-century notions of nature as a ‘heart of darkness’, has become instrumental in alienating human experience from its native roots. Increasingly blind to nature within, we are losing faith in the existence of a source of emotional nourishment, connection and intelligence in our depths. We plunder the natural world around us to fill the bottomless pit within. Our myopia is costing us the earth.

In confronting the grief, shame and anger as culpable humans in this Anthropocene age, I believe it is of paramount importance that we hold faith in our deep indigenous nature, in the common ground we share with the earth. We can be better than this. The time has come for us to explore the intimate ecology of the human heart with the same degree of wonder and imagination that we bring to our encounters with the natural world.

I look forward to creative conversations and collaborations which explore ways in which we can re-root human experience in the deep poetry of a shared nature.

Susan's book, Hidden Wonders of the Human Heart – How to see through your sorrow, is reviewed by fellow member James Murray-White in his February 2022 post, Seeing Nature's Wonders in the Human Heart.

A Nature More Resilient

A Nature More Resilient

Responding to our Environmental Keywords post on ‘Resilience’, psychotherapist Susan Holliday uses a story from her book Hidden Wonders of the Human Heart to seek a more resilient nature, finding signs that collective stresses need not overwhelm us.
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