Psychiatrists and others in the mental health field have long been aware
that forces within the surrounding social network effect both favorably and
unfavorably the individual psyche and the course of mental illness, but the
systematic use of such factors in therapy and prevention has awaited a
model. The authors identify a beginning yet workable approach to what an
APA task force termed "ecopsychiatry"; the model proposed is not that of
traditional linear or cause-and-effect perspectives but is based on a
systemic model derived originally form biological ecology.