This article takes as its starting point the way in which the relationship between man and nature is outlined in certain passages of Freud's work, in order to highlight how few psychoanalysts have addressed the intrinsic unconscious aspects of the relationship between man and the environment. We have to wait until the 1960s and 1970s for the reflections by Searles, with his references to the theoretical work of Freud, Klein, and Winnicott. Searles’ writings are a milestone in the analysis of individual and group defences in relation to the ecological crisis. Specific instances are provided by three clinical vignettes, which analyse some defensive moves in relation to the serious problem of lack of respect for the environment and concern about climate change. From the defensive move highlighted in the analytic relationship, mutatis mutandis, it is possible to highlight defensive moves on a group level, also observing how ecological changes may reorient psychoanalytic thought about the psyche and its dynamics.