Mental health practitioners have an invaluable role to play at this pivotal time in human history. In 2011, an article in American Psychologist went so far as to assert that, “Psychologists have an ethical obligation to take immediate steps to minimize the psychological harm associated with climate change, to help to reduce global disparities in climate impacts, and to continually improve their climate related interventions through coordinated programs of research and practice that draw on the rich diversity of psychologists’ skills and training.”
I wholeheartedly agree.
With more than 90% of climate scientists in agreement that human behavior significantly contributes to global warming, psychology is well positioned to make a significant and positive contribution to assisting with a behavioral shift. Psychological perspectives need to be at the table of interdisciplinary conversations generating effective climate solutions. Psychology is powerful in addressing the emotional underpinnings of climate denial, understanding motivators for change, identifying the most effective communication strategies, as well as building resiliency when individuals and communities are faced with immediate and long term climate chaos that provoke trauma, grief, anxiety and depression.
Individuals: I offer resiliency tools for addressing the anxiety and grief of climate chaos, whether resulting from high impact trauma, or the existential experience of what is occurring on a global scale. Becoming clear on how to engage is an important therapeutic tool.
Therapists, Healthcare Providers, Activists, Coaches, and Universities: I provide curriculum, retreats and training tailored to the organization’s needs.
Community Talks and Workshops: Everyone has an important role in the great shift that is occurring at this time. It is especially valuable to enliven creative dialogue with interdisciplinary approaches.
Governmental Agencies and NGOs: Consultations and training can clarify and improve effective actions with tools and leadership practices.