When we think of the impacts of climate change, we often think of how the crisis is worsening environmental degradation or threatening the health of communities. For mental health professionals, climate change is affecting their practice as well, as they work to serve the growing number of people who feel grief, anger, despair, anxiety and other emotions because of the climate crisis. And like all who work in the field, clinicians, too, need opportunities to process their own feelings regarding the changing world.
Climate Psychology Alliance – North America has developed an online resource map to help mental health professionals learn about mental health as it relates to the emerging climate challenge. The pins in the map show the general location of classes, seminars and other programs that various individuals and institutions are offering. Before now, there has been no way to easily access this information.
“We’ve learned a lot about how to help people move into and through the feelings evoked by climate change,” said Dr. Bob Berley, a private practice clinician working on emotions around climate issues. “For example, we can help people engage emotionally and combat the impulse to push away what feels too overwhelming or distressing to face, or to step forward to take relevant action when the risks and consequences are so diverse and uncertain.” Dr. Berley is also an adjunct faculty at the UW Medical School and he sits on the steering committee for Climate Psychology Alliance – North America.
The mission of the Climate Psychology Alliance US is to enhance the human capacity to acknowledge, mitigate and adapt to climate change through an understanding and application of various depth psychologies, as well as bring awareness to the mental health implications of climate change.
Today, more learning opportunities are now available through a virtual platform and interested clinicians can enroll and attend from anywhere in the world. If you know of a clinical workshop related to the psychology and psychotherapy of climate change and would like to post the event to the map, please email Dr. Berley at bberley [at] climatepsychology.us.