Presented by Barbara Easterlin, PhD
My Capstone Project was a full day continuing education workshop for mental health clinicians and others interested in the topic of Climate Psychology. This an emerging field in behavioral health that is developing in response to the distress therapy clients and therapists are expressing about the climate crisis (e.g.: worries about the future as well as existential issues such as whether to relocate geographically or to have children). California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) hosted the workshop. The course covered three major areas: 1) the neuropsychology and socio-political reasons we are at this stage of climate and ecological crisis, 2) its the mental health implications, 3) what clinicians can do to help clients develop resilience and find their own forms of activism. Compassion was woven into all parts of the workshop — compassion for the human condition, the planet and all of its inhabitants, as well as for how difficult this problem is to solve. Between the didactic sections of the presentation, I developed meditations, and short interpersonal processes, and role plays to help the audience learn strategies for calming their own climate anxiety and for compassionate listening to others. For the CCARE Showcase, I’ll summarize the main points of the presentation as well as lead a short experiential exercise.