This blog was originally posted on the website Valuing Nature.
Jules Peck just sent me this link to a document produced by the Australian Psychological Society, offering “suggestions for dealing with distressing feelings when learning about environmental problems”.
Although environmental threats are real and can be frightening, remaining in a state of heightened distress is not helpful for ourselves or for others. We generally cope better, and are more effective at making changes, when we are calm and rational.
It goes on to suggest:
Sometimes taking a news break can be helpful. Turning off the radio or TV, and having a break from the newspaper for a few days can be a welcome relief.
It’s interesting to see a Psychological Society begin to acknowledge and respond to the psychological impacts of an understanding of environmental problems – something that many psychotherapists (Mary-Jayne Rust, for example) have long been suggesting underlies the problems that their clients bring to the couch.