Psychological counselling on climate change

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.

Tom CromptonPsychological counselling on climate change

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  • Graham Game - October 17, 2008 reply

    This nonsense reminds me of the government guidelines produced in the 1970’s to ‘inform’ us about the precautions we should take in the event of nuclear attack. Protect and Survive I think it was called. More ‘stiff upper lip’ and ‘do your bit’ than anything else – all it did of course was underline the sheer farce and hopelessness of the situation.

    The point this Aussie advice so gloriously misses is that many people despair about ‘doing their bit’ when politicians, their family, employer, neighbours etc., appear to be doing the reverse! I call this sort of behaviour ‘compound disempowerment’.

    Graham Game

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