Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming
Paul Hawken (editor)
Penguin Books, 2017
My last couple of articles here have dealt with allowing ourselves to grieve for losses in nature, and discussing trauma and resilience in the time of climate change. I wanted to round out the trifecta with a more concrete set of solutions, and these come in the form of one of the best books I’ve read this year.
97% of scientists who are actually studying climate change (as opposed to making armchair claims) have found enough evidence to be convinced that climate change is anthropogenic–caused by humans. And the rate of climate change is so rapid on a geological scale that it’s set to seriously disrupt every system on the planet, from ocean currents to animal migrations to weather patterns. As I’ve mentioned before, this impending scene of doom–which we’re already seeing the first signs of–has a lot of people scared, anxious, angry, even hopelessly nihilistic. Much of that is because we don’t feel empowered to actually do anything, especially when government officials and corporations both seem hell-bent on continuing the trend in the name of money.
This book, then, is a serious antidote to that.
Posted in Book Reviews
Tagged answers, client, climate change, counseling, counselor, ecology, ecopsychology, ecotherapist, ecotherapy, energy, fear, geothermal, global warming, hope, mental health, mental illness, nature, nature therapy, psychology, recycling, solar, solutions, stress, therapist, therapy
In my last article, I talked about how we need to create space to grieve for environmental losses. No loss is greater than that of the entire planet, and while we’re not likely to have the Earth obliterated by the Death Star any time soon, several times throughout its history it has experienced mass extinctions and devastating climate shifts. Our species has existed for the past couple hundred thousand years in a relatively stable period, save for a few ice ages. But as adaptable as we are, it remains to be seen whether we’d survive the sort of extreme climate shift that preceded something as great as the Permian Extinction, which killed off over half of all species.
No one knows for certain how bad our current anthropogenic climate change will be, and whether we’ll be able to reverse our trajectory in enough time to avoid the worst. But as the only known species that can be aware of our future, we have the burden of knowing in just how many ways something can go very, very wrong. And then we get to thinking about it, and worrying over it, and anxiety sets in, and that will do a number on just about anyone’s mental and emotional health.
In fact, climate change is possibly one of the most urgent and critical topics for ecopsychology to address. Yes, it is good for us to work toward reconnecting people with the rest of nature. But we also need to address our feelings toward nature, to include those less pleasant ones like the worry and fear.
Everyone’s method for doing so is different. But one of the key factors that everyone can draw from is resilience.
Read more here.
Posted in For Everyone
Tagged anxiety, client, climate change, counseling, counselor, ecopsychology, ecotherapist, ecotherapy, emotion, fear, global warming, mental health, mental illness, nature, nature therapy, psychology, resilience, strength, stress, therapist, therapy, trauma, worry
“The central hypothesis of this approach can be briefly stated. It is that the individual has within him or her self vast resources for self-understanding, for altering her or his self-concept, attitudes, and self-directed behavior—and that these resources can be tapped if only a definable climate of facilitative psychological attitudes can be provided,” –Carl Rogers, on unconditional positive regard
The graduate-level counseling program that I got my Master’s degree through at Lewis & Clark College has a very humanistic foundation. Humanistic psychology was developed by Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, and several other pioneering psychologists in the mid-20th century. After decades of being dominated by the Victorian biases of Freud’s psychoanalysis and Skinner’s cold behaviorism*, the field of psychology was in dire need of some warmth and humanity.
There are several key tenets to humanistic psychology, including the idea that people are inherently good, that we are whole, complex people and we should strive to develop our best selves, and that a therapist’s role is to be supportive in these efforts while offering constructive tools the client can use. Also important is the concept of unconditional positive regard, in which a therapist wholly accepts a person as they are, and does not judge them no matter their mistakes or flaws. By offering this place of complete support, the client has the opportunity to see that they always have the potential to become better regardless of their past or present circumstances.
Read more here.
Posted in For Ecotherapists
Tagged altruism, client, client-centered, climate change, counseling, counselor, ecopsychology, ecotherapist, ecotherapy, humanism, humanistic psychology, humanistic therapy, mental health, mental illness, nature, nature therapy, person-centered, psychology, Rogerian psychology, stress, therapist, therapy, unconditional positive regard