A book explores the psychological implications of climate change.
With all of the literature surrounding climate shifts, it is a rare work that addresses their often profound emotional impact on humans. Medical practitioner and educator Davenport (Transformative Imagery, 2016, etc.) views weather cycles through a different lens, offering both an overview of climate change psychology and pertinent tactics for clinicians to apply in caring for their clients. The first part of the book examines specific “clinical themes.” “The Psychology of Climate Change Denial,” for example, touches on current beliefs and explains how the typical stress responses, “fight, flight, and freeze,” relate to the global disruptions. “Mindful Disaster Response,” a chapter that moves out of the clinician’s office into the field, discusses how to deal on-site with individuals going through the three stages of climate catastrophe recovery. These two chapters and the other four in Part I provide a solid overview of climate change’s impact, accompanied by additional resources and a worksheet tailored to each chapter’s content. The text and worksheets deliver specific “practices” the therapist can employ with clients, including thorough, step-by-step instructions. Part II is a uniquely structured resource comprised of 12 practices geared toward developing an “ecoharmonious life.” Every practice includes three sections—“Body Wise,” “Heart/Mind Wise,” and “World Wise”—each designed to sensitize a client to different transformative areas. The practices themselves are simple yet compelling: “Garden State,” for example, is designed to create an appreciation of one’s natural environment, particularly flora and the physical earth, so the client can become “an active steward of life.” An appendix features an exercise for “progressive relaxation,” and extensive references are included. Davenport demonstrates a deep knowledge of clinical practices but, more important, relates these directly to ecological issues and outcomes. Consistently positive and encouraging, she writes with an understanding of a therapist’s challenges and a sense of empathy for clients.
An insightful approach to the far-reaching effects of climate shifts and their impact on the human psyche; likely to become a valuable, targeted resource facilitating clinicians’ treatment in this specialized area.