Psychotherapy Articles

Psychotherapy Articles

The Climate and Environmental Crisis: A Primer for Psychologists

Recent research shows an  increasing level of distress concerning the climate and environmental crisis (Leiserowitz et al, 2022; Hickman, 2021). This workshop will illuminate the broader context of this crisis, including the embedded sociocultural factors that differentially affect communities and individuals.  We will discuss ways that climate distress, grief and anxiety are showing up clinically, as well as how the topic might be engaged in sessions when it has not yet been explored. Various clinical approaches and considerations will be presented, including actively processing the emotions and fostering emotional resilience.

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Wendy is a psychologist/psychoanalyst practicing in New York City. She is on the faculty of the Manhattan Institute for Psychoanalysis, where she has co-taught a course on Ecopsychoanalysis with Elizabeth Allured. She is also on the faculty of the Adelphi University Postgraduate Program in Couple Therapy. She has led workshops for university students on building emotional resilience in the face of climate distress, and has presented on the climate crisis, locally and internationally, to both mental health professionals and psychoanalytic audiences.

Cite This Article

Greenspun, W. & Allured, E., (TBD, 2024). [Web article]. Retrieved from


Doppelt, B. (2016) Transformational Resilience: How building human resilience to climate disruption can safeguard society and increase wellbeing. NY: Routledge.

Eagle and Kaminer (2013), Continuous traumatic stress: Expanding the lexicon of traumatic stress. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 19(2), 85–99.

Hickman, C., Marks, E., Pihkala, P., Clayton, S., Lewandowski, E., Mayall, E., Wray, B., Mellor, C., and Van Susteren, L. Young people’s voices on climate anxiety, government betrayal and moral injury: a global phenomenon. Unpublished document, in The Lancet’s Preprints.

Leiserowitz, A., Maiback, E., Rosenthal, S., and Kotcher, J. (2022). Climate change in the American mind: 2020. Yale program on climate change communication.

Marcus, C. and Barnes, M. (1999) Healing gardens. New York: Wiley and Sons.

Morton, T. (2013) Hyperobjects: Philosophy and ecology after the end of the world. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Siegel, D. (1999). The developing mind: How relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are. NY: Guilford.


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