AMS2022 Learning Session
A Mindful, Compassionate Approach to Eco and Climate Anxiety and Grief
In this session I’ll provide a description and explanation of eco and climate anxiety and grief, along with an explanation of how these can impact us in our daily lives and in relation to our mental health. Increasingly, therapists and counsellors are finding that clients are seeking help for these issues, and yet most therapists are not trained or equipped to work on them specifically. Given the increasing urgency and impacts of the climate crisis, we are faced with this issue and need to find ways to approach it both professionally and personally. As such, I’ll provide an overview of some of the current research on compassion-based and nature-based therapies and their effectiveness for treating multiple mental health issues. By adding in trauma-sensitive mindfulness and contemplative practices to these approaches, I’ll explain how they can work on conjunction with each other to provide an a new and effective method for working with these challenging emotions to develop greater resiliency and a reduction in anxiety and grief. A short sample practice will also be provided.
Dr. Natalie Thomas
Natalie Thomas has a PhD in Philosophy and has been teaching in areas of applied ethics for many years, as well as writing and developing courses in Environmental Philosophy and Ethics. She is also specializes in animal ethics and has published in this area, and is a Fellow with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and a Woman for Humane Canada. In addition to this, she is currently training to become a licensed psychotherapist, and has completed one (and is currently finishing another) certificate in Mindfulness Meditation through the University of Toronto. One of her current research interests is finding ways to combine these areas of study and expertise to create a mindful approach to working with climate anxiety and climate grief. Through both extensive research and personal practice, she is developing evidence-based and contemplative, compassionate methods for working with the challenging emotions that can arise from the suffering caused by the current climate crisis.