Living with the climate crisis – psychologically based groups to help people respond creatively and collectively to our global dilemmas

  • News from groups that have run recently

    We’ve got news from two groups that have run recently, one in the UK and one in the Netherlands.

    Medical mothers’ group

    Kate Dufton has run a very interesting LWCC group for mothers who work in the NHS. The quotes from participants below offer a snapshot of people’s responses while Kate’s full account of the group with some fascinating reflections on the process can be found here.

    “For me the hardest thing was turning up. Not necessarily because I was otherwise engaged, but more because the thought of doing something challenging, potentially emotional, and with distressing topics to consider, was always difficult to accept of an evening when one naturally wants to wind down and shut off. Yet, in much the same way as I find I must force myself to exercise, it was always so worth attending and I was grateful every time I did.”

    “I enjoyed the balance between the imaginative and mindful versus the scientific and specific. I personally found one aspect easier than the other, but liked that I was taken a bit out of my comfort zone, as after all, the entire concept of the climate crisis puts us all well outside our comfort zones.”

    “I have already been involved in activism for a while so didn’t feel that this moved me along in that direction, but for others who aren’t there yet it might be helpful to have more Active Hope elements. I did find it helpful to explore communication around climate more and this is not something I’d had any training on previously.”

    Netherlands group

    Meanwhile, Vera Hoveling and her colleagues Carolijn and Alfredo have run a group in the Netherlands. Vera writes:

    “So far, I absolutely love the programme, even though sometimes it takes a while for us to really get the hang of the exercises. We have been doing them ourselves to prepare as well and learn a lot from them too. I personally find that indeed the Living with the climate crisis is a follow up to the carbon conversations programme and the climate cafes. Our group is pretty diverse in terms of engagement with activism but we find that the programme works for the different levels very well. 

    Some things we found that worked/didn’t work as we expected:

    Organisation as a day programme

    I think our most important reflection is that when offering the programme as a day-programme, we find that that we cannot fit three sessions into 1 day. Although on paper it looks very doable, we found that the high level of emotional work, especially with reflective exercises as drawing the tree and the story of self takes a toll and takes up quite some energy. The first day we tried to squeeze in 3 sessions and almost every participant gave as feedback that they were completely exhausted. For the second module, we skipped the third session (which was also easier to do) and made the programme much more balanced. As a regenerative practice we have used the favorite tree exercise more often and mixed it with Shinrin yoku. 

    Group size

    We strongly subscribe to your recommended group size of 6-8 participancts. We have – in our excitement – allowed for a bigger group than recommended (11 persons). We found it hard to say no, but a next time I would be much more strict with the limit. The second day there were quite some sick ones, which left us with a group of 8 and that was indeed much nicer and allowed us to better check how each participant was doing.

    Then finally I want to share something exciting: We are hosting this series in artist village Ruigoord, on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Ruigoord celebrates its 50 years of existence this year with an art programme. We’re part of that programme and also received sponsorship for this series. Therefor, our project will at the end also result in an art work. It is still getting into shape but the idea now is that we work with the observation from Collective Narrative Practice that people want to help others that go through something similar. We are asking all the participants to formulate 1 sentence that would have helped them in difficult times/something they’d tell someone else going through the same thing. These will probably be engraved and be put up in the village 🙂 

    Thank you so much for putting up this series!!
    Vera (also on behalf of my co-facilitators Carolijn and Alfredo)

  • New course in Oxford

    Our Oxford-based member of the Living with the climate crisis author team Rebecca Nestor is offering the course in Oxford from September this year, co-facilitating with Climate Psychology Alliance chair Judith Anderson. More details on Rebecca’s website. If you are offering the course where you live, let us know so that we can mention it here.

  • Living with the Climate Crisis off to a good start

    Our launch in April got the project off to a great start, with over 250 people attending from across the world, from the UK to Australia. If you missed the launch and would like to catch up, you can view the recording of the event here.

    Youtube video of the launch event

    We’re gradually getting news of people beginning to run groups, with one planned in the Netherlands starting in July, others in the UK starting in the autumn. Do let us know if you are planning or running a group as we’d love to feature news of what you are doing in our regular updates on this site.

    We have a number of experiential workshops coming up in June, July and September for people who wish to facilitate as well as monthly mentoring and support sessions for facilitators and those planning to facilitate. See the About:Facilitation and support page on this site.

    All these sessions are organised and run by the Climate Psychology Alliance who manage the project and priority in booking is given to CPA members. If you’d like to join the CPA, take a look at the site here, or use this link to join