First Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Mohr

Date of Award

Spring 6-10-2024

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology and University Honors

Department

Psychology

Language

English

Subjects

Eco-Anxiety, Climate Grief, Climate Despair, Climate Resilience, Climate Support Group, Climate-Aware, Climate Circle

Abstract

As the impacts of climate change increasingly stress the ecological and social systems of the planet there is also a greater incidence of psychological struggles related to climate instability. Climate change is a significant source of psychological distress for many individuals, often manifesting as climate anxiety and grief. This thesis explores research and therapeutic experience that has been generated as the discipline of psychology seeks to meet this rising challenge. In particular, the fields of ecopsychology, psychodynamic therapy, existential psychology and Indigenous knowledge contributed the majority of the insight to the conclusions drawn along with contributions from potentially applicable emotions research outside of the climate field. A synthesis of best practices is proposed to support the creation of peer based climate groups. By addressing the emotional, psychological, and ecological dimensions of climate distress, the aim is to empower individuals to move beyond anxiety and grief towards values-driven action and a sense of agency despite deep environmental uncertainty.

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