Date(s) - Saturday, June 19th, 2021
9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Psychoanalytic perspective on climate change:
The elephant inside and outside the consulting room
A presentation and session with Sally Weintrobe and Paul Hoggett
Sally Weintrobe – ‘On Becoming Climate Aware as a Psychotherapist’
Sally’s presentation explores what it means for therapists to become ‘climate aware’ in their clinical work with patients. She argues that climate awareness involves struggling to distinguish between a safe and containing therapeutic space and a psychic retreat that ablates any reference to climate. The psychic retreat may be established collusively between patient and therapist, or the therapist may reside in a psychic retreat deaf to eco trauma in the patient. Becoming more climate aware is often emotionally taxing for the therapist, as well as requiring knowledge of the influence of culture. She argues that the current dominant culture is a culture of uncare. It is designed to foster a climate bubble of disavowal inside of which people think in omnipotent ways, distort time and maintain deafness to the position and suffering of others. She begins with a patient seeking therapeutic help who insists she needs a therapist who is climate aware. Her talk explores just some of the complexities involved if we take her insistence seriously and some of the pitfalls if we do not.
Paul Hogget: ‘Taking the Heat Out of Talking About Global Warming’
Paul’s session will consider that although things are changing, climate change is often the elephant in the room that no-one wants to talk about. Raise it as an issue and you may receive either a polite and frosty silence, or resentful accusations about your own hypocrisy and judgementalism. This interactive presentation will explore the challenge of talking about climate change to family, friends and colleagues. Paul and attendees will look at what works and what doesn’t, how to sustain an attitude of respect and curiosity towards someone who seems to take a different stance to you, how to recognise resistances and respond to them.
This session will involve paired work, role plays and discussion.
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