Skip links

Summer Conference: Psychoanalytic perspective on climate change – The elephant inside and outside the consulting room.

Summer Conference: Psychoanalytic perspective on climate change – The elephant inside and outside the consulting room.

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.




  • Sally Weintrobe is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytic Society, a member of the Climate Psychology Alliance and Chairs the International Psychoanalytic Association’s Climate Committee. She is one of the 31 Global Commissioners from different disciplines for the (2021) Cambridge Sustainability Report.
  • She edited and contributed to (2012) Engaging with Climate Change: Psychoanalytic and Interdisciplinary Perspectives, New Library of Psychoanalysis.
  • Sally will refer to her new book just out: (2021)Psychological Roots of the Climate Crisis: Neoliberal Exceptionalism and the Culture of Uncare, published by Bloomsbury (35% discount code from the Bloomsbury website: PSYROOT35).


  • Paul Hoggett is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at UWE, Bristol where, with Simon Clarke, he was a Director of the Centre for Psycho-Social Studies. In 2000, with Larry Gould, he was founding editor of the journal Organisational and Social Dynamics, a forum for those working within the Tavistock Group Relations tradition.
  • In 2012, with Adrian Tait, he founded the Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) and was its first chair.
  • He recently edited a collection of CPA research papers, Climate Psychology: On Indifference to Disaster (2019, Palgrave Macmillan). Previous books have included Politics, Identity and Emotion (2009, Paradigm) and Partisans in an Uncertain World (1992, Free Association Books).

Terms & Conditions

  • Continuing Professional Development Certificates will be issued by email after the conference at your request.
  • Receipts can be requested and issued email post registration.
  • Invoices can be issued to organisations for payment on receipt of an official purchase order or letter from your manager confirming that funding has been agreed.
  • Invoices will not be issued without the accompanying paperwork.
  • Invoices can be issued within 28 days before the conference.
  • Further information and instructions for joining the online event on Zoom will be sent to your registered email address. Please check Spam folder before contacting

If you have any questions or require further information, please e-mail




Bookings are closed for this event.

Subscribe to get latest updates.