Keynote: An integrative positive psychology coaching approach informed by climate change science, applied to tackling eco-distress, ecoanxiety and ecodepression in order to maintain eco-motivation
Prof Stephen Palmer PhD FISCP
With the COVID pandemic, the past 2 years have been a very challenging and distressing period for many people around the globe. However, in parallel, many individuals have remained anxious about the serious impact of climate change upon the planet, biodiversity, weather systems and society. Young people have continued to hold school strikes for climate on Fridays. Just three weeks after this coaching psychology congress has finished, the UK will be hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021. By bringing together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners, it is hoped that they will agree to coordinated action to tackle climate change. Yet, many people are not convinced that sufficient action will occur in time to stop the global rise in temperature. It’s no wonder that some young people and adults are stressed about the future. When feeling anxious and depressed our motivation is often reduced yet we may still wish to remain motivated. Coaching is one possible intervention to assist in maintaining eco-motivation.
This paper will look at an integrative positive psychology coaching approach informed by climate change science, applied to tackling eco-distress, ecoanxiety and ecodepression in order to maintain eco-motivation. The keynote will include what a coach and coaching psychologist may benefit from knowing about climate change if the issue arises in a coaching conversation. In this paper, eco-anxiety and eco-depression will be defined. Drawn from the International Society for Coaching Psychology (ISCP) survey results, strategies that coaches and coaching psychologists found helpful to tackle a coachee’s climate change anxieties will be covered. The keynote concludes with what the ISCP survey participants answered finishes with the question: should practitioners attend CPD on climate change related mental health issues?
Prof Stephen Palmer PhD FISCP Accred is a Chartered Biologist and Psychologist and member of the British Ecological Society. He is Professor of Practice at the Wales Academy for Professional Practice and Applied Research, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Adjunct Professor of Coaching Psychology, Aalborg University. He is Coordinating Director of the ISCP International Centre for Coaching Psychology Research, and Founder Director of the Centre for Coaching, London. He is the Honorary President and Fellow of both the International Society for Coaching Psychology and International Stress Management Association. He is Executive Editor of the International Journal of Coaching Psychology and also Editor of the newly launched Journal of Ecopsychology. He has authored and edited over 50 books and has published over 250 articles and book chapters.