VIDEO: Addressing Climate Fears in Therapy

Moving Clients from Paralysis into Action

According to a recent U.N. report on climate change, without radical worldwide action between now and 2040, the planet will warm so quickly that ramped-up wildfires, killer droughts, more powerful storms, and greater flooding from rising seas will likely become an unalterable fact of life.

But that’s not all. As a direct result of climate change, more people are reporting anxiety, depression, anger, and even suicidal thoughts. But with climate change being a massive, worldwide problem, how much can individual therapists really do to help?

According to eco-therapist and professor Patricia Hasbach, plenty. Our first task, she says, is acknowledging our clients’ fears and allowing them to do the same. The second, she explains, is helping them move into action. Here’s what this looks like.

Lauren Dockett

Lauren Dockett, MS, is the senior writer at Psychotherapy Networker. A longtime journalist, journalism lecturer, and book and magazine editor, she’s also a former caseworker taken with the complexity of mental health, who finds the ongoing evolution of the therapy field and its broadening reach an engrossing story. Prior to the Networker, she contributed to many outlets, including The Washington Post, NPR, and Salon. Her books include Facing 30, Sex Talk, and The Deepest Blue. Visit her website at