Personal Sustainability Blog

/Personal Sustainability Blog/

Like a Fly on an Elephant’s Back

“Mental hygiene” is an old-fashioned term that I like because it refers to the things that are in our control to keep ourselves healthy and well. It’s our daily mental maintenance. And, one of the areas in which we need to do ongoing mental maintenance involves keeping a positive mood. “Like a fly on an [...]

By | July 9th, 2018|Health, Personal Sustainability|0 Comments

Cultivating a Globally Sustainable Self

In this post, I want to introduce and briefly describe a somewhat challenging concept: The idea that “cultivating a globally sustainable self” is an important yet often overlooked part of creating stronger, more resilient human systems.   Where does this “Globally Sustainable Self” concept come from? In working with colleagues across academic disciplines, geographic areas [...]

Thomas Doherty interview at APA PsycIQ

Source: Thomas Doherty works at the Intersection of Psychology and Environmental Science  Delia O'Hara | June 7, 2018   For APA Fellow Thomas Doherty, sustainability, and the psychology of climate change, have become a big part of his focus. Clinical psychologist Thomas Doherty has coined a term — "climate hostages" — to describe people who feel the [...]

Groupfeel vs. Groupthink

In this post, I am speaking from the perspective of industrial and organizational psychology (i.e., I/O psychology, or how people think and perform in professional groups and work place settings). At times, I formally wear an I/O hat, such as when doing talks or team building. But, work place issues also come up quite often [...]

By | June 9th, 2018|Ecopsychology, Health, Personal Sustainability|0 Comments

Why You Love the Earth

Why do you love the Earth? With the 48th anniversary of “Earth Day” coming up Sunday, April 22, this is a timely question. Some people feel very much a part of the Earth as they experience an interconnectedness with nature. Others are more neutral on the subject, while some even have negative views of nature. [...]

Nature-based Stress Reduction

Nature-based stress reduction is a term I coined a number of years ago. It brings together two separate but very complementary strands of thought about (1) the benefits of mindfulness and (2) the experience of nature and the natural world. There is a well-established school of thought around the benefits of mindfulness that includes the [...]

Overcoming Your Psychological “Code Debt”

Building on my post about “psychological operating systems,” I want to discuss the related concept of “code debt” as a metaphor for old patterns and mindsets that can hold us back. In the computing and technology world, “code debt” (and the related concept of technical debt) refers to a buildup of old programs, patches and [...]

By | March 28th, 2018|Health, Personal Sustainability|0 Comments

Climate Change as a Psychologist’s Personal and Professional Life Focus

Although I’ve been aware of climate change for many years, it wasn’t until I was invited to join an American Psychological Association Climate Change Task Force about ten years ago that I formally got involved in working to understand how climate change affects people. I was the only clinical psychologist in group, and I worked [...]

Groundhog Day as a Time of Inspiration

This article was originally posted by Dr. Thomas Doherty in 2017. "Ground Hog Day" is always on February 2. The forecast is cloudy for the Pacific Northwest tomorrow, so likely to be challenging for people or other mammals to see their shadow!  Think about the time around Groundhog Day as opportunity to celebrate that you made it [...]

How to Think about the End of the Year

Celebrating the end of the year and New Years’ is arbitrary. You could think of January 1st as just another day. But, you can also leverage this transition for self-reflection and a way to mark time. This is a symbolic opportunity and a real fact: You have just lived through a whole and precious year [...]

By | December 12th, 2017|Climate Change, Environmental Identity, Health|0 Comments