Environmental Identity

/Environmental Identity

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 [...]

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

Questioning the NY Times Climate Change Coverage Decision

The decision by the New York Times to hire a well-known "climate denier" to its editorial staff is troubling. I understand the desire to understand how different people think and to illustrate different views.* But, with climate change there are certain rules. My view, and I think many other educated people agree, is that it [...]

By | May 2nd, 2017|Climate Change, Environmental Identity, Media|0 Comments

Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance | Climate for Health

Source: Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance "Any of the interlinked problems within climate change—poverty, inequality, loss of treasured places, species extinction, threats to our well-being or livelihood—can hook us emotionally and intellectually.These issues lead to feelings of curiosity and insight, as well as fatigue and despair. Clinicians can help individuals [...]

Teaching and Learning Mindfulness Meditation

If we can call on an ability to remain present, this increases our options. We can be more resourceful. We can act rather than react.  You practice mindfulness so that this state becomes more common in your life.   Mindfulness, as in “mindfulness meditation,” has been defined simply as “paying attention, on purpose, in the [...]

An Office that Improves Your Mental Health

"Ideally your office should have a clean, living, generative sense—one that fosters a renewed sense of physical vitality, alertness and creativity for your clients and yourself..."   At the 2013 American Psychological Association (APA) Meeting, I provided a therapist's perspective at presentation "Design of the Psychotherapist's Office – Lessons from Research and Experience." During [...]

Two Ways to Cope When You Feel Bad about Environmental Issues

There are two basic coping strategies that people use to deal with the emotional impacts of environmental issues. It’s helpful to be aware of these, and to know your habitual style. It’s even better to learn how to be flexible and use both strategies to support yourself. Note: I'll be doing a series of posts in [...]

Contacting your elected officials? INSERT YOUR DREAM HERE

The story goes that during Reverend Martin Luther King’s famous speech at the March at Washington on August 28, 1963, the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson shouted to Rev. King, “Tell them about the dream, Martin!” at which point King set aside his prepared notes to improvise the famous, “I have a dream…” section of his speech. [...]