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Introducing Climate Psychology: facing the climate crisis
Introducing Climate Psychology: facing the climate crisis

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Introduction and guidance

Climate Psychology is defined by the Climate Psychology Alliance as:

… a new way of understanding our collective paralysis in the face of worsening climate change… It is concerned with the emotions, and the social and mental processes that have contributed to the ecological and climate crisis and our responses and processes of adaptation to it.

(Climate Psychology Alliance, 2023)

As a new and emerging psychological discipline, Climate Psychology draws on several schools of thought and practice such as psychotherapeutic approaches, psychosocial studies, philosophy, systems thinking and ecopsychology. It explores our anxieties and defences associated with the climate and ecological crisis, considers forms of support and aims to help individuals and communities cope and adapt. In essence it aims to provide a psychosocial understanding by exploring the ‘interactions between the personal and the political, the psychological and the social’ (Andrews and Hoggett, 2021, p. 157).

The course is divided into 4 weeks of study and each week should take around 3 hours. However, you can study the course at your own pace. The four weeks are:

  1. The climate and ecological crisis and how we got here
  2. Engaging with the climate and ecological climate: indifference, distress and beyond
  3. Engaging with the climate and ecological crisis: denialism and other challenges
  4. Living with the climate and ecological crisis

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand why the climate and ecological crisis has developed
  • recognise the emotional and behavioural responses to the climate and ecological crisis
  • identify the individual and cultural defences that prevent engagement with the crisis
  • develop a personal action plan to enable the ability to cope with and adapt to the crisis.

Moving around the course

In the ‘Summary’ at the end of each week, you will find a link to the next week. If at any time you want to return to the start of the course, click on ‘Full course description’. From here you can navigate to any part of the course.

It’s also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page (including links to the quizzes), to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button on your browser.

You can now go to Week 1 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .