Event Details

Understanding and Responding to Eco-Distress in your patients

Presented by Dr Liz Marks

About the event

This is an online, participative event on the Zoom meeting platform, organised by the Climate Change Special Interest Group (SIG). For more details on the Climate Change SIG see here

The event will not be recorded.

A certificate of attendance will be issued for 2 x hours CPD.

Registration closes - Midday Tuesday 20 June. Places are limited though so book early to avoid disappointment.

This workshop will introduce the existing evidence for 'eco-distress' and allow attendees to develop their understanding of how and why eco-distress is experienced. Attendees will be invited to explore their own thoughts and feelings about these crises, to allow them to experience the benefits and challenges that can arise from paying attention to such feelings.

A transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioural model will be used to explore how CBT can offer some explanatory power for eco-distress. Additional theoretical models will support understanding this complex and multifacted experience, including ecological identity, moral distress and injury, and the importance of understanding climate justice and the inaction of those in power as contributing to distress.

Importantly this workshop will frame eco-distress as something that may be experienced by the individual, causing suffering, some of which can be alleviated using existing psychological tools. However, it is seen to be a rational response to global societal ills and these ills require collective, global solutions.

The workshop will offer potential ways of supporting people with eco-distress, to find meaning and empowerment. This will include formulation, cognitive-behavioural techniques (as appropriate), third-wave approaches such as dialectic thinking, compassion, mindfulness and acceptance, and thinking about how to build 'active hope'.

Aims and Objectives
1. To increase awareness and understanding of eco-distress in therapists who are likely to encounter this in their patients.
2. To build awareness and reflection on therapist's own eco-distress and help them to recognise this so that they are able to work with other people's should it arise.
3. To explore how CB theory can offer explanatory power to this understanding
4. To recognise the limitations of CB theory and consider alternative theories that can further support our understanding
5. To consider ways of using CB formulation and techniques in responding to eco-distress.

Learning Outcomes
The attendees will:
1. Be able to define eco-distress and understand the multifaceted and variable nature it has.
2. To have reflected upon and developed a better understanding of one's own response to the environmental crises, so that one is better equipped to respond helpfully to other peoples.
3. To consider how eco-distress might arise independent from, and alongside mental health conditions (e.g. General Anxiety, Depression, OCD etc).
4. To see the relevance of EDI and climate justice to eco-distress.
5. To see how CB theory and formulation can support understanding and clinical practice in this area, and to also recognise the limitations.
6. To see the social context within which eco-distress is occurring, and recognise the importance of issues such as moral distress, ecological identity and community responses to the crises as part of this.
7. To learn ways of applying CB and third wave approaches when working with eco-distress.

About the presenter(s)

Dr Liz Marks is a Clinical Psychologist, Senior Lecturer and Clinical Director of the University of Bath Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

She is an accredited BABCP practitioner, trained Mindfulness teacher and Deputy Director of the Bath Centre for Mindfulness and Community. Her current research interests focus on psychological approaches to the climate and ecological crises, planetary health, nature connection, mindfulness and compassion.

Previous clinical and research interests focused on reducing distress and living well in the context of long-term health conditions.


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Online Event
23 Jun 2023
SIG: Climate Change
30.00 GBP (ex. VAT) - BABCP Member
45.00 GBP (ex. VAT) - Non Member
This event is closed.

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