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Humans having an unsustainable impact on Earth may have a become a familiar message – but it is still a difficult message to hear.

It presents psychotherapy with a complex but urgent challenge: how do we move from dread to resilience, from catastrophe to transformation, from helplessness to action, from fear to hope?

At this conference, the UK Council for Psychotherapy, in partnership with the Grantham Institute, will bring together sustainability experts, Imperial scientists, psychotherapists, writers and commentators to start a discussion about the role of psychotherapy in this challenging situation.


Professor Jem Bendell

Jem Bendell originated the concept of Deep Adaptation to help people explore individual and collective responses to the future collapse of society due to climate chaos. His research paper on the topic has been downloaded over half a million times and is widely credited with influencing the founders of the Extinction Rebellion protest movement, which Professor Bendell advises. An author of many books, papers and UN reports on aspects of sustainable development, he now focuses on supporting people from various professions to explore our challenging predicament. In particular, through the free Deep Adaptation Forum (www.deepadaptation.info).

Emma Marris

Emma Marris is a writer focusing on environmental science, policy and culture, with an approach that she paints as being “more interested in finding and describing solutions than delineating problems, and more interested in joy than despair.” A Ted speaker, Emma has written among others for Nature, National Geographic and the New York Times. She challenges the notion that nature can only be preserved in its pristine, pre-human state, a too-narrow characterization “that thwarts bold new plans to save the environment and prevents us from having a fuller relationship with nature.” Humans have changed the landscape they inhabit since prehistory, and climate change means even the remotest places now bear the fingerprints of humanity. In her book Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in the Post-Wild World, she argues that we need different strategies for saving nature and champions a blurring of the lines between nature and people for a responsible care of our humanised planet.

Mary-Jayne Rust

Mary-Jayne Rust is a psychotherapist, inspired by trainings in art therapy, feminist psychotherapy and Jungian analysis. Journeys to Ladakh (on the Tibetan plateau) in the early 1990’s alerted her to the seriousness of the ecological crisis, and its cultural, economic and spiritual roots. Alongside her therapy practice she lectures, teaches and writes on ecopsychology, a growing field of inquiry into the psychological dimensions of ecological crisis. Her publications can be found on www.mjrust.net, including Vital Signs: Psychological Responses to Ecological Crisis. Eds M.J. Rust & Nick Totton. Karnac, London 2011. She grew up beside the sea and is wild about swimming. Now she lives and works beside ancient woodland in North London

Professor Rosalind Coward

Rosalind Coward started her career as an academic during which time she immersed herself in psychoanalytical theory and wrote several books. She began to write for a more popular audience with her book Female Desire, Women’s Sexuality Today and changed career to become a journalist. She was a columnist on the Observer and The Guardian for many years, covering social , political and environmental issues. For several years she wrote a column for the Guardian about looking after her mother when she developed dementia. She became a Professor of Journalism at Roehampton University. She has always been passionate about nature and has been heavily involved in environmental politics: a board member of Greenpeace, the Rainforest Foundation and the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting. She is a keen birdwatcher.

Tree Staunton

Tree Staunton is Director and MA Programme Leader at Bath Centre for Psychotherapy & Counselling. She is a UKCP Honorary Fellow, body psychotherapist, trainer and supervisor, and Chair of the Training Standards Committee of the UKCP – HIP College.

Tree is a member of the Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) and has a special interest in the links between psychotherapy and the current global crises we face. She is currently promoting the development of training and CPD in these areas.

Caroline Hickman

Caroline Hickman is a member of the Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) Executive Committee; psychotherapist and therapeutic social worker. She is currently researching children’s relationship with and feelings about the climate and biodiversity crisis, developing therapeutic responses to climate change trauma, and looking at how a ‘climate crisis lens’ can be used in practice.

Caroline teaches on the social work degree at the University of Bath and works with various charities to provide psychotherapy to children following trauma. Her passion is to use everyday stories to explain complex psychology.

Dr Neil Jennings

Neil Jennings is Partnership Development Manager at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London. He has a specific interest in the co-benefits of climate action – how tackling climate change can help create a cleaner, greener, fairer future and how these co-benefits can be better considered in the decision-making process. Neil holds a PhD from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia.

Dr Audrey de Nazelle

Audrey de Nazelle is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London. Her work, at the intersection of environmental sciences, health behaviour, transportation, and urban planning, aims at guiding decision makers towards health-promoting built environments and policies. Much of her research has been on the relationships between active travel and air pollution (exposures, health risks and benefits, and societal engagement). Audrey holds a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Environmental Sciences, and a Maîtrise in Mathematics from the University of Paris VI Pierre et Marie Curie.

Dr Joeri Rogelj

Dr Joeri Rogelj is a Lecturer in Climate Change at the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London. He researches how our understanding of the Earth system affects climate policy. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed scientific studies on carbon budgets, climate change mitigation, societal transitions consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C, and climate change mitigation equity. He served as a Coordinating Lead Author on the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and is one of the ten members of the UN Secretary General Climate Science Advisory Group.