Emotional Resiliency in the Era of Climate Change: A Clinician's Guide

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Jessica Kingsley Publishers
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6.0 X 8.9 X 0.5 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Leslie Davenport, M.S., MFT, is a founding member of the Humanities Program at Marin General Hospital, CA, which evolved into the Institute for Health & Healing in collaboration with California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. She is in private practice, on faculty at California Institute of Integral Studies, and at John F. Kennedy University, where she currently trains therapists on emotional resilience in the era of climate change. She is the editor of Transformative Imagery, published by JKP. She lives in Northern California.


For way too long the global discussion on how to deal with climate change had lead us nowhere because we were blaming others or were feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem. Over the past few years we have learned to go beyond blame to the recognition of self-responsibility, to go beyond overwhelm to constructing possibility step by step. Climate change is undoubtedly a global challenge, but in addressing it we are learning about ourselves as individual members of society. We are learning about our still only partially unleashed potential for good. In her unique style, Leslie Davenport takes us through this remarkable journey of self and planet.--Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Climate Change
Leslie Davenport has created an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to address climate change effectively and wisely. This book shines a light on the psychological underpinnings that thwart climate progress, and provides tools for meaningful conversations and creative solutions. She reconnects us to the essence of our humanity as part of the diverse web of life. There are a wealth of practices that support an eco-harmonious lifestyle and courageous resiliency for promoting change from personal to policy levels. This book is a hopeful light and a practical asset for navigating the challenges of climate work.--Lynne Twist, Co-founder of Pachamama Alliance
In an era of climate change and climate denial, all of us need ways to connect to the people and resources that will make us more resilient to challenges. This focused, deeply passionate book provides us with the tools that we all need to recognize the impediments to resilient action and create lives where we can connect with each other and our environment in ways that improve and nurture them. Using a mix of actual disaster cases, applied exercises, and theory, this book sets the bar for the field.--Daniel P. Aldrich, professor and director of the Security and Resilience Studies program at NEU and author of Building Resilience
Mental health professionals have been slow to move beyond individualistic paradigms of mental health. This important book adds a clinically informed and clearly articulated set of tools and insights to the discussion of how we shall adapt to an ecologically changing world. This resource for resilience puts psychotherapeutic tools and ecological science in service to personal and social wellbeing.--Craig Chalquist, Department Chair East-West Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies and author of Terrapsychology: Reengaing the Soul of Place
We know it's no longer enough to simply unleash more startling facts and blast images of our planet being violated. We also need to cultivate a pragmatic form of hope by helping develop empowering actions, a clear direction, ways to connect with collective and systemic support, practices for effective self-care, and the tools and methods necessary for change. By taking a dive into the prospects and practices that this book offers, we will all learn to do just that.--From the foreword by Lise Van Susteren, Climate Energy and Environmental Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in Washington, DC
Breaking new ground with healing responses to climate chaos, Leslie Davenport brings not only abundant psychological methodology, but also deep ecological wisdom. This is a book of rare significance. Extending far beyond a "clinician's guide", it recognizes that climate change and action let us experience our unity with all life, and serve as catalyst for collective transformation.--Joanna Macy, Author of Coming Back to Life.
As we enter this revolutionary time on the planet, Leslie Davenport breaks new ground in synthesizing climate science, conscious self-awareness of our interconnectedness with all species and the living earth, ecological psychology, and deep resiliency practices that provide practical guidance for a sustainable future. While it is an excellent textbook, the accessible tone makes it an essential read for anyone seeking insight, inspiration, and a path for effective engagement.--Brian Thomas Swimme, professor of cosmology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and author of The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos: Humanity and the New Story
This book is essential reading for anyone motivated by healing and increasing resiliency among individuals and communities in this time of increasingly turbulent change. Drawing the essential connections between human trauma and large-scale events as Earth's ecological systems are in serious and accelerating decline, Leslie presents, in accessible and compelling ways, the data and experiential practices that can allow us to approach the emotional and psychological impacts of living during the Great Turning feeling resourced and with some equilibrium, ourselves. Given the scale and depth of the challenges we face and their enduring impacts on people, this book is an invaluable resource for all who care about engaging with each other and the world consciously in this pivotal time.--Nina Simons, Co-Founder & President, Bioneers
If you despair for the future of this planet, if you worry about the state of our collective common sense, read this book. MIT's Peter Senge once told me that the success of an intervention is determined by the inner condition of the intervener. Leslie Davenport's work overflows with valuable advice and tools for a healthier inner ecology. This powerful, important book should be on the bedside table of every climate intervener.--James Hoggan founder of DeSmogBlog and author of Climate Cover Up
Psychology has given us the tools to help us through the stages of personal grief, but now there is a vital need to help us navigate the collective grief of our present ecocide, the depletion of species, the destruction of our ecosystem. Leslie Davenport gives us a grounded perspective on what climate change means to our body and our psyche, and simple practices to make the inner and outer changes we need to reconnect with the nurturing Earth and its deep life sustaining energy. She helps us to find true resiliency-a much needed handbook for these challenging times.--Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee, author of Spiritual Ecology
Although we are familiar with the physical impacts of climate change, Leslie Davenport argues, with great prescience, that we have too long ignored the deeper psychological impacts. Her book is invaluable: both for the light it throws on why climate change is so hard for us to accept and as a manual for how we can learn to cope and adapt to the growing threats to our sense of place and identity.--George Marshall founder of Climate Outreach and author of Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change
The symptoms of the planet are appearing in the consulting room. Grief, anxiety and depression can no longer be relegated solely to the interior of the patient. And more, these same conditions are befalling therapists as well. Emotional Resiliency in the Era of Climate Change offers a therapy which touches the circumstances of our rapidly changing environment. Unflinching in its examination of our current ecological crisis, yet suffused with a seasoned wisdom that offers more than hope; it grants a vision of a psyche attuned to the pulse of the living world. And isn't this what we need in this late hour? Davenport's intelligent, compassionate book is both timely and essential. It is filled with the perspectives and practices which enable us to respond to our dire times with a greater capacity for meaningful change. A vital and needed work.--Francis Weller, Author of The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief
Leslie's work marks a much-needed advancement for the integration of mental health and broader context of climate change and environmental threats. She goes further than recognizing the importance of this connection, however - she provides a framework and methodology for supporting those on the front lines of the mental health professions. I know this work will be valued and appreciated by many, and will ultimately support all of our collective efforts to repair and mend our world.--Renee Lertzman, author of Environmental Melancholia
Emotional Resiliency for the Era of Climate Change is a courageous exploration of the impact that facing the realities of climate change can have on people's mental health and well-being and a much-needed catalyst for teaching people tools of resiliency in a time of planet-wide crisis. The author is bold in her vision, both evocative and encouraging, and skillful in teaching the reflections and exercises that guide the reader from grief, confusion, or passivity through needed shifts in perspectives and lifestyle to wise, grounded, effective action.--Linda Graham, author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being
This comprehensive and compassionate gem of a book, with its wealth of practical wisdom and transformational practices, is exactly what the helping professions (and all of us) need to be of service to one another in the face of the ongoing ecological trauma that is our most urgent global challenge.--Miriam Greenspan, author of Healing through the Dark Emotions
Leslie Davenport has written an important guide to help all of us with the psychological challenges associated with climate change. This book not only provides the reader with a concise summary of how Earth's climate is changing, but more importantly, it provides compassionate, practical guidance on ways to deal with the dis-ease surrounding this issue. Therapists, clients and the general public will all benefit from the wisdom this book holds regarding civilizations greatest challenge: human caused climate change.--Jeffrey T. Kiehl, Jungian Analyst, author of Facing Climate Change: An Integrated Path to the Future

Emotional Resiliency in the Era of Climate Change is a pioneering, time-sensitive book that is a must read right now in order to prepare, heal, and transform our human inter-relationship with climate change. Davenport has written an intellectually wise and heartfelt book that provides scientific and practical exercises to move through climate change denial, access resilience and unleash both personal and planetary healing.

While this book primarily calls forth on mental health professionals to embrace climate change as an essential aspect of assessment and treatment, this book is also the extremely valuable for anyone interested in fostering increased self-care, embodied wisdom, and compassionate living in relation to the natural world. The worksheets in Part I combined with the 12 exercises is also extremely beneficial for educators, activists, first responders, and other helping citizens.

--Laury Rappaport, author, Mindfulness and the Arts Therapies: Theory and Practice
In this very readable book, Leslie Davenport offers profound insights into the psychological causes of climate change denial (which we all suffer from to some extent), suggestions about how we can break through it with courage, integrity, and resiliency, and powerful practices to help. Although it is written especially for therapists, this book for everyone, because we all face the catastrophic effects of climate change.--Molly Brown, co-author with Joanna Macy of Coming Back to Life- The Updated Guide to the Work That Reconnects.