Climate change: how do we sustain our engagement?

Climate change: how do we sustain our engagement?

An upcoming workshop aims to help those engaged with the issue of climate change to sustain their engagement.

During the 2020 Climate Pastoral Care Conference, Dr Sally Gillespie will be leading a workshop called ‘Holding Grief, Honouring Beauty, Healing our World: A reflective workshop on sustaining climate engagement.’

Dr Gillespie worked as a psychotherapist for many years before she took up doctoral research into the psychological experience of engaging with climate change. For over a decade, she has been giving talks and workshops and writing about climate psychology.

Dr Gillespie’s book, Climate Crisis and Consciousness, Re-imagining Our World and Ourselves, was released in October 2019.

According to Dr Gillespie, her research emerged from “a need to find what would happen to myself and others, emotionally and psychologically,  as we became more immersed in climate issues.”

“I approached this research through my depth psychology background – which meant I focused on holding safe open spacious conversations for people to explore and connect with their own and others’ deeper feelings and unconscious thoughts,” she said.

Dr Gillespie found was that, when those involved with the issue talk, “these conversations are very enriching and enjoyable, and that engagement becomes more resilient, sustained, creative and pleasurable.”

She says her conference worship will provide those who attend “with the space to have a conversation in a small group around the themes of honouring beauty, holding grief and finding healing action all in relation to where they live.”


“Often in conferences, you can end up feeling a bit overloaded with all the rich input from speakers,” she said.

“This workshop is a chance to sit with others, make connections, articulate what moves you and think about how you might act on this in your own community. Hopefully, participants will find this is both a nourishing and creative experience.”


“My hope is that following on from the workshop, participants will feel confident to set up similar conversations in their own groups and communities.”

“Listening to one and other in depth without argument or trying to come up with a quick fix is a healing and creative space which is essential to driving climate action and seeding cultural change. While it is sad there will be less opportunity for this at the conference this year because of being online, hopefully, the conference will spark the thirst and connections for this to unfold in a myriad of ways afterwards.”

Sally Gillespie’s book, Climate Crisis and Consciousness, Re-imagining Our World and Ourselves, is available here. Use the code ADS19 for a 30 percent discount.

 The 2020 Climate Pastoral Care conference runs from 30 July to 1 August. You can view the full program here and register online here.

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