Eco-anxiety & climate psychology

‘Psychology, so dedicated to awakening the human consciousness, needs to wake itself up to one of the most ancient human truths: we cannot be studied or cured apart from the planet.’ James Hillman

I give talks and workshops on climate psychology and offer individual ‘climate-aware’ therapy exploring how to engage with the climate and ecological crisis and develop emotional responses to these challenging times.

I am also a board member of the Climate Psychology Alliance, a forum for people ‘facing difficult truths’ who want to make connections between depth psychology and the climate and ecological crisis.

Whilst we need to develop practical and technical solutions to the current crises, they will not be enough on their own. If we are going to find sustainable solutions then we have to find a way to grasp the paradox that it is only through facing our vulnerability, painful truths, collective denial, grief and loss that we will be able to develop the emotionally informed and sustainable action that we need to take to save ourselves as well as the planet. These inner ‘untrodden paths’ through our defences and complex feelings about our ecological predicament might just hold some of the answers we need, and counter intuitively show us the way. We need ‘inner’ as well as ‘outer’ activism.

Further info

Hickman (2019) in Hoggett. Climate Psychology: On Indifference to Disaster. Palgrave Macmillan

Chapter on climate anxiety, Covid & young people in Eco-Anxiety & Planetary Hope (published in 2022)

Iai news (27th April 2020): Covid, climate and biodiversity anxiety in young people

Greenspirit Magazine – summer 2020 – climate change & young people

Hickman.C (2020) Ecology, We need to (find a way to) talk about … Eco-anxiety. Special Edition Journal of Social Work Practice Vol 34, Issue 4.

Harvey,A; Manley, J; & Hickman,C. (2020) Editorial: Ecology, Psychoanalysis & Global Warming: Present & Future Traumas. Special Edition Journal of Social Work Practice Vol 34, Issue 4.


Albrecht, G. (2011) Chronic Environmental Change: Emerging ‘Psychoterratic’ Syndromes. In Climate Change and Human Well-Being: Global Challenges and Opportunities; Weissbecker, I., Ed.; Springer: New York, NY, USA; pp. 43–56. Foreman, D. (1991) Confessions of and Eco-Warrior. Crown Publishers. New York

Hamilton (2013) in Weintrobe, S. (2013). Ed. Engaging with Climate Change: Psychoanalytic and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Routledge.

Pihkala, P. (2020) Anxiety and the Ecological Crisis: An Analysis of Eco-Anxiety and Climate Anxiety. Sustainability. Vol. 12. pp. 7836 Randall, R. Climate Anxiety or Climate Distress? Coping with the Pain of the Climate Emergency. 2019. Available online: of-the-climate-emergency/

Weintrobe, S. Eds (2013) Engaging with Climate Change. Psychoanalytic and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. .London. Routledge.

Climate Psychology Alliance Therapeutic Support

Climate Psychology Alliance Climate Cafes

Panu Pikhala