The responsibility of communicating difficult truths about climate influenced societal disruption and collapse

An introduction to psychological research: A literature review

  • Jasmine Kieft
Keywords: climate psychology; eco anxiety; emotion; post-traumatic growth; climate change; natural disaster; mental health; community care.

Abstract

This paper presents a review of psychology research that can help people begin to assess the different ways they can responsibly support each other to talk about their thoughts and feelings on their perceptions of societal disruption and collapse, at home and abroad, due to environmental and climate change. It includes a summary of a review of published studies in psychology on matters of anticipating difficult futures, including vulnerability, disruption, disaster, suffering and mortality. The claims by both specialists and non- specialists that collapse anticipation is necessarily harmful to mental health and social engagement is shown to be theoretically and empirically weak. Instead, the research suggests we engage each other on this upsetting topic to promote coping. It highlights the potential for that engagement to support people with processing difficult emotions and thus finding more pro-social and pro-environmental ways of responding to societal disturbances.

Author Biography

Jasmine Kieft

Jasmine Kieft is a Clinical Psychologist Registrar and divides her professional time between private practice and academia. Jasmine has been working therapeutically with children and adolescents for over 10 years and works predominantly to support families systemically. Jasmine conducts research in emotion theory and group process. She is on the leadership team of the Climate Justice Union in Western Australia. Jasmine is also community minded and sits on professional cohorts within co-design steering committees as part of community and organisation program development.

Published
2021-10-02
How to Cite
Kieft, J. (2021). The responsibility of communicating difficult truths about climate influenced societal disruption and collapse: An introduction to psychological research: A literature review. Ata: Journal of Psychotherapy Aotearoa New Zealand, 25(1), 65-97. https://doi.org/10.9791/ajpanz.2021.06