Campuses are offering therapy for anxiety over climate change

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

There is a critical need among young people for climate stress counseling services, psychological experts say, especially in university settings. But many therapists and counselors aren’t trained to provide students with this specific type of support, in part because of a lack of research about climate stress as a distinct phenomenon. Still, several universities across the United States are beginning to fill this gap: Some are starting to offer climate stress therapy for students in the form of pilot programs, while others are discussing what might be possible through existing campus counseling services.

Eco-anxiety is commonly used to describe people’s concerns about climate change, but psychologists say it is better to use more general terms such as “climate stress” and “climate distress” — terms that encompass the array of feelings someone may have in response to climate change. Climate stress therapy, experts say, is an effort to validate these emotions, help clients process their responses to climate change and provide coping strategies.

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