Key speakers

Sally Weintrobe
Dr Robert Romanshyn
Dr Michael Melmed
Dr Jem Bendell
Professor Huhana Smith
Dr Paris Williams
Professor James Renwick
Gina O’Neill

Sally Weintrobe

Neoliberal Exceptionalism and the Culture of Uncare

Abstract

The climate bubble is now bursting, leaving many people finding it hard to manage their feelings as they take in the extent of the damage already caused to our climate system. What can help us to recognise and work through our feelings about this threat to survival without resorting to further denial? How can we think proportionately about our responsibility? Sally Weintrobe addresses these questions, bringing in her ideas on neoliberal exceptionalism and the culture of uncare that it promotes, a culture that alienates us from the part of us that cares about the effects of our actions.

Biography

Sally Weintrobe is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society. She is a founder member of the Climate Psychology Alliance and she chairs the International Psychoanalytic Association’s Climate Committee. She edited (2012) “Engaging with Climate Change: Psychoanalytic and Interdisciplinary Perspective”, shortlisted for the Gradiva Prize for contributions to psychoanalysis. Her new book, “Psychological Roots of the Climate Crisis: Neoliberal Exceptionalism and the Culture of Uncare” (Bloomsbury) will be available in March 2021.

Click through to listen to a podcast with Sally Weintrobe and Caroline Hickman, entitled “Did we Care when Animals and Birds Died in the Sixth Extinction?”: https://climatepsychologyalliance.org/podcasts :

Dr Robert Romanshyn

Psychotherapy for End Times

Abstract

Death is now the invisible presence haunting our therapy room, reminding us that we are facing end times. How do we do psychotherapy in such times when the impending sense of an ending darkens our every word, gesture and mood with fears, anxieties, strategies of denial and fantasies of sheltering in old, familiar patterns?

Dr Romanshyn will make an appeal for the healing power of grief and show that the grieving process is a journey of homecoming which restores the broken bonds between ourselves and the natural world. He will draw upon Jung’s psychology, especially his idea of the Psychoid archetype where we experience at the depth of soul that we are elemental beings – green, ocean, wind, animal etc – Nature dreaming itself through us! He will also draw on the poets who can cultivate for us a poetic sensibility that is responsive to the living presence of Nature, the Anima Mundi.

Biography

To come.

Click through for a recent interview with Dr Romanshyn: https://www.jungplatform.com/article/homecoming/

Dr Michael Melmed

Bound by Infinities: Technology, Immediacy and our Environmental Crisis

Abstract

This talk explores the relationship between human desire, technology, and imagination and draws on the work of Bion, Winnicott and others to develop a psychoanalytic container for attitudes contributing to our current climate-based crisis. Special attention is paid to the problematic effect technology has had on our sense of time and place. Many of our technologies stunt sensuous engagement, collapse psychic space, diminish our capacity to tolerate frustration, and blind us to our dependence on worlds beyond the human. In short, our technologies trouble our relationship to our bodies and other bodies. Omnipotent fantasies organising our relationship to technology, to each other, and to the nonhuman world, have cocooned us in a kind of virtual reality that devastates a sense of deep obligation to and practiced reciprocity with the environment. This talk will consider, in the context of our climate crisis, the meaning of Audre Lorde’s insight that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”.

Biography

Dr Michael L. Melmed is a human being, clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University where he works with traumatised toddlers, children and adults, and teaches and supervises clinicians engaged in this same work. He is a psychoanalytic candidate in the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. His areas of interest include the relationship between sense-perception, imagination and trauma. He maintains a private practice in Lower Manhattan.

Dr Jem Bendell

Abstract

More people are experiencing or anticipating societal collapse and changing their lives as a result. Many are becoming radical communicators and enablers of social change. This resonates with Professor Jem Bendell’s own experience. In this presentation Jem will give some examples of what is happening, and some of the concepts from psychology and spiritual traditions that may help explain it. In addition, he will explain the ways that people are ‘holding space’ for each other as they go through these processes of transformation. That experience points to how to help the transformation of eco-distress into pro-social behaviour. 

Biography

Dr Jem Bendell is a Professor of Sustainability Leadership with the University of Cumbria (www.iflas.info) and Founder of the Deep Adaptation Forum (www.deepadaptation.info). He works as a researcher, educator and advisor on social and organisational change, with over 25 years experience in sustainable development initiatives in over 20 countries, with business, voluntary sector and political parties.

With 100+ published texts on the environment and international development, including reports for the United Nations, and involvement in establishing and growing international multi-stakeholder initiatives, he was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum 2012-2017. He now specialises in leadership, communications, facilitation and currency innovation for Deep Adaptation to climate chaos. In 2018 he authored the viral Deep Adaptation paper, downloaded around a million times.

Professor Huhana Smith

To come.

Dr Paris Williams

Biography

Paris Williams, PhD, has degrees in ecology and psychology, specialising in humanistic, existential, transpersonal, somatic and ecological therapy approaches. He’s conducted research on extreme states and radical personal transformation, and published the widely acclaimed book “Rethinking Madness”. Native to the US, Paris has been living in New Zealand for 7 years, working as a clinical psychologist, running workshops, and establishing the Centre for Nonviolence and Conscious Living (cncl.info).

Professor James Renwick

Biography

James has many years of experience in weather and climate research and regularly speaks on climate change. He was awarded the Prime Minister’s 2018 prize for Science Communication, and was appointed to the New Zealand Climate Change Commission in 2019. He is also a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment Report to be published in 2021.

Gina O’Neill

Biography

Gina O’Neill is a Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitāne woman with Irish/German descent living and working currently on Eora and Bundjalung lands in Australia. Gina is an experienced psychotherapist, educator and supervising consultant (Master Gestalt Therapy, Grad Dip Couns. And B App. Soc Sci). She has 20 years’ clinical experience supporting individuals, families and groups presenting with substance and process addictions, mental health, relationship issues and trauma-related experiences. Gina has worked in private psychiatric clinical settings, NGOs and public health settings as a therapist and clinical manager and in the past 8 years as a supervisor, lecturer in higher education, clinical specialist in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation sector and is in private practice.

She is currently co-convenor of the PACFA College of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Practices and member of the PACFA research committee. She has completed studies in working with trauma, Indigenous models of supervision and recently ecotherapy.

As Gina is an NZ Maori woman, her interest is in growing her Indigenous healing practice informed by Te Ao Māori in reciprocity with the natural world, and the intersection with gestalt psychotherapy to support healing relationships with people and our environment.