“Grief is necessary to the vitality of the soul. Contrary to our fears, grief is suffused with life-force”
– Francis Weller
New language is being invented to describe the unprecedented psychological landscape of our times: eco-anxiety, climate grief, solastalgia*. These are terms used by climate psychologists to describe the emotional impacts of climate change which are finally starting to be recognised in Europe, the USA and other wealthy economies, yet are still seldom discussed.
The most recent International Panel on Climate Change report clearly stated that just 12 years remain for governments and industry to act to prevent runaway climate change – but rather than witnessing rapid and radical change, the social norm seems to be one of business as usual. Perfectly sane responses to this situation such as outrage, terror, grief and despair are often left unspoken and this can lead to hopelessness and helplessness. Some people are able to respond by engaging in activism, only to find themselves burnt out by the attendant emotions and sense of urgency.
In times of loss, we need to grieve. Loss of ecosystems, species extinctions, current and future extremes of human suffering, eco-genocides and uncertainty about the future are the most existential of all losses. In order to witness them while continuing to contribute to a culture of regeneration, new social norms are needed.
The Good Grief Network has developed a 10-step programme for psycho-social resilience in these chaotic times, with the aim of collectively processing participants’ climate-change related grief and anxiety while building community connections. Beacon Hub is pleased to partner with ONCA to host this offering in Brighton as European pioneers of this programme.
“I heartily recommend this course to anyone who wants to get to grips with the state of the world. The group ground-rules and Jane’s skilful and gentle facilitation helped create a safe and nurturing space for open hearted and mutually supportive exploration of the big issues – which for me previously felt too overwhelming and terrifying to properly look at. Through the relationships developed and the sharing of resources, I now feel plugged into local and global networks of inspiration, encouragement and empowerment. It’s been life changing.” – Participant
We will meet for 10 consecutive weeks on Monday evenings from 7 – 9pm at ONCA Barge, Brighton Marina. We will form a closed group to explore the ten steps in a supportive group facilitated by ecopsychologist and educator, Jane Glenzinska. There will be a maximum of 12 people in the group. ‘Good grievers’ need to be open to honest conversation, have a deep respect for all life on earth and a willingness to tend to our own and each other’s strong emotions.
The programme runs weekly from Monday 16th September to Monday 18th November.
For more information on the Good Grief Network see https://www.goodgriefgroup.org/about/
*term coined by Glenn Albrecht
About the facilitator
Jane Glenzinska Jane’s qualifications and experiences are widely varied and when viewed together, they just about make sense in the wide-angle lens of Ecopsychology. She holds a BA in psychology, a post-graduate diploma in Counselling Psychology and a Masters degree in Human Ecology which included what was the only academic offering in Ecopsychology at that time. She has developed and delivered wholistic and experiential Ecopsychology courses for the Centre for Human Ecology and the Centre for Ecotherapy. She was carrying out eco- therapy long before she ever had a name for it or even knew that this is was indeed a thing. She has enjoyed further training with Joanna Macy in the Work that Reconnects, Rosemary Randall in Carbon Conversations and has been delving deeply into Non-Violent Communication and collective grieving practices.
Image credit: Jon Tyson via Unsplash
Posted on August 1, 2019