Children and the Climate Crisis

Friday 1 (eve) and Saturday 2 May 2020 - London

Working with Young People their Anger, Fear, Grief and Hope


With chair Judith Anderson and contributors Amrita Bhohi, Beth Collier, Sarah Deco, Jay Griffiths, Anna Harvey, Caroline Hickman, Katharine Lewis, Zion Lights, Jo McAndrews, Catriona Mellor, Isobel Pick, Jocelyne Quennell, Mark Smalley, Sonia Shomalzadeh, Tree Staunton, Steve Thorp, Sally Weintrobe and youth activists.




Friday 1 May 2020

Artist Sonia Shomalzadeh will be creating live art reflecting the themes of the day.

Conference Chair: Judith Anderson


Judith Anderson and Caroline Hickman
Introduction and Welcome

Jay Griffiths
A Reading

Caroline Hickman
Listening to the Wisdom of Children’s Voices in the Climate & Biodiversity Crisis
“We saw online that people in Iceland had a funeral for a glacier, but we will be underwater soon because of rising sea levels, and the world doesn’t seem to care about this, or about us, who will have a funeral for us?” Child from The Maldives

As future generations, children and young people have the largest stake in finding solutions to the climate and biodiversity emergency, but so often the narrative around climate crisis communication and related psychological trauma can split between “protecting” children from the facts or “abandoning” or terrifying them by telling them too much. But maybe we need to hold this tension of opposites. Can we find ways to protect children whilst validating and acknowledging their fears. As children take to the streets to express their pain, frustration and despair, do we, the “adults”, need to more honestly examine our defences and learn to really listen to them, to tolerate their distress, to face our guilt, grief and shame and find ways to navigate the new world that is emerging together?

Sally Weintrobe
Did we Care When Birds and Animals Died during the Sixth Extinction?
Children are naturally close to and fascinated by animals. Children are as Vaclav Havel put it “pre-political”, meaning not yet so influenced by culture. The pre-political is deeply political. Sally sees our prevailing culture of un-care as working to break links between humans and animals and to invite us to treat animals (and the animal we are) as “distanced others”. How are we facing the Sixth Mass Extinction? Can children help adults repair their inner representations of the natural world and our place in it? The danger is animals will die in their millions without being sufficiently loved to be mourned and fought for.

Dear Future Generations: Sorry by Prince Ea

Media Panel Session: How does the Media Represent Voices of Youth in Relation to the Climate Emergency?
Mark Smalley in conversation with youth climate activists, activist and ecologist Amrita Bhohi, author Jay Griffiths and Caroline Hickman. Hearing the children’s voices in the world, what are they trying to communicate and how is the media implicated in silencing, dismissing, discrediting, shaping or promoting their voices.

Steve Thorp
Poetry reading: Legacy


Saturday 2 May 2020

Registration and Coffee

Jay Griffiths
A reading

Caroline Hickman and Judith Anderson
Reflections from the Previous Evening + Q&A

Youth Activists Panel Session + Q&A
Young climate activists discussing what it is like to be growing up with climate emergency awareness, intersectionality, intergenerational conflict and awareness of climate crisis as social injustice.

Coffee break

Jo McAndrews in Conversation with Anna Harvey, Katharine Lewis, Zion Lights and Steve Thorp with Q&A
More Than Just Words – Talking with Children about Climate Crisis at Home and at School
Children look to the adults in their lives to keep them safe. How do we tell the truth about the climate and ecological crisis in a way that makes sense to them and also protects them from overwhelming feelings? Parents, school staff and others who work with children are finding this challenge difficult to navigate. It is clear that we can’t support children effectively until we have enough support ourselves in facing the inevitable grief, loss, guilt, rage and confusion around what is happening in our world. What changes do we need to make at home and in our schools and organisations in order to build the resilience needed to have these important conversations in a way that builds resilience and capacity to act.

Jo McAndrews
Singing Our Way Forwards


Judith Anderson in Conversation with Beth Collier, Anna Harvey, Caroline Hickman, Catriona Mellor & Tree Staunton
Clinical Discussion: What are the Clinical Issues for Psychotherapists Working with Children and Families in the Context of the Climate Crisis?
When the facts are terrifying, adults or parents may not be able to change them in order to reassure their children. Adults may feel powerless and children may feel that their parents don’t know how to help them. What is the work of psychotherapy and eco-therapy here? Is it internal intrapsychic work, external activism, or both? How do we develop a climate crisis aware psychotherapy? What are the most thoughtful professional and clinical responses to this?


Inspiration for Clinical Practice

Beth Collier: Ethnography and Eco-Psychology in Practice
Caroline Hickman: Dreams and Active Imagination
Sarah Deco: Story and Metaphor as Psychological Support in a Changing Climate
Jo McAndrew: Deep Resilience & Embodiment

Implications for Trainings and the Role of the Professional Bodies
Judith Anderson in conversation with Tree Staunton UKCP, Isobel Pick Chair for the ACP, Jocelyne Quennell Chair of the UKCP Child Faculty and Director of Wellbeing at the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education

Steve Thorp
Poetry reading: Leave-Taking


Confer member:
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Self-funded x 2:

Psychotherapy trainee:


Certificates of attendance for 9 hours will be provided at the event


King’s College London



Friday (eve)
18.00 Registration
18:30 Start
21:00 End

09.30 Registration and Coffee
10:00 Start
11:30 Coffee
13:00 Lunch
14:45 Tea
17:00 End


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