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Engaging with Climate Change: Psychoanalytic and Interdisciplinary Perspectives [Hardcover]

Sally Weintrobe
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 6 2012 0415667607 978-0415667609

How can we help and support people to face climate change?

Engaging with Climate Change is one of the first books to explore in depth what climate change actually means to people. It brings members of a wide range of different disciplines in the social sciences together in discussion and to introduce a psychoanalytic perspective. The important insights that result have real implications for policy, particularly with regard to how to relate to people when discussing the issue. Topics covered include:

  • what lies beneath the current widespread denial of climate change
  • how do we manage our feelings about climate change
  • our great difficulty in acknowledging our true dependence on nature
  • our conflicting identifications
  • the effects of living within cultures that have perverse aspects
  • the need to mourn before we can engage in a positive way with the new conditions we find ourselves in.

Through understanding these issues and adopting policies that recognise their implications humanity can hope to develop a response to climate change of the nature and scale necessary. Aimed at the general reader as well as psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and climate scientists, this book will deepen our understanding of the human response to climate change.

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I read this book straight through in two days. More shocking than a fantasy novel, more touching than an individual intimate story, it is an interdisciplinary book of high quality that shows how people hardly dare to face the truth about climate change and how psychoanalysis helps us explore the reality, inside and outside our minds, beyond defensive illusions and tragic disavowal - Stefano Bolognini, MD, President of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society and President Elect of the International Psychoanalytic Association

 By bringing together some of the most cutting-edge and creative thinkers on the ecological crisis, this anthology builds a persuasive case for how a greater understanding of human psychology -- including the psychology of denial, compassion and cruelty -- can help break the climate deadlock. A powerful riposte to the notion that climate communicators have only two options: relentlessly terrify the public, or try to fool them into action without mentioning the word "climate." Naomi Klein, author of "The Shock Doctrine"

Throughout the book, we are repeatedly reminded of two most basic facts; that we are all much less rational than we care to think, and that we are of, not above, the natural world. - Chris Rapley, CBE, Professor of Climate Science at University College London

"Challenging, hopeful, timely ... Engaging with Climate Change contains perspectives about climate change by psychoanalytic writers, sociologists, social policy academics and others, with amplifying or challenging short responses, which makes for a deeper analysis." - Robert Tollemache, The Journal of Analytical Psychology, Vol. 58, 2013

"This is a rich and fascinating book that makes for gripping reading. It brings together different disciplines and is therefore interesting for a wide range of readers. The book clearly explains psychoanalytic concepts, so that a reader not accustomed to this way of thinking can gain an understanding. At the same time, there are many accounts from the consulting room and from literature, so that it is also delightful reading for those train in the field." - Helen Skogstad, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 27:2

"This book is a robust contribution to a body of literature currently shaping our thinking about psychic processes in relation to climate change. The interdisciplinary nature of the book is reflected in the range of contributors, which includes sociologists, academics and psychoanalysts, and also in the diversity of content and stylistic form. The writing is incisive, lively and at times riveting, and themes are enriched and enlivened by research, literary refrences and anecodtal examples of lived experience." - Caroline Firzell, Therapy Today (September 2013)

About the Author

Sally Weintrobe, a practising psychoanalyst, is a Fellow of the Institute of Psychoanalysis in London. She sees a psychoanalytic approach as a vital part of understanding how to engage people about the seriousness of climate change and how to understand current levels of denial. She has written and lectured widely on these subjects and on our relationship with nature. Her commitment to fostering interdisciplinary exchange with other human scientists about engaging with climate change has led to this remarkable book.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe some use for psychiatry after all Aug. 13 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have actually read this book, cover to cover, marking significant passages, and am in the process of summarizing these. The book is comprised of densely written essays, and the topic is somewhat off-putting, but the knowledge is essential in learning how to discuss the highly-charged topic of climate change. I would recommend this to anyone so interested. I picked up so much on the first tour that it profoundly changed my thinking and approach to the topic. Many useful references follow each essay, with the essays also commented on by other writers, who list their sources also.

The book was indeed hard to read. Many of the concepts were specialized. But there was a lot of real, psychiatric-based understanding about humans and their relation to climate change. Some of it I found very useful.

Some was excessively based on antiquated ideas of identity, and consequently of self.

Notions more recently arrived in the west of the insubstantiality of the self, of its illusory nature, and of the interconnectedness both of life forms and of the living and non-living realms--recently termed "nations," as in "tree nation" or "rock nation" by some indigenous writers--at times played second fiddle to writing about new modern developments following from the work of Freud and Jung.

Still, I'd give it five stars for those interested.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well-crafted, urgent and highly valuable book on a most important set of issues July 12 2014
By Jamey Hecht - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've just started reading this book and couldn't put it down for about five hours. It's the best item in a still-nearly-vacant niche that should soon be swelling with more books and films asking how exactly we repeat our failure to change the way we live. An anthology of related yet interdisciplinary essays by diverse hands, Engaging with Climate Change maintains a high level of readability, insight, and moral courage that any reader might find rewarding. Though in some places the language about our peril seems understated, in other places it is as dire as it ought to be. I hope the price of the book comes down so that the audience can increase. This is a fine, important book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good exploration into how the human mind might be interacting ... Aug. 21 2014
By Katie Toye - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good exploration into how the human mind might be interacting with the implications surrounding climate change. A great read for those that do not believe and for those that do believe that humans might be causing the destruction of the planet.
0 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Someone's having us on. March 7 2013
By Chris B - Published on Amazon.com
I gave the book five stars for gall, and recommend reading it, in spite of not having read it myself, to those who want to understand the state of Academia in the 21st century

I watched a Youtube video on the book launch and had to see if this book was for real. Is it any wonder that there is so little respect for the field of psychoanalysis? "Climate Change Deniers"?

I suppose this goes to show just how gullible and easily led even educated persons can be.

Just how many CO2 atoms can radiate on the head of a pin.

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