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Climate Crisis Position Statement

Organisational Commitment:

The EMDR Association recognises the severe impacts of climate and environmental harm on individual, community, national, and global mental health (World Bank, 2022). We acknowledge the impact climate shifts may have on human rights (UNEP, 2015), displacement (UNHCR, 2023), education (Behrer & Holla, 2023), and opportunities. We understand that these changes will often have a disproportionate effect on the poorest in our world (Guivarch, Taconet & Mejean, 2022). We will always advocate for the needs of those whose voices are silent. We will work with other disciplines to develop and share psychological and trauma informed understandings, support and advise on the implementation of effective interventions rooted in scientific evidence to lead to a healthier sustainable future (UNEP, 2015).

The Association pledges to review its own practices to address the crisis, supporting EMDR practitioners to contribute to climate and ecological crisis mitigation and adaptation. We support the human transition from carbon intensive to low carbon systems and technologies in areas such as energy, transportation, manufacturing, agriculture and infrastructure and the role EMDR can play in trauma recovery, adaptation, and community change.

The EMDR Association will work with its members to:

Understand and address the impacts of climate and ecological crisis on health and wellbeing.

Direct exposure to the negative consequences of climate and environmental disruption is causing physical and psychological harm. Whole populations are suffering from trauma as a result of extreme climatic events, and this is predicted to increase in coming years. We believe that EMDR has a key role in supporting people in these situations. 

In addition, awareness of the environmental crisis often produces psychological distress. We support the role of EMDR practitioners in helping individuals, communities and organisations to adapt to change and tackling the anxiety, depression and guilt surrounding current and future disturbances. We realise that, to do this, practitioners will also need to deal with their own emotions in the face of the crisis.

We will work with EMDR practitioners to:

  • Actively engage with the climate crisis and any emotions that come up in themselves in response to its many manifestations.  
  • Help individuals, communities and organisations  to manage resultant emotions and strengthen their capacity to adapt. 
  • Help individuals and communities develop psychological resilience to enhance engagement with the climate crisis. 
  • Promote research and understanding of the human and mental health dimensions of global climate and environmental change and develop effective interventions to support individuals and communities
  • environmental change and develop effective interventions to support individuals and communities 

Increase awareness inside and external to the profession. 

Knowledge of climate and ecological disruption will be available through continuing professional development. 

We will work with EMDR practitioners to: 

  • Contribute to effective educational resources, embedded in climate justice, for EMDR practitioners and the public to support their understanding of the health and wellbeing impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss, mitigation, and adaptation. 
  • Support delivery of climate communications based around pro-environmental behaviours. 
  • Provide research/knowledge-based interventions and create space to stimulate interpersonal/public discussions. 

Encourage behavioural, political, and social change to provide a healthy, safe and sustainable living environment for everyone, by bridging the gaps between policy, public affairs, and engagement

EMDR practitioners are aware that policy makers both influence and are influenced by public attitudes and engagement. Major changes are needed in both policy and in everyday engagement and action. We will encourage and work with other organisations to further the role of mental health professionals in helping to shape government and public policy through psychologically informed evidence. 

We will work with EMDR practitioners to: 

  • Support the profession, government and other organisations to set objectives and emphasise the importance of mental health informed policies and research. 
  • Connect with the EMDR and trauma informed community internationally and encourage a more active global engagement around the climate crisis  and the rapid production of resources
  • Cooperate with other mental health organisations to create a unified voice to influence government and policy makers.
  • Develop closer relationships with relevant organisations, institutions and leaders involved in the policy making process. 
  • Increase public awareness and engagement, taking full account of the scale of the personal, social and policy changes likely to be needed. 
  • Provide research and knowledge-based interventions that create a space in which to stimulate interpersonal/public discussions. 
  • Support EMDR practitioners in providing their expertise to facilitate environmentally friendly sustainable behaviours. 
  • Work with others in multi-disciplinary teams to ensure a variety of perspectives are brought to bear.
  • Build the capability, credibility, and capacity of EMDR practitioners to work in this area. 

Take account of the links between climate change, human rights, and inequality. 

We acknowledge that climate and environmental disruption affects communities and individuals unequally. In many cases, the most disadvantaged communities will be the most adversely affected. 

The EMDR Association UK will work with EMDR practitioners to: 

  • Ensure we promote the voices of those people and communities who lack a voice in climate change impacts, adaption, and mitigation efforts.
  • Explore the broader impacts of climate and environmental change on those who carry a protected characteristic under equality law. 
  • Promote balanced discussion on the socio-economic impact of change on those from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities. 
  • Ensure a human rights approach to climate and environment work sits at the heart of all projects, initiatives, and discussions. 
  • Promote co-production, lived experience involvement and trauma informed mitigation and adaptations to a climate and ecologically changing world. 

The EMDR Association undertakes to assist and encourage the engagement of all its members with climate and environmental crisis issues, as researchers, academics, practitioners, and students to seek to implement the recommendations outlined here. 

Monday 8th January 2024

References: 

American Psychological Association, APA Task Force on Climate Change. (2022) Addressing the climate crisis: An action plan for psychologists. Available at: https://www.apa.org/science/about/publications/climate-crisis-action-plan.pdf 

Behrer, P. & A. Holla (2023). Education and climate change: The critical role of adaptation investments. World Bank Blogs. Available at: https://blogs.worldbank.org/developmenttalk/education-and-climate-change-critical-role-adaptation- investments 

Guivarch, C. Taconet, N. & A. Méjean (2022). Linking climate and inequality. International Monetary Fund. Available at: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/fandd/issues/2021/09/climate- change-and-inequality-guivarch-mejean-taconet 

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) (2022). Climate change 2022: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, summary for policymakers. Available at: file:///C:/Users/xp9c/Downloads/IPCC_AR6_WGII_SummaryForPolicymakers.pdf 

UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) (2015). Climate change and human rights. Available at: https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/9530/- Climate_Change_and_Human_Rightshuman-rights-climate- change.pdf.pdf?sequence=2&amp%3BisAllowed= 

UNHCR (United Nations High Commission on Refugees) (2023). Climate change and disaster displacement. Available at: https://www.unhcr.org/what-we-do/build-better-futures/environment- disasters-and-climate-change/climate-change- and#:~:text=The%20impacts%20of%20climate%20change%20are%20numerous%20and%20may%2 0both,the%20world%20that%20host%20refugees. 

World Bank (2022). Social dimensions of climate change. Available at: 

https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/social-dimensions-of-climate-change