Ecology, Psychoanalysis and Global Warming - Present and future traumas

Conference overview

Global warming is the most important concern threatening humankind today. It can be both frightening and traumatic. It is a reality, which is often denied or disavowed. Powerful economic and political interests appear to shape the public debate but these often have their origins in the individual and/or collective psyche. It is a problem of such huge magnitude that it seems to defy understanding and definition. 

By combining keynotes by distinguished scholars in the field with an interdisciplinary panel conversation we aim to explore what psychoanalysis, philosophy, science and activism can contribute to our understanding of how to communicate and deal with global warming. From an ecological perspective, nature and self are seen in connection; philosophy might help us to better understand our human relationships in the face of ecological disaster; psychoanalysis may bring us to an understanding of the unconscious psychodynamics that makes global warming a traumatic event, where psychotic mechanisms are at play in our denial of destruction; while activism aims to provide practical solutions and reminds us that talking needs to be followed up with action. It is hoped an interdisciplinary discussion will open up new ways of thinking about global warming in order to make the world a better place. Attendees will be invited to take part in work discussion groups following keynote speeches, group reflections and social dreaming so that they can fully participate in the thinking and feeling about the fears, anxieties, sadness, melancholy, desperation and possible trauma that this existential crisis brings with it.

Given this definition of the problem, we will ask what kind of ecology of knowledge do we need to cope with the magnitude of the ecological crisis that is upon us?

The Tavistock and Portman is concerned about the emotional well being of children, families and adults within the context of their environment. This environment is changing and may already have changed beyond return. It is right that we turn our attention and help in some small way to the alleviation of psychic pain inflicted on us by the denial of the human suffering and trauma caused by ecological disaster.

This conference is run in collaboration with the Climate Psychology Alliance and has been developed by Anna Harvey and Julian Manley.

Saturday 8th December


Registration and coffee




Anna Harvey



Slouching Towards the Anthropocene 

Paul Hoggett



Discussion and Q&A in response. 



Refreshment break



Conversation panel followed by a facilitated panel discussion. 

Philosopher (Delia Hannah); Psychoanalyst (Delphine Mascarene de Rayssac, EIPA); Climate Change Scientist (Erica Thompson, LSE) and Activist (Nadine Andrews).

Conversation facilitated by Anna Harvey



(Please note, lunch is not provided - please bring your own lunch or buy locally)



Small workshops facilitated by speakers



Feedback to larger group 

Facilitated by Anna Harvey



Refreshment break



Thinking about “Deep Adaptation”

followed by Q&A and discussion

Wendy Hollway and Julian Manley



Facilitated by Anne Aiyegbusi and John Adlam



Sunday 9th December

Social Dreaming: Present dreams for the future
Facilitated by Julian Manley and Angela Eden


Arrival and registration


Social Dreaming matrix


Refreshment break


Post Matrix Discussion



Saturday 8th December 2018, 9.00am – 5.45pm

Sunday 9th December 2018, 9.30am – 12.00pm

John Adlam

John is Consultant Adult Forensic Psychotherapist with responsibility for Reflective Practice across the Forensic and Offender Health Pathway for South London and Maudsley Foundation NHS Trust and Principal Adult Psychotherapist with the Wandsworth Complex Needs Service at Springfield Hospital. John is a founder member of the Association for Psycho-Social Studies. He is an independent researcher and writer committed to communities of learning and practices of equality. He is co-editor of three books published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers: Violent States and Creative States: From the Global to the Individual (2018); Forensic Music Therapy (2012) and The Therapeutic Milieu Under Fire: Security and Insecurity in Forensic Mental Health (2012). John blogs under the name Barrelman at

Dr Anne Aiyegbusi

Anne is a registered mental health nurse who has experience of the range of NHS roles ‘from ward to board.’ She is also forensic psychodynamic psychotherapist and is soon to qualify as a group analyst. She has an extensive career in forensic mental health services and is particularly interested in the role of psychological trauma in explaining individual, team and organisational psychopathology, especially in terms of how the phenomenon can reverberate through every level of care and service provision in an ‘invisible' way.

Dr Nadine Andrews

Nadine's work is concerned with supporting individuals and organisations to live in more harmonious relationship with the natural world. She is a psychosocial researcher, and mindfulness + nature-based coach, consultant and trainer. Nadine is a Visiting Research at the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business at Lancaster University and received the Emerald Literati Highly Commended Paper Award 2018 for a paper on psychosocial factors affecting enactment of pro-environmental values in organisations.

Angela Eden

Angela works as an organisational consultant from her own practice EDENevolution.  Through her original training in theatre, education and organisational consultancy, she uses metaphor, symbols and dreams.  Over the last fifteen years she developed  Social Dreaming training  with the Gordon Lawrence Foundation.  Additionally, she uses another creative stream, working as an artist with a range of mixed media and abstract images about our relationship to  land , sea and the environment

Dehlia Hannah

Dehlia Hannah is Mads Øvlisen Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Chemistry and Biosciences at Aalborg University-Copenhagen; an affiliate of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Columbia University, with specializations in philosophy of science and aesthetics. Dehlia deploys her philosophical training to curate art exhibitions that explore environmental imaginaries and epistemologies and collaborate with artists, scientists and policy makers. Bringing together science fiction writers, historians, scientists, artists, curators and humanitarian workers in transdisciplinary thought experiment, her most recent project, A Year Without a Winter (Columbia University Press, 2018), revisits the literary and environmental aftermaths of the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in order to reframe contemporary imaginaries of climate crisis.

Anna Harvey

Anna is a children and families social worker and a senior clinical lecturer in social work and social care at the Tavistock and Portman Centre. Anna has written about the emotional factors involved in child protection decision making. She is aware that children and families exist withinwider systems and has turned her attention to the risk global warming poses to children and families. Having worked with young unaccompanied asylum seekers she sees first hand the trauma of peoples forced to leave their homes in search of a safer place to live. She is also a budding permaculturist.

Professor Paul Hoggett

Paul Hoggett is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist who helped create the Climate Psychology Alliance. He is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at UWE and an OPUS Fellow having been a founding editor of Organisational & Social Dynamics.


Professor Wendy Hollway 

Wendy is an Emeritus Professor in Psychology (Open University). Working with methodologies that go beyond what are consciously aware of, lately especially social dreaming. Because of the hard-to-think character of climate change, such methodologies are especially useful. Latest publication, with Julian Manley, ‘Climate Change, Social Dreaming and Art: Thinking the Unthinkable’ (in press) in Hoggett, P. (ed) Climate Psychology, Palgrave.

Dr Julian Manley 

Julian is Social Innovation Manager at the University of Central Lancashire, Chair of The Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) Scotland and Executive Committee member for CPA UK. He is author of Social Dreaming, Associative Thinking and Intensities of Affect (2018 Palgrave Macmillan).

Delphine Mascarene de Rayssac

Originally from Ottawa Canada, Delphine started studying psychology before moving on to other disciplines of the social sciences such as sociology, anthropology and theology. It is only later, that she encounters psychoanalysis in France where she studied with the Freudian Federation of Psychoanalysis. She then develops a new school of thought that integrates post Freudian contemporary psychoanalytical theory and now runs the International School of Applied Psychoanalysis in Montpellier, France. She is author of "Introduction à la psychanalyse appliquée" and participates in various conferences and seminars on psychoanalysis and also Ericksonian hypnosis and Eye Movement Therapy.​

Dr Erica Thompson

Climate scientist Erica is a research scientist at the London School of Economics. Her work focuses on the practical application of climate (and other) models to make predictions about the real world. As such, it is highly interdisciplinary, ranging from the mathematical theory of nonlinear dynamical systems to the use and translation of climate science for policy and adaptation. Her current projects include a collaboration with humanitarian agencies to improve the use of weather forecast data in anticipating crises. Erica has not been on an aeroplane for over ten years and has recently moved into a self-built eco home on a “One Planet” smallholding.


Concessionary rates are available for students, unwaged, CPA members and Trust staff- please contact us at  or on 020 8938 2327 to book. 

Tavistock Centre

120 Belsize Lane




The Tavistock Centre, London
8 December 2018 09:00 to 9 December 2018 12:00

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