cover art for Climate Coaching: Navigating Emotions and Taking Action in a Changing World

Rejuvenaging with Dr. Ron Kaiser

Climate Coaching: Navigating Emotions and Taking Action in a Changing World

Ep. 199

The podcast "REJUVENAGING with Dr. Ron Kaiser" welcomed Alexandra Arnold, a climate coach and graduate from the Climate Change Coaches Training Program. Dr. Ron Kaiser was intrigued by climate coaching due to the increasing anxiety and concerns people have about climate change, something he hadn't encountered in his work until recently. Alex shared her journey into climate coaching, explaining that it combines her passion for the environment with her coaching skills rooted in positive psychology.

Alex's interest in climate coaching was sparked when she realized that she didn't have to conform to traditional climate activism but could leverage her strengths and values to make a different type of meaningful contribution. She discovered the Climate Coaching Alliance, became a member, and enrolled in a climate change coach training program.

Dr. Ron asked about the specific role of a climate change coach. Alex explained that climate coaches support individuals and organizations in various ways, such as:

  • Helping activists deal with burnout and emotional responses to climate change.
  • Assisting people in processing complex emotions related to climate change, including anxiety, despair, and grief.
  • Collaboratively exploring clients' strengths, values, and areas of interest for taking climate action.
  • Shifting mindsets to promote resilience and adaptability in the face of climate-related uncertainty.

Alex noted that climate anxiety is a complex issue with no easy answers. People can be jolted into awareness by climate-related events like floods or storms. However, the emotional responses to climate change are diverse and multifaceted, making it challenging to generalize. People may experience sadness, despair, hopelessness, shame, guilt, fear and grief in regard to climate change, in addition to anxiety - and each new event can have an additive emotional effect.

The discussion concluded with an exploration of how some individuals respond to climate anxiety by becoming advocates or participating in climate-focused organizations. Alex emphasized that these individuals may experience post-traumatic growth, using their concerns as motivation for proactive engagement in climate action. Climate coaching helps individuals navigate their unique emotional responses and find ways to contribute positively to the cause.

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