ACT for the climate crisis – a climate change coaching perspective

Climate change presents the biggest behaviour change challenge the world has ever seen. It’s not just a scientific problem to be solved; it is a complex systemic problem with human behaviours at its heart. To discuss this in some more detail we’ve partnered with the Climate Change Coaches for a guest blog, read on to get an exclusive discount on their upcoming course too.

A seasoned climate change policy specialist confided in us that he regrets how technocratic the climate space has become because it has given people the impression that they need to know a lot of climate science in order to take meaningful action. He is now recognising the need to empower people from across a range of sectors and skillsets, because of course we need everyone contributing their skills and knowledge as part of a global eco-system of solutions.

Our light-bulb moment as coaches came when we realised we didn’t need to become climate scientists to make a difference to our children’s future on this planet (a big driver of motivation amongst our team), and that we already possessed a unique superpower – the ability to help people navigate difficult change and the emotional roller coaster that comes with crossing the threshold into meaningful action.

As ACT practitioners you no doubt know that what keeps many people stuck in inaction is more about their own personal beliefs about what is possible, their fusion to certain identities and perspectives, and avoidance of emotional pain, than it is about whether the solutions for change are out there or not.

Some of the key drivers of inaction that we see in both individuals and organisations are:

  • feeling ill-equipped or underqualified
  • inability to see the relevance or meaningful impact in their lives
  • being stuck scarcity mindset (e.g. not enough time, money, resources)
  • feeling threatened by change and/or the emotional impact of engaging in this subject, leading to active resistance
  • feeling overwhelmed by the complexity and enormity of task

At the Climate Change Coaches we have been inspired by many aspects of the ACT model in our approach to unlocking rigid beliefs about what is possible and helping people to develop the emotional muscles to be more flexible when confronted with intense climate-related emotions and thoughts.

As helping professionals it can be easy to feel that we do not have a useful or sanctioned role to play in mitigating the climate crisis, and yet so many of us do want to play our part. If you are feeling that way, it can help to understand that very many people are deeply concerned about this subject, but that they feel powerless, blamed and stuck. You may already have clients who would speak to you about this, but do not realise this is something they can discuss with you.

Helping our clients to ‘be with’ the difficult emotions and loosen their grip on their sense of powerlessness opens up a space to explore the love and care behind the pain and to connect with a sense of possibility, motivation and purpose. That’s the point where we see big shifts into committed and meaningful action, underpinned by values. Much of what we do and teach at the Climate Change Coaches is about how we relate – to ourselves, to others, to the facts, and even to the crisis itself – which determines the quality of how we then behave and the choices we make.

We bring this all together in our unique model of change for our Climate Change Coaching Mastery programme, designed for trained coaches as well as psychotherapists, counsellors and therapists conversant in core coaching concepts.

Climate Change Coaches are delighted to be partnering with Contextual Consulting to offer followers £150 off the course fees with the code: Contextual150

 

 

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