About the Program

The Climate Psychology Certificate (CPC) at CIIS takes place as live synchronous learning via Zoom. There are no in-person requirements. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a digital certificate of completion through Accredible, along with a BBS Continuing Education Certificate for completed hours upon request.

This certificate is designed as additional training for counseling professionals who are licensed, are license eligible, or who have completed their coursework to become license eligible. Under specific circumstances, prospective medical and mental health professionals who are not yet licensed may apply if they have completed the great majority of their coursework and have secured a traineeship or internship for gaining training hours of counseling and psychotherapy and have plans to complete their coursework in parallel.

Types of professionals for whom this program applies include:

  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC)
  • Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) 
  • Clinical and Counseling Psychologists (PsyD)
  • Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners (MD & NP)
  • Allied professionals who work within the therapeutic frame

Under specific circumstances, prospective medical and mental health professionals who are not yet licensed may apply if they have completed the great majority of their coursework and have secured a traineeship or internship for gaining training hours of counseling and psychotherapy and have plans to complete their coursework in parallel.

We especially encourage applications from people who identify as people of color, and/or those who serve marginalized and under-represented populations.

Working as a climate-aware therapist extends far beyond the therapy room. Bringing a psychological understanding of how we arrived at this global crisis and ways behavioral insights can be applied for effective engagement, therapists have important contribution to make in interdisciplinary efforts towards sustainable solutions. A broad range of settings include:

  • Creating widely accessible climate therapy support through group offerings.
  • Partnering with agencies, advocacy groups, activists, and nonprofits to provide emotional resilience tools and resources to staff and the communities they serve.
  • Working with environmental, business, and/or academic organizations to create emotionally-inclusive work cultures, and guide initiatives with behavioral science perspectives to boost engagement.
  • Writing, speaking, teaching, and research, to continue bringing forth the psychological dimensions of climate work.
  • Connecting with schools to introduce emotionally intelligent features to climate curriculums.

Climate psychology themes live within a social justice context an understanding that facing climate change includes addressing racial, gender, and generational collective suffering, human rights abuses, rights of nature, and the historical responsibilities for environmental damage. Particular attention will be paid to the inequitable impacts of climate change on the mental health of marginalized and vulnerable populations, and the importance of ethical policies and decision making that prioritizes these groups. This exploration includes how to deconstruct systemic harm perpetuated in colonized minds and practices. 

Guided by a developmental lens, the training will include the ways in which climate change can be explained to children of various age groups, giving kids reason to hope and become part of meaningful change without minimizing the challenges ahead. With half the youth (16 25 year old) reporting distress about the climate in ways that disrupt their daily lives and functioning, the program will address the moral injury that government inaction has inflicted.

The program cohort is intentionally kept small to promote connections among participants that can lead to lifelong networking, shared professional efforts, and cross referrals. 

The ecological crisis is not only a call to action to ensure the survival of humanity and other life forms on our planet, but also has the potential to move human evolution and consciousness to the next level of social, racial, and economic equality. In addition to the rich resources found within psychology, we will explore the clinical relevance with speakers from Indigenous and wisdom traditions who can provide us with a reminder of our interconnectivity with the full diversity and beauty of life and the Earth as our sacred home.

State Authorizations

Currently, we are not able to enroll certificate students from the following states due to state authorization requirements. If you are located in one of these states and would like to apply to our program, please sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page, as this policy is subject to change. Learn more information on CIIS & State Authorization.

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) Available

The Climate Psychology Certificate program is offered by an accredited university and this program meets the requirements for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) and is approved for 70 CEUs for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT licenses: 

  • LCSWs and MFTs from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board for approval.
  • CIIS is not authorized to issue APA CEUs. However, we will work with a third-party provider to offer APA CEUs for certain courses within the certificate, upon request.
  • For questions about BBS CEUs, contact CIIS Public Program at publicprograms@ciis.edu.

Certificate Development 

The overall certificate curriculum and format was originally developed by Program Co-Leads Leslie Davenport, MA, MS, LMFT & Barbara Easterlin, PhD in collaboration with CIIS Public Programs. Individual courses within the certificate are designed and delivered by guest instructors. Program Co-Leads will join students throughout the program and provide opportunities for integration and group process.

The certificate will take place online via Zoom and will include lecture, discussion, experiential learning, small group work, as well as applied work in clinical and therapeutic settings. Students will be given additional materials and opportunities to connect between weekends through the online Canvas platform. 

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