Climate Psychology Certificate

Public Programs

Climate Psychology Certificate

Applications for fall 2024 cohort of Climate Psychology Certificate will open May 1

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Program Overview

Program Length

5 Weekends



Next Cohort


The Climate Psychology Certificate provides psychological training and skills for therapists, healers, and allied professionals to address the growing mental health impacts of the climate emergency. Utilizing an integrative and robust framework that includes multiple behavioral science approaches and philosophies, as well as a view into the broken systemic legacies from which painful eco-emotional conditions arise, climate psychology is adaptable to various therapeutic orientations.

The primary focus of the Climate Psychology Certificate is to provide training that can be incorporated into clinical practice for working therapeutically with the lived experiences of eco-anxiety, eco-grief, and many expressions of climate-invoked dread. Participants learn about:

  • Immediate mental health impacts of climate related disasters
  • Long term stress of living with the reality of climate change over time
  • Trauma-informed therapeutic and emotional resiliency skills with ways of motivating effective action
  • Existential dilemmas that come into the therapy room, such as whether to have a family, move out of a geographical area to avoid climate related disasters, kinship breakdown, and more generally, how to navigate the future with escalating threats

The program cohort is intentionally kept small to promote connections among participants that can lead to lifelong networking, shared professional efforts, and cross referrals. Online learning modules 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 via the online Canvas platform. 

Continuing Education Credits

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 60 CEs 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 CEs. However, we will work with a third-party provider to offer APA CEs for certain courses within the certificate, upon request.
  • For questions about BBS CEs, contact CIIS Public Program at


About the Certificate

The certificate curriculum was originally developed by Program Co-Leads Leslie Davenport, M.A., M.S., LMFT, and Barbara Easterlin, Ph.D., 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 Climate Psychology Certificate 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. 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.

Some states require institutions to be authorized or exempt in order to enroll online students located in the state. Not all states have this requirement. See here for more information and a list of states from which CIIS may or may not enroll online students. If you have questions about state authorizations, please contact

Working as a climate-aware therapist also extends far beyond the therapy room. By bringing a psychological understanding of how we arrived at this global crisis and strategies for effective engagement, therapists can help create sustainable solutions. Some examples include:

  • Creating widely accessible climate therapy support through group offerings
  • Partnering with agencies, advocacy groups, and nonprofits to provide 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 explore 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 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.

Entry Requirements

Applications for Certificate Programs may be submitted through CIIS' online application platform. Applications include:

  • Background & Goal Statement
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • An optional Scholarship Essay

We especially encourage applications from individuals who: identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color; identify as LGBTQIA+, and/or serve marginalized or under-represented populations. Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis until the cohort is full. Applicants will be notified within a few weeks of the application deadline.

Cohort Schedule

  • Date




    Friday, September 15th

    9am-12pm & 1pm-4pm PT

    Leslie Davenport & Barbara Easterlin 

    Introduction & Climate Psychology Overview

    Saturday, September 16th

    9am-12pm & 1pm-3pm PT

    Vanessa Andreotti

    Gesturing Toward Decolonial Futures 

    3pm-4pm PT

    Integration Session

    Friday, October 6th

    9am-12pm & 1pm-2pm PT

    Wendy Greenspun

    Climate-Aware Clinical Work

    2pm-4pm PT

    Working Groups

    Saturday, October 7th

    9am-12pm PT

    Theopia Jackson & Kyle X Hil

    Panel Discussion: Clinical Applications within the Context of Intersectionality

    1pm-4pm PT

    Integration Session

    Friday October 27th

    9am-12pm & 1pm-3pm PT

    Adrián Villasenor-Galarza

    The Ecology of our Inner Landscapes

    3pm-4pm PT

    Integration Session & Group Discussion

    Saturday, October 28th

    9am-12pm PT

    Susanne Moser

    The Adaptive Mind: Addressing the Needs of Frontline Climate Workers

    1pm-3pm PT

    Pablo Suarez, Wawa Gatheru, & Suzanne Moser

    Panel Discussion: From Darkness to Illumination: Addressing Climate & Mental Health in Multiple Frontlines

    3pm-4pm PT

    Integration Session

    Friday, November 17th

    9am-1pm PT

    Caroline Hickman 

    Children, Youth, and Parenting 

    2pm-4pm PT

    Elizabeth Bechard & Jade Sasser

    Panel Discussion: Complexities of Childbearing and Raising Children in a Changing World

    Saturday, November 18th

    9am-12pm & 1pm-3pm PT

    Britt Wray

    Radical interdisciplinarity, courageous communication, and the transformative power of being part of Generation Dread.

    3pm-4pm PT

    Integration Session

    Friday, December 8th

    9am-12pm PT

    Zhiwa Woodbury

    Interview: New Paradigms for Therapeutic Work

    1pm-3:30pm PT

    Anna Graybeal & LaUra Schmidt

    Panel Discussion: Supporting Community with Climate Groups

    3:30pm-4pm PT

    Integration Session

    Saturday, December 9th

    9am-12pm PT

    Ariella Cook-Shonkoff

    Integrating Through Expressive Arts Therapy (EXA)

    1pm-4pm PT

    Leslie Davenport & Barbara Easterlin 

    Gleanings, Connection, Community

Tuition & Aid

If you have questions, please contact

  • Application Fee (non-refundable)$50
    Program Fee (Sliding Scale)$4,000-$6,000
    CIIS Community Discount (Students, Alumni, Staff & Faculty)25% Discount ($1000 off)
  • All accepted applicants will be able to select their program fee from the designated range, as well as choose their payment plan option. All accepted students are also eligible for payment plan options (one, two, or four installments) at no extra charge. 

  • As part of our mission to expand and diversify the field of climate psychology, CIIS Public Programs has designated funds to offer up to (2) Full Scholarships and (4) Half Scholarships every cohort for those in financial need. As per our commitment to diversity and inclusion, at least half of all scholarship funds will be designated to those who identify as queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (QTBIPOC).

    The Future Leader Scholarships are specifically for applicants who plan to use their climate psychology certification not only to expand their personal practice, but to pursue a leadership position within the field of climate psychology. Examples of this could include, but not be limited to:

    • Developing programming to provide emotional support to climate activist organizations
    • Conducting research into the mental health dimensions of the climate crisis
    • Training clinicians on assessing and treating climate distress
    • Working with existing community resources, including first responders, to increase awareness of mental health consequences of climate related disasters
    • Developing climate curricula for schools
    • Teaching parenting skills
    • Engaging in climate communications
    • Providing behavioral science consultation to agriculture and land use work
    • Working with environmental justice groups in BIPOC communities
    • Integrating emotional sustainability themes in business or tech organizations

    To apply, please upload a 1-2 page essay with your program application that answers the following questions:

    • How will you pursue a leadership position within the field of climate psychology after you complete your training?
    • How will you bring the climate psychology education you receive in this program to others in your professional and/or other communities?
    • What is your financial situation and why are you applying for a scholarship?
  • A non-refundable application fee of $50 is due at the time of application. Payment of the program fee (or the first payment of your payment plan) must be received by September 1, 2023, to secure your space in the program. Payment plans are available and will be provided to accepted applicants. If a student withdraws before October 1, 2023, fifty percent of the full fee will be due. The full fee is due if a student withdraws after October 1, 2023.

Program Leads & Instructors

Adjunct - Associate Professor and Program Lead

Climate Psychology Certificate

Integrative Health Studies

School of Professional Psychology and Health

Program Lead

Climate Psychology Certificate

Climate Psychology Certificate

Climate Psychology Certificate

Climate Psychology Certificate

Climate Psychology Certificate

Climate Psychology Certificate

Climate Psychology Certificate

Climate Psychology Certificate

Climate Psychology Certificate

Climate Psychology Certificate

Climate Psychology Certificate

Climate Psychology Certificate

Climate Psychology Certificate

Climate Psychology Certificate

Core Faculty

Climate Psychology Certificate

East-West Psychology

School of Consciousness and Transformation

Climate Psychology Certificate

Climate Psychology Certificate

Course Descriptions

    • Clinical Applications within the Context of Intersectionality
    • From Darkness to Illumination: Addressing Climate & Mental Health in Multiple Frontlines
    • Complexities of Childbearing and Raising Children in a Changing World
    • New Paradigms for Therapeutic Work
    • Supporting Community with Climate Groups
  • Bechard: This panel will explore key challenges for parenting in an age of global climate change, from the challenges of talking to young children about climate change at home to parents’ struggles with climate anxiety themselves. This session will include a summary of current literature on climate change and parents’ mental health and suggested resources and practices for helping parents and families cultivate resilience in climate-disrupted time.

    Sasser: In this panel, I share results from my ongoing research exploring climate emotions and reproductive plans among Millennials and members of Generation Z. Drawing on data from a national survey as well as in-depth interviews, I argue that race, social marginalization, and perceived vulnerability have a significant impact on whether people of reproductive age feel confident that they can raise children in the midst of the climate crisis.

  • The climate crisis is here and while many of us are deeply distressed, many others are hardly thinking about it. In other words, some people are feeling and others are avoiding. As therapists, how do we work with these different experiences, and how do we manage our own feelings while doing so? It’s incredibly difficult to talk about stirring material, and what could be more stirring than climate change? Most of us didn’t grow up receiving welcoming reactions to all our thoughts and feelings, and we didn’t learn how to express ourselves directly and constructively. Instead we got good at distracting, shutting down, and disconnecting.

    Group psychotherapy is a powerful format for developing new patterns. Group therapists have worked for decades to understand how to help people have and express difficult feelings within their relationships in constructive ways, such that these relationships are deepened and enriched rather than damaged. In this workshop we will learn the principles of group psychotherapy, using experiential practice, and study how group work can help all of us with the climate crisis. Participants will experience how group can help both distressed people communicate more effectively and resistant people tolerate feelings they don’t want to have.

  • The climate crisis is a one of disconnection. Any movement toward healing requires deep reconnection: with ourselves, each other, and the more-than-human world. We'll explore how coming together in intimate community groups helps build mutual aid, allowing us to better be with uncertainty and open our imagination to cocreate truly just and sustainable worlds.

  • This course provides an in-depth introduction to the climate youth movement, an international network of youth organizations and individuals that collectively aims to inspire, empower and mobilize a generational movement of young people to take positive action on the climate crisis. Connecting the youth climate movement to the social movements of the 20th century, this course will introduce students to the intergenerational power of youth organizing and perseverance. 

  • This course provides an overview of how the expressive art (EXA) therapies can be applied to climate psychology clinical practices. An introduction to how EXA is currently utilized with different populations, including research supporting how it fosters growth, healing, recovery, and resilience by activating unconscious and neurobiological processes will be covered. One goal of the course is to explore how EXA might be incorporated into different theoretical frameworks applicable to climate psychology. The course will also survey projects outside of the therapy realm that are at the intersection of creativity and climate work, as a way to stimulate ideas. Both experiential and interactive, there will be several arts-based exercises, break out room discussions, and sharing and learning from one another in a collaborative manner.

  • This course lays the foundation of the causes and mental health implications of the climate emergency. A summary of current climate science as well as the systemic environmental/social issues rooted in culture and politics are introduced. There will be discussion of how these concepts are rooted in a climate aware therapeutic stance, with an introduction to skill development highlighting resilience, hope, encouragement of activism, and self-regulation. Key climate psychology terms and concepts will be explored, including unconscious processes that underlie our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors about sustainability; evidence-based therapeutic practices for addressing mental health impacts of environmental disasters and longer term climate-induced chronic stress; as well as our psychological and physical interdependence with nature.

  • This set of classes provides a review of climate-informed skills as well as important time for small group discussions to deepen and integrate these themes. Additional topics include: reflective, expressive, and nature-themed processes for developing different ways of knowing and adapting to the climate crisis; a discussion of how climate distress is different from and/or amplifies pre-existing vulnerabilities of socioeconomic resources, racial oppression, sexuality and gender bias as well as mood, anxiety, attachment, and trauma; a demonstration for working with common climate-related dilemmas and feelings; and Q/A to expand and clarify core climate aware therapy principles.

  • This course will focus on ways mental health clinicians can think about the clinical practice of climate aware therapy. We will start with considering the therapist's own emotional reactions to the climate and environmental crisis and ways to process those responses, as well as countertransference challenges that may occur. We will discuss helpful attitudes for climate-informed practice that span all theoretical perspectives and can help enlarge our mental health models. We will examine ways that social location, privilege and other identity factors need to be included in our clinical formulations and approaches, as well as how to work with various forms of traumatic stress and grief. Through clinical examples and engagement with case material, we will discuss a variety of interventions, dilemmas and ethical questions that may emerge in clinical work. We will also consider ways to facilitate attention to climate issues that may have not yet emerged in treatment.

  • As future generations, children and young people have the largest stake in finding solutions to the climate and biodiversity emergency, but so often the narrative around climate crisis communication and related psychological trauma can split between protecting children from the facts or terrifying them by telling them too much. But maybe we need to hold this tension of opposites. Can we find ways to protect children whilst validating and acknowledging their fears? As children take to the streets and the law courts to express their pain, frustration, and despair, do we, the “adults”, need to examine our defenses and learn to really listen to them more honestly, to tolerate their distress, to face our guilt, grief and shame and find ways to navigate the new world that is emerging together?

    In this course, we will discuss recent research on the mental health and psychological impacts of climate change on children and young people, make links with legal cases in the European Court of Human Rights arguing that failure to act on climate change constitutes a violation of human rights of children, and reflect on the emergent mental health crisis of climate anxiety from a global perspective drawing on research from the UK, US, Philippines, Maldives, and Europe.

  • What are the psycho-social challenges faced by those who work day in and day out on the "frontlines" of climate change? This session will introduce course participants to the particular psychological challenges "climate professionals" face, why it is essential to focus on this audience, why they find it difficult to seek out psycho-therapeutic or peer support, and what kinds of skills and support they need to continue to do their essential work. Participants will learn about the implications of failing to support these climate professionals. Drawing on empirical research, practical experience and a pilot program to meet climate professionals' needs, the session will engage course participants in exploring approaches and modalities that might be supportive of climate professionals.

  • This course explores how our innate belonging to the Earth may provide the inner resilience to better face the climate crisis and mobilize psycho-emotional resources of health and wellbeing. Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects—a world-renowned group-work methodology that brings together systems science, deep ecology, and non-dual spiritualities—is presented in its theoretical and practical dimensions. Within the exploration of the ecology of our inner landscapes, particular emphasis will be made on how overwhelm, anxiety, and other afflictions point at the urgent need of a more ecological understanding of the human mind. Some key therapeutic and clinical applications of the Work That Reconnects in relation to self-regulation, hope, and inspiration will be expounded.

  • The goal of this workshop is to develop the participants' collective capacity to hold the grief of being alive with an earth in pain without falling into immobility and depression. In order to move towards a decolonialized future, we must first see clearly what harmful facets of modern civilization we have normalized into ignoring, including how Western education and socialization left us unequipped to face reality, navigate complexity and process collective grief. Participants will develop skills to learn how to start interrupting harmful patterns and develop new internal and external resources for developing their emotional sobriety, relational maturity, intellectual discernment, and intergenerational responsibility.

  • The instructor will offer a behind the scenes look at her experience with climate distress, journey into the field, and insights gained along the way about the transformative potential of climate anxiety and grief. Using interactive sessions with students throughout, she will offer a radical interdisciplinarian's view on the many ways in which climate psychologists are in the business of shifting cultural norms and how we can do so constructively using our unique gifts and experiences. Attention is paid to why we must take extra care to be gentle with ourselves when doing this work, yet may fail to in many instances, given the hard truths involved in being a climate professional. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Ecopsychology is informed by systems theory and connects ecological principles with psychology’s contributions to stress reduction and wellness. Ecotherapy promotes human well-being through direct experience of nature, sometimes working from frameworks of ancestral healing and Indigenous knowledge, to encourage awareness that our psyches and bodies are not isolated or separate from our environment and promotes caring for and connection with the Earth. Climate Psychology is an emerging, related discipline that embraces many of the same values and aims to specifically understand the impact of the climate and ecological emergency (CEE) on mental health as well as the barriers to changing the “business as usual” mindset that perpetuates ecocide. Climate psychology provides guidance for understanding and confronting society-wide reluctance to take appropriate action in relation to the escalating threat of climate change as well as psychological defenses which make it more difficult to develop solutions. Environmental, racial, and economic justice are seen as key to the reclamation of a healthy planet and transformation of the systems that have contributed to the CEE. Awareness of these inequities along with climate science facts, examination of consumerist values, development of resilience, and use of empowering climate messaging are all part of the field of Climate Psychology.

  • Emotional distress triggered by climate change is already showing up in our practices and will only increase in the coming years. According to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications, 70% of Americans are very or somewhat worried about global warming and more than half state they are being harmed right now (2021). While much of our mental health training is applicable to addressing eco-anxiety, grief and other forms of climate-triggered dread, there are specific competencies required to skillfully address this escalating crisis. This program will equip clinicians and related professionals with clinical perspectives and therapeutic tools to effectively work with this rapidly emerging issue.

  • Yes, allied professionals are encouraged to apply. However, it's important that all practitioners who are not clinically licensed are aware that we are teaching from a context of both clinically licensed therapists and coaches who work within different professional frames.

  • 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 60 CEs 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 CEs. However, we will work with a third-party provider to offer APA CEs for certain courses within the certificate, upon request.
    • For questions about BBS CEs, contact CIIS Public Program at
  • No. In addition to providing skills and training in climate psychology, this program intentionally limits the size of the cohort in order to cultivate strong connections among the participants that supports the possibility of long-term collaborations. For this reason, participants must be able to attend all the sessions and the classes will not be recorded.

  • Unfortunately, certificate programs are not eligible for student loans. Certificates are technically considered “Continuing Education” and students are not considered matriculated college students, and so most tuition-based scholarships and loans do not apply.

  • All CIIS current students, faculty, staff, and alumni are eligible for the CIIS discount. Former graduates of our other certificate programs are also eligible for the discount.

Climate Psychology Certificate Info Sessions & Related Programming

CPC Alumni Testimonials

  • “I would highly recommend this certificate program to anyone looking for training regarding climate psychology. They have the most renowned team of presenters and facilitators in this field.”

    “This program was personally and professionally meaningful, It offered an opportunity to process climate grief, learn new information, and gain practical skills that I will be able to use with clients.”

    “The instructors created a learning environment that was compassionate, relational, and challenging. I feel more empowered to weave climate aware therapeutic practices into my teaching, writing and research.”

    “The program covered a wide range of approaches from analytical to spiritual. But what will stay with me the most is some profound ways people opened up here, and opened something up in me. You can't write that into a curriculum.”

  • "The Climate Psychology Certificate Program through CIIS is excellent! Our group members, the speakers and workshop leaders, and our facilitators all brought such richness, breadth, and depth to the overall experience. The guest speakers were diverse in their experience and their professional work, which provided a little for everyone and ample opportunity to expand your horizons.”

    “The nature of this course is that it will have to keep evolving and I give it a high rating because I trust it to do so! I found the shapers of this program to be engaged in growing and learning - keeping this program from getting stale or out of touch. I saw engaged effort and hands-on care for making this program be all it can be. Through this program my knowledge of climate psychology and ability to engage in this field was expanded and deepened.”

    “This program was moving and informative, not just of climate psychology but of the ways in which the field of psychology is poised to adapt towards justice and decoloniality. I am so inspired by the cutting-edge work our presenters and my peers are doing to respond to the climate crisis and it’s deeper roots in racism and colonialism.”

    “The CIIS Climate Psychology Certificate program is an extraordinarily rich experience offering an array of outstanding presenters on a variety of topics, all relevant to becoming a climate aware professional with both individuals and communities. If you feel the "call" say YES to this amazing program.”

    “I am so glad I participated in this program - as someone who is not a clinician, I'm graduating feeling much more prepared to bring a climate psychology perspective in the work I do in climate advocacy. It was a gift to learn from such a rich array of presenters and fellow students, and I'd highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to better understand how to navigate the inner terrain of climate change in their professional lives.”

Contact Us

Please contact us at with any additional questions.