The Climate Psychology Alliance came into being during 2009-12 with Adrian Tait and Paul Hoggett as co-founding Secretary and Chair and the hard work of the whole group of founding members. The CPA has grown considerably since its formation, becoming broader, more interdisciplinary and international in its membership and opening up dialogues in multiple directions.
We welcome anyone and everyone to our membership who wants to engage in addressing the psychological aspects of the climate emergency. While individual members contribute in a range of ways, much of our core work is done through groups focusing on particular aspects or theme which you can find out more about in our Groups section of this website.
CPA Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is the working group of CPA elected by its members to take care of coordination and our democracy and regulation. Within the Board of Directors, the Cœur group is delegated to take care of the day to day organising. The French word "Cœur" (heart) picks up on the need for heart and courage. The Board also delegates some financial responsibilities to the Finance Group. Our board members work across a range of different areas, including as psychotherapists, psychosocial researchers, activists, art therapists and artists.
In 2020 CPA registered with the Financial Conduct Authority as a Community Benefit Society with charitable objects. We are governed by the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.
Uur objects which are part of our Rules are:
The objects of the Society shall be for the public benefit to advance education in and of climate psychology and its theoretical underpinnings through, but not limited to:
(a) advancing knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of climate psychology and informed therapies; and
(b) the promotion of research and publication of the useful results of such research.
"Climate psychology” means a method of understanding our collective paralysis in the face of worsening climate change. It seeks to understand how climate change threatens us with powerful feelings – loss, grief, guilt, anxiety, shame, despair - which mobilise defence mechanisms such as denial and rationalisation that we use to avoid facing these difficult feelings.
CPA is now owned by its members through a £1 share, part of the initial subscription. This affirms a long-term commitment to enable and encourage active, democratic member participation. and is a significant step in our co-creation of a commons – of knowledge and understanding (in both senses of the word).
CPA is run by an elected Board of Directors, accountable to members. The Board meets monthly, members are invited to attend, and all minutes and board documents are available on our Slack for Members.
The formal AGM with election of the Board and presentation of the annual reports and accounts is held on the first Saturday of June.
In our first year as a CBS we have initiated a regular open group conversation on “governance and democracy”, a “working with potential” group for new members or members wanting to get more involved and Community Days open to the membership for a mix of business, community and connection. During the pandemic these have all been online and many meetings will continue in this way given our spread of members (including out of the UK) all of course keen to minimise carbon expensive travel.
CPA is an emerging organisation having more than tripled in membership in the 3 years 2017 -2020. We are developing our practice and processes in search of different ways to do things which embed reciprocity between ourselves and the planet and which fully acknowledge our limits and our differences. In particular we face into the intertwining of systems of exploitation and injustice in the denials of racism, sexism and the climate and ecological crisis.