Jeff Masters Weather Blog

Art therapy can ease climate-related anxiety » Yale Climate Connections

Drawing, dancing, making music: These forms of expression are not just for people who identify as artists.

Sarah Newman of the Climate Mental Health Network says they can help people explore their feelings about climate change.

Newman: “This is not asking people to show up and become Pablo Picasso. This is about using different modalities to process your emotions.”

For many people, thinking about climate change can provoke anxiety, anger, or fear. So Newman’s group provides resources — primarily for parents and teachers — to help young people identify and cope with these emotions.

It offers a free art therapy guide in English and Spanish. The guide suggests activities, such as making collages with images that reflect what you’re feeling about climate change, or dancing and moving your body to release difficult emotions.

Newman:Art therapy is a way to express one’s emotions in a way that is beyond the limitations of words. And it’s a way to tap into experiences and feelings that you might be having or that you might not even necessarily fully recognize.”

So art can help people begin to process the many emotions evoked by the climate crisis.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media

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