Meet Three Therapists Who Are Helping People Cope With Climate Anxiety

"Increasingly, Americans of all generations are suffering from climate anxiety.

There are, of course, a growing number of people who are directly impacted by climate disasters — severe weather, extreme heat, wildfires, even sunny-day flooding. But there are also an increasing number of people who are simply prone to worry — and in some cases, outright panic — over the freakish images and disturbing forecasts about the long-term impact of climate change that are now unavoidable.

“We have an epidemic of anxiety,” said Dr. Heidi Schreiber-Pan, a Towson-based psychotherapist whose practice focuses on harnessing nature’s potential in therapeutic contexts. “More people than ever are calling for help because they have so many anxieties and they wonder if there’s hope.”

Maryland has been slammed by its share of recent climate disasters — two “1,000-year” floods in Ellicott City two years apart, a destructive tornado in Annapolis, the drowning of a man in his basement apartment during a heavy rainstorm in Rockville, and the constant reality of floods throughout the state. But Schreiber-Pan and Dr. Jon Gorman, a clinical psychologist in Towson who counsels several patients about climate anxiety, said many of their clients saw the Canadian wildfires in June, which brought surreal smoky orange skies to Maryland for several days, as particularly apocalyptic and confining."

Josh Kurtz reports for the Rhode Island Current November 27, 2023.

Source: Rhode Island Current, 11/30/2023