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Climate Cafe Listening Circle Training

Have you attended a Climate Café Listening Circle and found the space helpful? Were you able to share difficult feelings and would now like to support others to do the same?

We run a workshop for anyone who would like to develop the confidence to set up their own Climate Café Listening Circle. It covers the psychology of the climate and ecological emergency, a taster circle, building a toolkit of practical resources and a discussion of the organisation and facilitation of listening circles.

A climate café listening circle is a simple, hospitable, empathetic space where fears and uncertainties about our climate and ecological crisis can be safely expressed.

Why do we need climate listening circles?

As it becomes more evident that climate and ecological breakdown are a clear and present danger to our safety and wellbeing, we increasingly need to talk about what our changing world means for us in terms of impacts at personal, family and societal level. To have these practical conversations many of us need first to be supported in exploring some complex feelings and thoughts which may often be taboo and hard to talk about.

With sturdy enough support structures in place, most people can sustain challenging feelings without either dissociating and numbing or going into blind panic. They can engage with difficult truths whilst staying connected and grounded.

A climate café listening circle aims to be such a structure - a container that is strong enough to allow the exploration of fear, anxiety, and other emotions such as anger, helplessness, sadness, grief or depression.

We use the word ‘cafe’ to evoke the simple friendliness and warmth that happens when humans share food and drink together (or imagine doing so, in an online setting). In this friendly setting, the circle:

  • focuses on feelings rather than action
  • is not a space for discussing or debating climate policy, climate science or climate action.

The design of our climate cafe listening circles owes a lot to the pioneering work of Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid, who set up the Death Cafe movement based on the ideas of Bernard Crettaz. We have adapted and developed their model drawing on our deep experience of climate psychology. 

What happens during a climate listening circle?

The focus of discussion is participants’ thoughts and feelings about the climate and ecological crisis. There are no guest speakers and no talks, and it is an advice-free zone. Whilst the climate and ecological crisis is usually the main focus of the circle, we realise that other related preoccupations need a space to be explored. This can happen here too.

Do I have to attend a Climate Café Listening Circle to join the training?

Yes, it is important to have been a participantbefore you undertake the training, to experience first hand what it is like to engage in this sort of space before facilitating one yourself, and to have the space to explore your own climate feelings. If you can attend more than one, even better.

Follow this link to go directly to our Eventbrite page or check our events calendar for dates for circles taking place in the next few months. It is not essential to have attended a climate cafe listening circle led by CPA but it will need to be one that has a very similar structure and ethos 

If you cannot get a place on one of ours via our Eventbrite listings or our calendar, an internet search or a browse on Eventbrite should produce some. You can check with the organiser if it meets the criteria above or get in touch with us. Please do join our waiting lists as spaces regularly become available at short notice.

If you have any questions about this get in touch and we will be able to advise you.

Who will deliver the workshop?

Two lead facilitators will deliver the workshop and they will be supported by two from our team of fifty who will hold mini Climate Café Listening Circles within the workshop.

Our lead facilitators are:

Rebecca Nestor is an organisational consultant, facilitator and coach, based in Oxford, UK. She is a board member of the Climate Psychology Alliance, and her work and research focuses on supporting people in facing the climate crisis

Gillian Broad is professor of social work at the University of Sussex and an experienced facilitator of reflective groups including Climate Café Listening Circles

Linda Aspey is a coach, facilitator, therapist, activist, supervisor and speaker working on culture and climate change.

Janet Castellini is a climate aware therapist and works with responses to climate change. 

How long does the workshop last?

The workshop is three hours long and includes a comfort break and, when it takes place over a mealtime, the chance to eat.

We try to alternate the times and days we offer to accommodate different time zones. Recently these have run at 08.30 - 11.30am, 14.00 - 17.00, 17.00 - 20.00 UK time.

How much does it cost?

Non-member fee: £40

Member fee: £20 

Concessionary fee: £6 but please get in touch if the fee is an issue 

To see our current listing of training workshops and listening circles follow this link to our Eventbrite page or check our events calendar. If the date of your choice is fully booked please join the waiting list as places do become available at short notice. The waiting list also helps us understand the level of demand.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

About Us

We are a diverse community of therapeutic practitioners, thinkers, researchers, artists and others. We believe that attending to the psychology and emotions of the climate and ecological crisis is at the heart of our work.


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