Collating an evidence base
Having evidence of the efficacy of inner-approaches can enable learning, development and wider acceptance of such approaches. We have been collating an evidence base of the impacts of inner-led change, and gathering a range of measurement tools to document and evaluate how the inner is currently being ‘measured’ in different situations.
This evidence base brings together some of the academic and practitioner research and evidence around inner-led change. These approaches to inner-led change have evolved, changed, and been used in different contexts over at least the past four decades. At the end of this page are examples of a range of inner-led change methods and approaches to climate change practised in the UK, together with existing evidence. As it is a work in progress, we welcome suggestions for updating and expanding this resource.
The evidence collated so far suggests that these approaches and practices contribute to and support transformative social and ecological change, and that they would benefit from further research. There is an acknowledged need for rigorous and longer-term research, alongside broader types of research which are critical of the limitations inherent in the act and processes of knowledge production itself (Tom Henfrey, 2018), and incorporate different ways of knowing.
These approaches draw on a range of ‘lineages’, including Western psychology, Eastern philosophies and spiritual practices, and indigenous social practices and wisdom traditions (Hilary Prentice, 2012).
- Grief work (Rosemary Randall, 2009; Francis Weller, 2015)
- Psychoanalytic theories and group work (Dorothy Whitaker, 2001; Wilfred Bion, 1961)
-Eco-psychology (Mary-Jayne Rust, 2008)
- Trauma (Bob Doppelt, 2016; Judith Herman, 1992)
- Faith based approaches such as Buddhism (Joanna Macy and Molly Brown, 2015),
- Nature connection and deep ecology (John Seed et al., 1988)
- Feminist theory and practice
- Systems theory
- Indigenous practices (e.g. grief tending).
Collections of evidence and literature
Mindfulness - Oxford Mindfulness Centre
Links to research on Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)(follow research tab).
Database of existing institutions, stakeholders, networks, projects and resources on the issue of inner dimensions and transformation in sustainability.
Range of publications and research on dialogue and community
"an independent, non-profit media platform dedicated to providing original reporting and expert analysis of social movements around the world. The Resistance Studies strand “is a collaborative effort between academics and activists, or “professors of the street,” that promotes the analysis of and support for nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience around the world.”
The Permaculture Association online research digest
Summarises and links to a range of research and practice .
Process work research
Links to prior and current research on Process work and Deep Democracy.
The Climate Psychology Literature repository brings together a wide range of sources of literature and information about aspects of climate psychology. It includes links, abstracts and brief descriptions of academic and magazine articles, book chapters, links to talks and podcasts, and a growing number of Masters and Doctoral theses.
A summary of some research on selected approaches to cultivating and sustaining inner transformation in relation to climate change in the UK
Andrews, N., 2017. Psychosocial factors influencing the experience of sustainability professionals, Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 8 Issue: 4, p.445-469, https://doi.org/10.1108/SAMPJ-09-2015-0080
Banks, S. (2012). Inner Transition survey results. Transition Network. http://www.transitionnetwork.org/resources/inner-transition-survey-results. Accessed 12 June 2016.
Barrett, B., Grabow, M., Middlecamp, C., Mooney, M., Checovich, M., Converse, A., Gillespie, B., Yates. J. (2016). Mindful Climate Action: Health and Environmental Co-Benefits from Mindfulness-Based Behavioral Training. Sustainability 8, 1040, doi:10.3390/su8101040
Bion, W.R., 1961. Experiences in Groups and Other Papers. London: Tavistock.
Bragg, R., and Atkins, G., 2016. A review of nature-based interventions for mental health care. Natural England Commissioned Reports, Number204.
Bristow, J., 2019. Mindfulness in politics and public policy. Current Opinion in Psychology, 8, pp. 87–91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2018.11.003.
Büchs M., Hinton E., Smith G. (2015). ‘It helped me sort of face the end of the world’: The role of emotions for third sector climate change engagement initiatives. Environmental Values 24 (5), 621-640.
Burke, M., Ockwell, D., and Whitmarsh, L., 2018. Participatory arts and affective engagement with climate change: The missing link in achieving climate compatible behaviour change? Global Environmental Change, 49, pp. 95–105.
Cunsolo, A., and Ellis, N. R., (2018). Ecological grief as a mental health response to climate change-related loss. Nature Climate Change Vol 8: 259 p. 275–281.
Cunsolo Willox, A., 2012. Climate change as the work of mourning. Ethics and the Environment, 17 (2), pp.137-164.
Doppelt, B. (2016). Transformational Resilience: How building human resilience to climate disruption can safeguard society and increase wellbeing. London: Routledge.
Hathaway, M. D., 2017. Activating Hope in the Midst of Crisis: Emotions, Transformative Learning, and “The Work That Reconnects”. Journal of Transformative Education, 15(4), pp. 296–314. https://doi.org/10.1177/1541344616680350.
Head, L. (2016). Hope and grief in the anthropocene. Reconceptualising human nature relations. London: Routledge.
Henfrey, T. W. 2018. Designing for resilience: permaculture as a transdisciplinary methodology in applied resilience research. Ecology and Society 23(2):33. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-09916-230233
Henfrey, T., Maschkowski, G., and Penha-Lopes, G., editors (2017. Resilience, community action and societal transformation. East Meon, UK: Permanent Publications.
Herman, J.L., 1992. Trauma and Recovery: The aftermath of violence – from domestic to political terror. USA: Basic Books.
Hoggett, P., and Randall, R. (2016). Sustainable activism: managing hope and despair in social movements. Open Democracy.net. Available from: OpenDemocracy.net/transformation/paul-hoggett-rosemary-randall/sustainable-activism-managing-hope-and-despair-in-socia [accessed 12th June 2018].
Hollis-Walker L. (2012). Change Processes in Emotion-Focused Therapy and the Work That Reconnects. Ecopsychology 4.1 25 – 36.
Howell, R.A., 2011. Lights, camera… action? Altered attitudes and behaviour in response to the climate change film The Age of Stupid. Global Environmental Change, 21(1), pp.177-187.
Johnstone, C. (2002). Reconnecting with our world. In A Chesner and H. Hahn, (Eds), Creative Advances in Groupwork (Chapter 8 pp186 – 216). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Key, D. and Kerr, M., 2012. The Ecology of the Unconscious. In: M. Rust and N. Totton, eds., 2012. Vital Signs: Psychological responses to Ecological Crisis. London: Karnac Books. Ch. 5, pp. 63-77.
Kerr, M. and Key, D., 2012. The Natural Change Project. In: M. Rust and N. Totton, eds., 2012. Vital Signs: Psychological responses to Ecological Crisis. London: Karnac Books. Ch.18 p.239-250.
Lilley, R., Whitehead., M., Howell, R., Jones, R., and Pykett, J., 2016. Mindfulness, behaviour change and engagement in environmental policy. [pdf] Aberystwyth University. Available at: https://pure.aber.ac.uk/portal/files/9157407/Mindfulness_Behaviour_Change_and_Engagement_in_Environmental_Policy.pdf [Accessed 12 April 2018].
MASCHKOWSKI,G., SCHÄPKE, N., GRABS, J., LANGEN, N., 2017. Learning from Co-Founders of Grassroots Initiatives: Personal Resilience, Transition, and Behavioral Change – a Salutogenic Approach. In Thomas Henfrey, Gesa Maschkowski and Gil Penha-Lopes [Eds], Resilience, Community Action and Societal Transformation East Meon, Hants: Permanent Publications MacNamara, L. (2012). People and Permaculture. East Meon, Hampshire, UK: Permanent Publications.
Macy, J., and Johnstone, C. (2012). Active Hope: How to face the mess we’re in without going crazy. Novato, California:New World Library.
Macy, J., and Brown, M. (2015). Coming Back to Life. The Updated guide to The Work That Reconnects. Gabriola Island, B.C., Canada: New Society Publishers.
Miles, L., and Corr, C.A., 2015. Death Cafe: What Is It and What We Can Learn From It. OMEGA: Journal of Death and Dying. 75(2), pp.151-165.
Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group, 2015. Mindful Nation UK report. [pdf] London: Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group. Available at: http://www.themindfulnessinitiative.org.uk/images/reports/Mindfulness-APPG-Report_Mindful-Nation-UK_Oct2015.pdf [Accessed 12 June 2018].
Moore, K., (2017). (Re)politicising Climate Change Engagement: A Case study of the Carbon Literacy Project. Masters Dissertation [Online]. Available from: http://www.carbonliteracy.com/research/ [Accessed 12 June 2018].
Naess, A., 1973. The shallow and the deep, long‐range ecology movement. A summary , Inquiry, 16:1-4, 95-100, DOI: 10.1080/00201747308601682 NERC 2014, http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/4513819616346112
Power, C. (2016). The Integrity of Process: Is Inner Transition Sufficient? Journal of Social and Political Psychology, Vol. 4(1), 347–363. doi:10.5964/jspp.v4i1.538
Prentice, H. (2003). Cosmic Walk: Awakening the ecological self. Psychotherapy and Politics International, 1(1) 32–46. Prentice, H. (2012). ‘Heart and Soul’: Inner and Outer within the transition movement. In M-J Rust and N. Totton and (Eds), Vital Signs (Ch 13, pp 175- 190). London: Karnac Books
Puig de la Bellacasa, M. (2010). Ethical doings in naturecultures. Ethics, Place and Environment, 13:2, 151-169.
Randall, R. (2009). Loss and Climate Change: The Cost of Parallel Narratives. Ecopsychology. DOI: 10.1089/eco.2009.0034
Randall, R., and Brown, A. (2015). In time for tomorrow? The carbon conversations handbook. Stirling, Scotland: Surefoot effect.
Read, P.K. (2018). A New Mourning: Remembrance Day for Lost Species. Remembrance day for lost species. [Online] available from: https://www.lostspeciesday.org/?p=1072 [Accessed 25th July 2018]
Richards. E.C. (2017). The Carbon Literacy: Knowledge (CLK) E-learning Effectiveness Report. Masters Dissertation online at: http://www.carbonliteracy.com/research/ . [Accessed 12 June 2018].
Roosen, L.J., Christian A. Klöckner & Janet K. Swim (2018) Visual art as a way to communicate climate change: a psychological perspective on climate change–related art, World Art, 8:1, 85-110, DOI: 10.1080/21500894.2017.1375002
Rothberg, D., and Coder, K.E., 2013. Widening Circles: The Emergence of Transpersonal Social Engagement. In: H. L. Friedman, and G. Hartelius, eds, 2013: The Wiley‐Blackwell Handbook of Transpersonal Psychology. Chichester UK: Wiley Blackwell. Ch 35, pp.626- 639.
Rucchetto, A., and Poland, B. (2015). Lessons from Inner Transition in Canada. Transition Network Guest Blog [online]. Available from: https://transitionnetwork.org/news-and-blog/guest-blog-by-anne-rucchetto-and-blake-poland-lessons-from-inner-transition-in-canada/ [accessed 14th June 2017].
Rust, M. J., 2008. Climate on the Couch. Psychotherapy and Politics International, 6(3), pp.157-170.
Seed, J., Macy, J., Fleming, P., and Naess, A. eds., 1988. Thinking like a mountain: Towards a Council of All Beings. Gabriola Island, BC: New Catalyst Books.
Skrimshire, S., 2018. Confessing Anthropocene. Environmental Humanities 1 May 2018; 10 (1), pp.310–329. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/22011919-4385589 .
Smith, J., Butler, R., Day, R.J., Goodbody, A.H., Llewellyn, D.H., Rohse, M., Smith, B.T., Tyszczuk, R.A., Udall, J. and Whyte, N.M., 2017. Gathering around stories: Interdisciplinary experiments in support of energy system transitions. Energy research & social science, 31, pp.284-294.
Van den Berg A. E. (2017). From Green Space to Green Prescriptions: Challenges and Opportunities for Research and Practice. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 268. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00268 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5326776/
Wamsler, C., 2018. Mind the gap: The role of mindfulness in adapting to increasing risk and climate change. Sustainability Science 13, pp.1121–1135.
Weller, F., (2015). The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books.
Whitaker, D. S., 2001. Using groups to help people. Second Edition. Hove, UK: Brunner-Routledge.
Whitehead, M., Jones, R., Lilley, R., Pykett, J., and Howell, R., 2017. Neuroliberalism: Behavioural Government in the twenty-first century. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge.