Education & Events

Annual Dorpat Lecture: Framing the Climate Crisis Psychologically with Lise Van Susteren, MD

Annual Dorpat Lecture: Framing the Climate Crisis Psychologically with Lise Van Susteren, MD Date: 2021-05-06 19:00 to 20:30
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Annual Dorpat Lecture: Framing the Climate Crisis Psychologically with Lise Van Susteren, MD

Thursday, May 6, 2021 7:00pm to 8:30pm
via Zoom
Sponsored by: 
This is a free event and you will receive the Zoom link upon registration. 


Please join Dr. Van Susteren and The Alliance to address the climate crisis and its cascading impacts, including its physical and emotional toll. 

We are profoundly affected in this shared traumatic context, whether consciously or without awareness. She unpacks the insidious and complex psychological harm from climate degradation and discusses how all of us, however thoughtful, can disavow climate change as an urgent issue that requires action from multiple directions. She will explore the question of how we can join together with energy and resilience to tackle this urgent, complex issue, and how we can take action from multiple directions without stimulating individual, social, and political defense mechanisms, and falling into apathy, anxiety, or despair. 

Dr. Van Susteren will help us look directly at some of the possible catastrophic consequences of doing nothing to change our course.  With warmth and compassion, she will help us to engage with ourselves and each other to find common ground, resilience and the capacity to sustain each other as we work toward a more sustainable world. 

Dr. Lise Van Susteren, is a practicing general and forensic psychiatrist in Washington, DC, and she is an expert on the physical and mental health effects of climate change. Dr. Van Susteren is the expert witness on the psychological damages in the case Juliana v US – in which 21 youth plaintiffs and climate scientist Dr. James Hansen are suing the federal government for inaction on the climate. In addition to community organizing on climate issues, she has served on the Advisory Board of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and is currently on the board of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Earth Day Network, and is co-founder of "Climate Psychiatry Alliance," a professional group dedicated to promoting awareness and action on climate from a mental health perspective. 

In 2011 she co-authored "The Psychological Effects of Climate Warming on the U.S. - Why the US Mental Health System Is Not Prepared". Her book, “Emotional Inflammation - Discover Your Triggers and Reclaim Your Equilibrium During Anxious Times,” co-written with Stacey Colino, was released in April 2020. She is a frequent contributor on television, radio, and in the print media. Her website is

Contact Person: 
Rebecca DiNino, LICSW
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