Creating Meaning Through Symbols: The Symbolic Attitude and the Climate Crisis

Details Price Qty
General Admissionshow details + $50.00 (USD)  
General Admission + CEUsshow details + $65.00 (USD)  

  • April 15, 2023
    1:00 pm CDT - 3:00 pm CDT

Held via Zoom
Shelly Gessler, LCPC
CEUs: 2

C.G. Jung (1964) warned that, “In our civilized life, we have stripped so many ideas of their emotional energy, we really do not respond to them anymore”. This statement has never been more relevant due to the immediate and ongoing effects of the climate crisis. We must be moved to respond, but how?

This two-hour workshop explores the creation of meaning through symbols which can inspire us to respond. You will be invited into Shelly’s personal journey of relating to symbols in poetry that moved her to embrace personal suffering which transformed her relationship with the climate crisis. This journey begins with the identification with a symbol, moves into wonder and curiosity, and ends with transformation through deeper understanding gained partially by the role of the symbol. At each stage of this journey, participants will be invited to explore meaning through personal experience of a symbol, using meditation, writing, and discussion.

At the end of this workshop, we will transition from poetry to film, shifting our focus from personal to the collective. Tehya Jennett of Stranded Astronaut Productions will present Gen Z Mental Health: Climate Stories. This short documentary explores the mental health impacts of young adults worldwide as a result of the climate crisis, and considers what resilience means when fighting for the right to a livable planet. The film captures the emotions of a generation that may be frightened, yet is anything but hopeless, saving room for stories of love, community connections, and healing.

About the Instructor
Shelly Gessler, LCPC, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Willow Springs, IL, and a member of the Climate Psychology Alliance of North America, an organization that “promotes cultural shifts toward human resilience, regeneration, and equity.” In her therapeutic work, she became acutely aware that none of her clients had specifically named the climate crisis as a contributing factor to feelings of anger, alienation, anxiety, and sadness and that this omission only increased her feelings of fear related to the ongoing crisis. She found inspiration in Jung’s book Man and His Symbols and turned to climate-crisis poetry to help her embody her own grief and suffering, in part, through the power of the symbol. She is thankful for organizations, such as the Jung Center in Evanston, for providing space for individual and collective healing through programs that challenge people to become more conscious of their own potential and the potential in the world in which they live.

Recommended Reading
Man and His Symbols, C.G. Jung, et al
The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature, C.G. Jung 

*Program CEUs are an additional $15 processing fee. Please note that the current CEU processing time is around 3-4 weeks.



This event will be hosted online through Zoom.
Further info will be provided after registration.