Explore the Psychological Effects of Global Climate Disruption

Piera Kempner

Dr. Lise Van Susteren is a general and forensic psychiatrist in Washington, DC,  and expert on the physical and mental health effects of climate disruption. She is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral at George Washington University and co-founder of Climate Psychiatry Alliance. A frequent contributor on television, radio and in the print media, she is also the expert witness on the psychological damages to children in Juliana v US Government, Held v Montana and the People V Arctic Oil before the European Court of Human Rights. In 2006 Dr. Van Susteren sought the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate from Maryland. Her book, Emotional Inflammation Discover your Triggers and Reclaim Your Equilibrium During Anxious Times was published in 2020.



Dr. Lise Van Susteren is a general and forensic psychiatrist in Washington, DC, and an  expert on the physical and psychological impacts of climate change. In 2011 she co-authored "The Psychological Effects of Global Warming on the U.S. - Why the US Mental Health System Is Not Prepared". Van Susteren is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University and has been a consultant to the Executive Branch of the US government profiling world leaders.

After receiving her medical degree from the University of Paris she practiced medicine in West Africa, at community health centers and homeless shelters in the metropolitan Washington DC. In addition to community organizing on climate issues, Van Susteren serves on the Boards of Earth Day Network, Physicians for Social Responsibility and is a co-founder of "Climate Psychiatry Alliance," and of “Climate Psychology Alliance – North America “, professional groups dedicated to promoting awareness and action on climate from a mental health perspective. Van Susteren is the expert witness on the psychological damages to young people from inaction on climate in Juliana v US Government, in Held v Montana and in the European Court of Human Rights. 

She is a frequent contributor on television, radio and in the print media. In 2006 Dr. Van Susteren sought the Democratic nomination to the US Senate from Maryland. Her book, “Emotional Inflammation – Discover Your Triggers and Reclaim Your Equilibrium During Anxious Times” was published in April 2020.


LVS is an experienced writer, speaker, and general and forensic psychiatrist. Her interests include issues regarding mental health generally and specifically the emotional toll of the climate crisis, toxic contaminants, environmental degradation and declining biodiversity, and how living in harmony with the natural world restores our mental health.  

She is a frequent guest on radio and television, and is regularly quoted in popular press. An ardent activist, she is the co-founder of Interfaith Moral Action on Climate (IMAC), The Climate Psychiatry Alliance and the Climate Psychology Alliance, and is a member of the boards of many national environmental organizations.

Her book “Emotional Inflammation”, co-authored with Stacey Colino, was published in April 2020.








Keynote Speaker

Illinois Psychiatric Society

November 27, 2021

Earth Rangers: Panelist “Children’s Health and Climate Action”


May 18, 2021

The Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study’s 2021 Dorpat Lecture: “Psychoanalysis and Climate”


May 6, 2021

American Psychiatric Association Annual Conference - “Enhancing Use of the DSM-5 Outline for Cultural Formulation: Linking Social Determinants of Mental Health to Structural Competency Through V Codes”


May 1, 2021

Sustainability Defined Podcast Interview - Climate Change Anxiety


April 22, 2021

Academy of Integrative Health Medicine: Climate and Covid – Mental Health Toll


March 25, 2021

NPR Affiliate: WNPU Cincinnati Public Radio Interview - “Climate Aware Therapist Network”

Cincinnati Public Radio

March 10, 2021

The Education, Economics, Environmental, Climate and Health Organization (EEECHO), the Gulfport Section-National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ)

Radio Broadcast

February 25, 2021

Climate Conversations: Washington Psychiatric Society


February 1, 2021

Royal College of Psychiatrists, United Kingdom: Mental Health Impacts of Climate Instability on Young People and Recommendations

United Kingdom

February 1, 2021

Presentation to Medical Students at University of Colorado - Overview: Climate Instability - The Emotional Toll

University of Colorado

February 1, 2021

Oasis – “Emotional Inflammation and Climate” with Stacey Colino

Washington DC

January 1, 2021

“Courageous Medicine” Podcast with Dr. Ashley McClure


January 1, 2021

Manhattan Institute for Psychoanalysis; “Framing the Climate Crisis – An Overview”


December 5, 2020

Abbey Strauss, M.D. Podcast: Mental Distress - What does inflammation have to do with it?


August 16, 2020

Podcast: The Poetry of Predicament


August 14, 2020

Address to Special Olympics: Isolation and the Pandemic


August 11, 2020

Climate Reality Leadership Training (Mentor)


July 18, 2020

“Climate Change, the Emotional Toll” Eco America Webinar Series


June 4, 2020

“Resilience Starts with Me” Mental Health Webinar

Kresge Foundation

May 27, 2020

Psych Summit 2020

Colorado and New York Psychiatric Societies

May 27, 2020

National Prayer Breakfast (NRCCC) For the Love of Forests (rescheduled)


May 26, 2020

Politics and Prose Bookstore "Signing" – Emotional Inflammation


May 23, 2020

America Meditating Radio with Sister Jenna


May 22, 2020

BBNR health podcast with Doro Bush


May 14, 2020

Climate Crisis and Clinical Medicine Virtual Elective for Medical Students

Emory University Medical School

May 12, 2020

"Breaking Down Silos" for the American Psychiatric Society

Philadelphia, PA

April 29, 2020

Earth Day on the National Mall

Washington D.C.

April 25, 2020

Climate Trauma

Bill McKibbon’s class at Middlebury College

April 22, 2020

Sounds True Publishing: Podcast with Tami Simon

Emotional Inflammation: Discover Your Triggers and Reclaim Your Equilibrium During Anxious Times

April 19, 2020

Women in the World (Rescheduled)

New York City Climate Disruption

April 1, 2020

Johns Hopkins University - Bloomberg School of Public Health

Climate Change and Mental Health

March 27, 2020

Climate Elders National Call

Climate Traumas and the Pandemic

March 24, 2020

Covey Club - Lori Miller Kase interview

Emotional Inflammation

March 20, 2020

Barclays Bank, New York City

Climate Traumas

January 8, 2020


LVS Is an experienced and effective public speaker on a range of mental health issues which affect our wellbeing.  In her many different and original presentations, designed specifically with the audience in mind, she emphasizes interactive dialogues and small group engagements to enliven the experience of learning about issues that are important to them. In this day of tumultuous breaking news, she also knows how to calm us down - by helping us identify and unpack our reactor types and foster better relationships by showing us how to better understand each other.

Hidden in plain sight but not always in our consciousness, she shares a menu of natural remedies we can use to restore our emotional equilibrium. And weaving in the latest in 21st Century neuroscience - she will share the essentially untold story of why, as we seek to address social justice issues while finding purpose to define our lives, going from being a bystander to an upstander has proved to be the “magic sauce”.