Monday, March 4, 2013

Psychiatrist takes on global warming issues

For Steve and Rusti Moffice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, fighting climate

change and global warming has always been a serious issue, but they

are also open to using humor in their public presentations. In May,

they will be making a presentation on global warming as part of a

Presidential Symposium at the annual

American Psychiatric Association meeting in San Francisco.

"Our presentation in San Francisco will focus on how to get more

people knowledgeable about the psychological obstacles for 'going

green'," Moffic said. "The organizer is a professor at our local university, the

be about potential technology changes, and most of the attendees will be

people who work in industry related to potential sustainability."

The American Psychiatric

Association in May is the major annual national meeting for all

psychiatrists in North America, according to Moffic.

"For this one, we were asked to do something about my earlier

attempts to get psychiatrists more interested in climate change

and global warming," Moffic said.

"In the past, we've presented to

groups ranging from pharmacists to synagogues. We are always looking

for opportunities to present to different groups of people on this

subject. We also use our personal individual strengths and what we

can combine as a couple. I'm best at conceiving creative ways to

present controversial information, which I've done for forty years in

psychiatry. My wife is a charismatic songstress. So we will try to set up

the presentation in San Francisco to provide information in a

non-threatening, fun,

and enjoyable way."

The Moffics formed Ye Merrye Eco Players a few years ago to present

short public performances titled "Going Green in Pscyh and Song!"

"It's really a multimedia presentation, Dr. Moffic, a professor of

psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin, told the San Diego

Jewish World. "We discuss the

under-appreciated psychological aspects of global warming, and we try

to do it with humor and serious science combined."

From letters to the editor at Time magazine to the public shows he

performs with his wife, Steven Moffic believes that personal actions

are important in the global fight against climate change.

He told this reporter that the Biblical character of Joseph is one of

his favorite characters. When I asked why, Moffic explained it in a

novel way.

"Because in part Joseph foreshadows the first psychiatrists," he said. "Freud

developed most of his early theories by interpreting his own dreams.

Joseph's whole life was based on his interpreting his dreams, which

seem to me to be both conflictual (like Freud) and prophetic. In

prison, he became very self-reflective. Then, he became able to

interpret the dreams of others, including the Pharoah, relieving

their psychological distress."

"As a bonus for me, he is able to

foresee (with God's help?), the climate change to come in his time,

and prepare adequately for it," Moffic added. "Finally, he helps his

brothers to

their necessary insight into their history with him, and teaches

foregiveness (necessary often) in the treatment of PTSD). This

resolution is the end of the destructive sibling conflicts in the Torah."

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