A call to action: Re-activating the latent human factor for achieving the UN SDGs—cultivating courageous partnerships and compassionate human systems

Corinne Reid*, Liz Grant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The raison d'être for psychotherapy. The aim of the study was to address individual suffering and distress. The sustainable development goals address suffering and distress on a global scale in the context of threats to the survival of our communities and planet.
Objective
We propose scaling up therapeutic principles for collective impact and nurturing therapist commitment beyond the therapy room, to activate and sustain compassion-in-action at the community system level.
Design
The SDGs represent the strength of collective human concern and action coming together. At the half-way point, we are falling dangerously short of our targets, requiring an urgent response. The tenet of this paper is that the weakest link in our journey is not technical capability or finances, or even the impact of multiple intersecting crises, but our ability to collaborate for sustained action—it is the human factor—hence, we need a psychologically informed response.
Method
Notably, least ‘visible’ is SDG17, the umbrella goal designated means of implementation, through partnership. Partnership has been treated as a transactional element of SDG projects, rather than the vital heartbeat connecting daily actions to the 2030 vision. Partnership is about investing in relationships and a commitment to working together with a common purpose—the bailiwick of psychological therapists.
Results
We propose an architecture to support the development of courageous partnerships and compassionate systems.
Conclusion
Compassion uniquely potentiates global action on wicked problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalPsychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Early online date3 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Apr 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • compassion
  • partnership
  • psychology
  • SDGs

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