Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Garret Barnwell is a clinical psychologist practicing from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Dr. Garret Barnwell is a clinical psychologist and community psychology practitioner, with seven years of clinical experience and with over a decade of community-orientated practice.

I provide psychotherapy, assessment, mentorship and supervision in private practice. My community psychology practice is focused on community psychology is central to my psychological praxis. My experience is diverse and includes: expert reports; critical assessments; project planning and coordination; advocacy; training and governance. I collaborate with those who share the desire for cognitive, social and environmental justice. My research interests include the psychological dimensions of climate, land and environmental justice. I am a co-convener of the Psychology Society of South Africa’s Climate, Environment and Psychology (CEP) group and hold several other leadership positions on climate psychology or human rights..


Clinical Psychologist
(2015 – Present)

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Climate psychology and ecopsychology group work
  • Community psychology interventions and consulting on health, social and environmental justice issues with organisations, such as NACOSA – Networking HIV & AIDS Community of South Africa; Centre for Environmental Rights; Médecins Sans Frontières; EarthLore Foundation; Dzomo La Mupo
  • Research on climate change and mental health; climate psychology; community psychology; environmental justice

Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) (2011 – 2018)
Deputy Head of Mission, South Africa and Lesotho (2016 – 2017)

  • Project oversight and lead on health advocacy and representation around migration, detention, sexual violence, sexual reproductive health (SRH), human resources for health gaps, student protests, and the mining industry
  • Lead author of MSF complaint to South African Office of Health Standards Compliance regarding Lindela Detention Centre
  • I was one of the healthcare team that conducted the assessment of migrant health needs and helped conceptualise MSF’s current project in Pretoria.

Vision Coordinator, Southern Africa (2016 – 2017)

  • Led the participatory vision process for MSF Southern Africa office for the board and executive. Several interviews were conducted across Southern Africa, in various institutional and operational spaces (e.g., General assembly, field projects, board members, executive, and former MSF staff).

Humanitarian Affairs Officer, North West Province (2016)  

  • Accompaniment to mine affected communities
  • Communications and advocacy on sexual violence, extractive industry, sexual reproductive health (SRH) services, and human resources for health gaps, such as forensic nursing.
  • Co-author of a 3-year project strategy and security guidelines
  • In July 2016, I was also detached to conduct an exploratory assessment of psychiatric services in Lesotho, conducted meetings with the Minister of Health, Director of Mental Health, interviewed public health workers, and assessed three inpatient mental healthcare facilities.

Liaison Officer (2012) 

  • Providing accompaniment to Syrian medical network during the Syria conflict
  • Providing analysis of Syrian conflict to support MSF’s operations
  • Managing supply of medical material and equipment to the Syrian medical network

Assistant field coordinator (2011) 

  • Project management assistance regarding staff security, community outreach and Burco’s public hospital’s rehabilitation
  • Team leader of the rapid malnutrition assessments using mid-upper arm circumference assessments during 2011 Nutrition Crisis in Somaliland – Togdheer and Saxiil region (internally displaced camps & rural villages)

Department of Health

Clinical Psychologist in Community Service, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Soweto (2015 – 2016) 

  • Mental health outpatient clinical 
  • Inpatient psychiatry and medical wards
  • Cochlear unit
  • Transgender affirming care, Luthando Unit 

Intern psychologist (2014) 

  • Elizabeth Donkin Psychiatric Hospital 
  • Livingstone Casualty Department 
  • Graaff-Reinet Community Health Centre 


Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
Faculty of Health, Nelson Mandela University (2021)

Masters in Clinical Psychology
Department of Psychology, Nelson, Mandela University (2015) (Cum Laude)

Masters in Conflict Transformation and Management
Department of History and Political Studies, Nelson, Mandela University (2013)

Honours in Psychology, Nelson Mandela University
Department of Psychology, Nelson, Mandela University (2009)

Bachelors in Psychology
Department of Psychology, Nelson, Mandela University (2008)


Decolonial Summer School
Utrecht University & Duke University (2021)

Ecopsychology Certificate
Pacifica Graduate Institute, California (2019)

Professional Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance
Liverpool School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2010)

Habitable Planet (Climate Change and Sustainability)
Rhodes University (2009)

Certificate in Victim Empowerment and Support
University of South Africa (2009)


Co-convener of the Climate, Environment and Psychology (CEP) Group
Psychology Society of South Africa (PsySSA) (2020-Present)

Editorial Committee of Explorations in Climate Psychology
Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) (2021-Present)

Advisory Council of Global Network of Psychologists for Human Rights (GNPHR)

Co-opted Board member
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Southern Africa (2015-2016)

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Southern Africa (2013-2015)


Bongani Mayosi National Health Scholarship Programme, South African Medical Research Council (2019-2021)

Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans (Category: Health) (2016)

Alumni of the Year Award for Service to Humanity (2016)


Barnwell, G., Stroud, L., & Watson, M. (2020). “Nothing green can grow without being on the land”: Mine-affected communities’ psychological experiences of ecological degradation and resistance in Rustenburg, South Africa. Community Psychology in Global Perspective, Special Issue: Communities reclaiming power and social justice in the face of climate change.  6(2/2), 87-109.

Barnwell, G., Stroud, L., & Watson, M. (2020). Critical reflections from South Africa: Using the Power Threat Meaning Framework to place climate-related distress in its socio-political context. British Psychology Society’s Clinical Psychology Forum Special Issue: Psychology and the Climate and Environmental Crisis. Number 332–August 2020, 332, 7. 

Schockaert, L., Venables, E., Gil-Bazo, M. T., Barnwell, G., Gerstenhaber, R., & Whitehouse, K. (2020). Behind the Scenes of South Africa’s Asylum Procedure: A Qualitative Study on Long-term Asylum-Seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Refugee Survey Quarterly, 39(1), 26-55.

Barnwell, G., Makaulule, M., Stroud, L., Watson, M., Robson, D. (2021). ‘Mupo is life’: Intergenerational identity and safeguarding sacred natural sites in Limpopo province, South Africa. Ecopsychology.

Barnwell, G., Makaulule, M., Stroud, L., Watson, M., Robson, D. (2021). ‘Restoring roots’: Lived experiences of place severing and decolonial resurgence associated with deforestation and land disposession in Limpopo province, South Africa. AWRY: Journal of Critical Psychology. [in press]

Barnwell, G., Bradshaw, G., & Watkins, M. (2021). Grounding community psychology in practices of ecopsychosocial accompaniment. Editors Kagan, C., Lawthom, R., Constanzo, A., Inzunza, J., Richards, M., & Akhurst, J. Forthcoming International Handbook of Community Psychology. Routledge. [in press]  

Barnwell, G. (2021). An illustrative counter-narration method case vignette on the psychological experiences of land dispossession in Limpopo Province, South Africa. [submitted for review]

Williams, T., Barnwell, G., & Stein, D. (2020). Pre-print: A Systematic Review of Randomised Controlled Trials on the Effectiveness of Ecotherapy Interventions for Treating Mental Disorders.

Barnwell, G., Sack, V., & Strümpher, J. (2015). Clinical Psychologists’ Perceived Barriers to Provision of Psychological Services for People with First-episode Schizophrenia in Urban Public Health Care Settings (Dissertation, Nelson Mandela University). 


Barnwell, G. (2021). Expert report: The psychological and mental health consequences of climate change in South Africa. Commissioned by the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) for the African Climate Alliance, groundWork, the Vukani Environmental Movement in Action.

Barnwell, G. (2020). Review of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report for the Application for Environmental Authorisation and Change of Land Use for the Proposed Musina -Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Limpopo Province.

Barnwell, G. (2020). Ecopsychosocial feedback report: Zwifho Zwa Nethathe (unpublished).  

Barnwell, G. (2020). Ecopsychosocial feedback report: Zwifho Zwa Vhutanda (unpublished).  

Barnwell, G. (2019). Ecopsychosocial feedback report: Zwifho Zwa Magoro (unpublished). 

Co-author of Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres’ (MSF) Submission to the Office of Health Standards Compliance on healthcare provision in Lindela Detention Facility (2018). [Unpublished]

Lead-author and researcher for MSF’s Untreated Violence: Critical gaps in medical and clinical forensic care for survivors of sexual violence in South Africa (2017). 

Barnwell, G. (2016). The importance of ensuring the provision of health care during university protest action through better coordinated efforts: Lessons from University of Witwatersrand. A Double Harm: Police misuse of force and barriers to necessary Health Care Services. Socio-economic Rights Institute of South Africa, 80-83.

Lead-author and photographer for MSF’s Untreated Violence: The need for patient-centred care for survivors of sexual violence in the platinum mining belt (2016). 


2021: Invited speaker on psychology and climate justice for the International Congress of Psychology.

2021: Guest lecturing on ethics for the Department of Psychology at University of South Africa (UNISA).

2020: Guest lecturer on ecopsychology and environmental justice for Pacifica Graduate Institute, California (online)

2020: Earth Accompaniment for the Retreat at Pacifica Graduate Institute, California (online)

2019: Oral presentation: Sacred places with traumatic pasts. International Ecopsychology Conference, California, USA.  

 2015: Clinical Psychologists’ Perceived Barriers to Provision of Psychological Services for People with First-episode  Schizophrenia in Urban Public Health Care Settings. Poster Presentation. 19th Biennial conference of the International Society of Critical Health Psychology.