Mutual Accompaniment
and the Creation of the Commons

Mary Watkins; With a Foreword by George Lipsitz and a Contribution by G. A. Bradshaw

A landmark book, published in 2019, that maps a radical model
not only for the “helping” professions but for the work of solidarity

This timely and pathbreaking volume maps a radical model of accompaniment, exploring its profound implications for solidarity. Psychosocial and ecological accompaniment is a mode of responsive assistance that combines psychosocial understanding with political and cultural action. Accompaniment—grounded in horizontality, interdependence, and potential mutuality—moves away from hierarchical and unidirectional helping-profession approaches that decontextualize suffering. Watkins envisions a powerful paradigm of mutual solidarity with profound implications for creating commons in the face of societal division and indifference to suffering.

Mary Watkins, a leading voice in liberation psychology, is co-author of Toward Psychologies of Liberation, Up Against the Wall: Re-Imagining the U.S.-Mexico Border, and Talking with Young Children about Adoption, and is author of Waking Dreams and Invisible Guests: The Development of Imaginal Dialogues. She is co-founder of the Community, Liberation, Indigenous, and Eco-Psychologies graduate specialization at Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Read Review in Friends Journal

Read more at Yale Univ. Press website. 



Up Against the Wall   (2014) As increasing global economic disparities, violence, and climate change provoke a rising tide of forced migration, many countries and local communities are responding by building walls—literal and metaphorical—between citizens and newcomers. Up Against the Wall: Re-imagining the U.S.-Mexico Border examines the temptation to construct such walls through a penetrating analysis of the U.S. wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as investigating the walling out of Mexicans in local communities. Calling into question the building of a wall against a friendly neighboring nation, Up Against the Wall offers an analysis of the differences between borders and boundaries. This analysis opens the way to envisioning alternatives to the stark and policed divisions that are imposed by walls of all kinds.

Tracing the consequences of imperialism and colonization as citizens grapple with new migrant neighbors, the book paints compelling examples from key locales affected by the wall—Nogales, Arizona vs. Nogales, Sonora; Tijuana/San Diego; and the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. An extended case study of Santa Barbara describes the creation of an internal colony in the aftermath of the U.S. conquest of Mexican land, a history that is relevant to many U.S. cities and towns.Ranging from human rights issues in the wake of massive global migration to the role of national restorative shame in the United States for the treatment of Mexicans since 1848, the authors delve into the broad repercussions of the unjust and often tragic consequences of excluding others through walled structures along with the withholding of citizenship and full societal inclusion. Through the lens of a detailed examination of forced migration from Mexico to the United States, this transdisciplinary text, drawing on philosophy, psychology, and political theory, opens up multiple insights into how nations and communities can coexist with more justice and more compassion.

Chapter 5:  The Creation of an Internal Colony
Santa Barbara, a City Divided Against Itself

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Toward Psychologies Of Liberation “This landmark book takes us on an unforgettable journey across disciplines, countries, spiritualities, and techniques to teach us twenty-first century psychologies of liberation. Authors Watkins and Shulman transform the discipline of psychology, showing us its connections to all disciplines concerned with liberating the imagination. Across international fields of difference, these authors never give up the prize: social and psychic emancipation. In doing so, they define what “decoloniality” means for the twenty-first century.”

Chela Sandoval, Associate Professor of Liberation Philosophy; Chair, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Spanish Edition: Hacia Psicologías de Liberación

Tr. Montserrat Chanivet Marabot


Capítulo 1: Más allá de Universales: Regeneración Local

Capítulo 2: Más allá de la ideología: el diálogo

Capítulo 3: Más allá del desarrollo: La liberación

Capítulo 4.1: Parte II — Heridas psíquicas del Colonialismo y la Globalización

Capítulo 4.2: Síntomas y Psicologías en el Contexto Cultural

Capítulo 5: De espectador a testigo comprometido

Capítulo 6: Las patologías de la perpetración

Capítulo 7: Duelo y Testigo después del Trauma Colectivo

Capítulo 8.1: Parte III — El surgimiento de la restauracion creativa

Capítulo 8.2: Ruptura y Hospitalidad

Capítulo 9: La conciencia nómada y de los no sujetos

Capítulo 10: Diálogo

Capítulo 11.1: Parte IV Prácticas participativas de las Psicologías de la Liberación

Capítulo 11.2: Comunidades de Resistencia. Hogares públicos y lugares de apoyo a la reconciliación

Capítulo 12: Las artes liberatorias. Amnesia, contra-memoria, contra-memorial

Capítulo 13: Investigación acción participativa crítica

Capítulo 14: Colocando las Éticas Dialógicas en el centro de la Investigación Psicológica

Capítulo 15: Sueños de Reconciliación y Restauración

Bibliography (in English)

Edição Portuguesa/Portuguese Edition:

Em Direção às Psicologias da Libertação

Traduzido por Camilo Francisco Ghorayeb, Lucas Vaz de Lima Mattos
e Braulio Eloi de Almeida Porto

Clique aqui para baixar o arquivo PDF


Waking Dreams
 “What is the relevance of daydreams, active imagination, and inner voices to the practice of psychotherapy, education, and life? Historical, critical, and clinical, this book describes American and European approaches to the image.”

All Chapters Now Available in PDF format:

Chapter 1: Not Only the Matter of Metaphor

Chapter 2: The Half-Dream State

Chapter 3: The Mythopoetic Function and Early History of Psychology

Chapter 4: Waking Dreams in European Psychotherapy

Chapter 5: Imagery and Imagination in American Psychology

Chapter 6: Movements in Imaginal Space

Chapter 7: Movements From and Towards the Imaginal

Chapter 8: On Imagining about Imagining


Bibliography (56 MB)


Invisible Guests: The Development of Imaginal Dialogues
. “An eloquent critique of developmental and clinical psychologies and their insistence on listening to only one voice per person. Dr. Mary Watkins is the only person now writing on imagination who knows the field completely, thinks beautifully, and can teach just how to proceed with interior dialogues with imaginal personages.” James Hillman, Ph.D.


invisible-guests-coverFULL BOOK in PDF format (Photocopy Reprint) (67MB)

Preface, Intro & Chapter 1: Imaginal Dialogues and Reason

Chapter 2: Reality and the Imagination

Chapter 3: Seeing Imaginal Dialogues as Primitive

Chapter 4: Imaginal Dialogues and Reason

Chapter 5: Imagination as Reality

Chapter 6: The Impact of Conceptions of Development on Approaching Imaginal Dialogues

Chapter 7: “The Characters Speak Because They Want to Speak:” The Autonomy of the Imaginal Other

Chapter 8: The Dialogues Between Multiple Characters: The Monologues of Multiple Personality

Chapter 9: Character Development: The Articulation of the Imaginai Other

Chapter 10: Relativizing the Ego and the Birth of Dialogue

Chapter 11: The Voices of Hallucination

Chapter 12: The Fish-Lady and the Little Girl: Case History Told From the Points of View of the Characters

Epilogue and Afterword


talking-adoption-cover-220pxwTalking With Young Children About AdoptionReview “Current wisdom holds that adoptive parents should talk with their child about adoption as early as possible. But no guidelines exist to prepare parents for the various ways their children might respond when these conversations take place. In this wise and sympathetic book, a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist, both adoptive mothers, discuss how young children make sense of the fact that they are adopted, how it might appear in their play, and what worries they and their parents may have. Accounts by twenty adoptive parents of conversations about adoption with their children, from ages two to ten, graphically convey what the process of sharing about adoption is like.”