Liberation Psychology and Mutual Accompaniment


“Culture contains the Seed of Resistance that Blossoms into the Flower of Liberation,” Miranda Bergman and O’Brien Thiele

Miranda Bergman and O’Brien Thiele

My beloved mentor at Clark University, Bernie Kaplan, taught me that developmentalists were not reporting objectively on human development, that they were researching through the lens of their values. Why not make this explicit, he argued, and state what you most value, what you would like to see embodied in human development. Then, he said, you can study the conditions that thwart this desired state and those conditions that facilitate it. Liberation psychologists do just this. By using liberation psychology as an umbrella for theory and practice, we aim to create the kinds of psychological theory and practice that transform the social and ecological conditions that create unnecessary suffering. If we begin with the goals of social and economic justice, dynamic peacebuilding, and ecological sustainability, then the tasks for psychologically minded people begin to clarify.

Watkins, M. (2000). Depth psychology and the liberation of being. In R. Brooke (Ed.), Pathways into the Jungian world (pp. 217-233). London: Routledge.

Watkins, M. (2000). Seeding liberation: A dialogue between depth psychology and liberation psychology. In D. Slattery & L. Corbett (Eds), Depth psychology: Meditations in the field (pp. 204-225). Einsiedeln, SW: Daimon Verlag.

Watkins, M. (2002). Waking up: Depth psychology and terrorism, Psychological Perspectives, 44, 14-24.

Lorenz, H. & Watkins, M. (2003). Depth psychology and colonialism: Individuation, seeing-through, and liberation: Quadrant, 33, 11–32.

Watkins, M. & Shulman, H. (2008). Toward psychologies of liberation. New York/London: Palgrave MacMillan. (Paperback edition, 2010)  Table of Contents and Introduction  (See Spanish translation below.)

Watkins, M. (2012). Notes from a visit to several Zapatista communities: Toward practices of nomadic identity and hybridity. Psychological Studies. 57 (1), 1-8.

Watkins, M. & Ciofalo, N. (2011). Creating and sharing critical community psychology curriculum for the 21st century. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 2(2), 9-18.

Watkins, M. (2013). Accompaniment: Psychosocial, Trans-Species, and Earth-Based.

Watkins, M. (2015) A New Geography for Vocations in Psychology: Crafting the Roles Your Community and Bioregion Need

Watkins, M. (2015). Psychosocial Accompaniment. Journal of Social and Political

Psychology, 3, 1.

Watkins, M. (2017). Psychosocial Accompaniment. Academic Foresights, 17.

Watkins, M. (2018). From Hospitality to Mutual Accompaniment: Addressing Soul Loss in the Citizen-Neighbor. In T. Grusovnik, L. Skof, E. Mendieta (Eds.), Borders and debordering: Topologies, praxes, hospitableness. New York, NY: Lexington Books.

[Video] Watkins, M. (10/28/18). Pathways to Mutual Accompaniment. The Kerulos Center for Nonviolence.

Watkins, M. (2019). Mutual accompaniment and the creation of the commons. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Watkins, M. (tbp2020). Toward A DecolonialApproach to Accompaniment from the “Outside.”  In G. Stevens & C. Sonn (eds.), Decoloniality, knowledge production and epistemic justice in contemporary community psychology. New York, NY: Springer.

Furthering Liberation Psychologies and Mutual Accompaniment
A Conversation with Mary Watkins, Lai Lai Liu & Ivana Wijedasa.
In The Just Word: Martín-Baró Initiative for Wellbeing and Human Rights, xxv, 1, Fall 2021.




Toward Psychologies of Liberation(with Helene Shulman) Palgrave Press, 2008

Publisher’s information page

“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,
Partes 1 y 2 – Tr. Montserrat Chanivet Marabot