Accompanying: Healing Through Liberation Psychology
This is the fourth meeting from the lecture series“Untwisting Power Asymmetries Through Accompaniment”. In this lecture series we will question the ways that we—in our already powerful roles as clinicians, activists, educators, lawyers, and other positions of status—are prone to repeating the powerful/powerless dynamic with the individuals we otherwise hope to serve. Michel Foucault’s conceptualization of power is particularly helpful here as we attempt to understand our power-laden positions. Can the promise of radical and liberation-based theories such as “accompaniment” be used to work more effectively within these asymmetrical power dynamics? These questions will be explored from the perspective of working with asylum seekers.
6th of June, Part IV: Accompanying: Healing Through Liberation Psychology
Power dynamics are embodied in daily life. For those of us who wish to expose and resist these dynamics, what models do we have for alternative engagement? Critical psychology shifts its focus from the “clinical gaze” toward a critique of power and power-abuse. We will consider the philosophy and practice of accompaniment and its implication for working with those who have experienced multiple oppressions.
This lecture series is intended for those concerned with asymmetric power dynamics in their clinical work, political activism, humanitarian efforts, social work, or volunteer efforts with survivors of torture or other marginalized individuals. Students of mental health, social work, and psychology fields are particularly valued as audience members, as much of the original research I present here is based on students’ critiques of their education and training.
Jessica Harbaugh, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist from New York City, now living in Berlin. She completed a training year at the Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture and collected original data from students in various mental health fields throughout the U.S., who worked with survivors of torture as part of their training experience. Jessica has also worked extensively with LGBTQ individuals and underserved adults presenting with complex trauma. She has worked as a clinical supervisor for psychology practicum students in underserved areas of New York City. Her theoretical orientation is psychodynamic and is heavily informed by a queer, feminist, humanistic paradigm. Her dissertation research is entitled “Power, multicultural competence, and trainees’ preparation for treating survivors of torture: A qualitative inquiry”.