Liberation, Depth, Community, and Eco-Psychologies, 1998 - Present

earth dreams by Helene Lorenz
During these years I have had the rich experience of teaching with Mary Watkins and others in liberation psychology graduate programs featuring participatory research courses and fieldwork requirements. That has meant my students and I have had the opportunity to accompany community organizing projects in the United States and abroad, and to learn from them and with them about what works and what fails in efforts of repair. From that vantage point, I could see the links connecting corporate power, militarism, media control, and silencing at home and abroad to the widespread displacement of populations through resource extraction, land theft, and environmental degradation. How many polluted rivers, flooded homes, droughts, failed states and cities, wars, market crashes, and refugee crises do we have to witness before we ask ourselves and others about carrying on business as usual? At what point are we prepared to take in the enormously difficult idea that we are at the end of an era, that the worldviews that underlie much of our approach to nature, development, and governance are about to arrive at a dead end?
The values that guided 19th and 20th century industrialization grew during a history of colonialism, slavery, and genocide, evolving into an ethic of domination and exploitation of the environment and human populations. Now we need to find a new orientation through dialogue and imagination, as well as trial and error with new forms of community-building and sustainable economic projects. This will mean that our identities need to change as well, in order to express doubts, concerns, and hopes that we learned to silence in the past. All over the world new cultural forms and regenerative projects are emerging through complex self-organizing networks built by the pioneers of liberation psychology that seek to create thriving healthy ecosystems and inclusive creative communities.
From the point of view of psychology, the first question is whether we face the unexpected in life with denial or dialogue. We need to understand the conditions that favor each strategy, and the personal and public outcomes of adopting them. What produces blind obedience to repressive authorities and what nurtures compassionate responses to suffering? What are the long-term human costs of violence and how have they affected our own thinking? Can we imagine and rebuild a new life-sustaining economy? Can we develop a framework spacious enough to link together efforts of small local and large transnational movements to organize resistance to displacement? These are some of the concerns of emerging new paradigms in the fields of liberation, community, depth and eco-psychology.

Windtrails”  In Images, Meanings, Connections: Essays in Memory of Susan R. Bach. Edited by Ralph Goldstein (1999).
The Presence of Absence: Mapping Postcolonial Spaces”  In Depth Psychology: Reflections from the Field, Edited by Lionel Corbett and Dennis Slattery (2000). 
With Mary Watkins. “Silenced Knowings, Forgotten Springs: Paths to Healing in the Wake of Colonialism” In Radical Psychology: A Journal Of Psychology, Politics, and Radicalism  (2001). 
With Mary Watkins. “Depth Psychology and Colonialism: Individuation, Seeing-Through, Liberation” In Quadrant (2001). 
With Mary Watkins. “What is a Cultural Approach to Depth Psychology?” Conference on Creating Community With Youth (2002). 
With Mary Watkins, Dan Hocoy, and Aaron Kipnis. “Liberation Psychologies: An Invitation to Dialogue” (2003). 
With Mary Watkins, “Introduction” In Toward Psychologies of Liberation (2008). [hsl33]
A Language for Liberation Psychologies” (2005). 
Synchronicity in the 21st Century” In Jung, the e-journal of the Jungian Society for Scholarly studies (2006). 
Broken Dreams: Liberation Psychology and Theater of the Oppressed” (2011).