"Mutual Accompaniment and the Creation of the Commons" by Mary Watkins

Mutual Accompaniment and the Creation of the Commons Mary Watkins, George Lipsitz, G. A. Bradshaw

Publication date:
27 Aug 2019
Yale University Press
376 pages: 235 x 156 x 22mm
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A landmark book 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.

"Quite creative and amazingly integrative."—Darcia Narvaez, University of Notre Dame, author of Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom

"This original and impressively thorough book has the potential to establish 'psychosocial accompaniment' as a primary mode of practice in the helping professions. It is the perfect antidote to widespread indifference to human suffering."—Tod Sloan, Lewis and Clark College, author of Damaged Life: The Crisis of the Modern Psyche

"An original and significant intervention that will have far-ranging appeal to students of psychology, anthropology, and cultural studies. This book holds the potential of becoming a classic."—Deanne Bell, University of East London

"A timely book, full of delightful anecdotes and practical guidance. Mary Watkins has crafted an extraordinary story of a nearly forgotten practice."—Peter Westoby, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, co-author of Participatory Development Practice: Using Traditional and Contemporary Frameworks

"Watkins speaks about the need for providers to go beyond their privileged comfort levels and address the real needs of the people we aim to serve and support."—Chakira M. Haddock Lazala, Ph.D.