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The Handbook of Social Justice in Psychological Therapies

The Handbook of Social Justice in Psychological Therapies
Power, Politics, Change

Edited by:

October 2023 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Are you looking for a psychological therapy textbook with social justice at its centre? Just can't seem to find a comprehensive textbook that aligns with your attitudes toward positive changes in psychological professions?

This three-part book sets out the core principles for social justice in the psychological therapies. In Part 1 you'll be introduced to Social Justice Theory in the psychological therapies, covering identity and intersectionality and integrating the psychological and socio-political.

In Part 2, you can expand on your knowledge with Social Justice informed therapeutic practice, which looks at the ways in which social class, race, disability, and other minoritised identities can inform therapeutic practice.

In Part 3, you will look Beyond the therapy room, and explore how to apply your social justice knowledge to clinical supervision, community psychology and other non-traditional therapeutic models.

Supported by a wealth of features including reflective and critical thinking questions, case studies, and recommended further reading resources, this book will help equip you with the knowledge, skills and attitude to work as a more socially conscientious practitioner.

Chapter 1: An Introduction to Social Justice in the Psychological Therapies
Chapter 2: Engaging with Minoritised and Racialised Communities ‘Inside the Sentence
Chapter 3: Identity and Intersectionality
Chapter 4: The Individual in Context
Chapter 5: Integrating the Psychological and the Socio-Political: A Directional Framework
Chapter 6: Core Principles for Social Justice Informed Therapeutic work
Chapter 7: Social Justice Informed Therapy and Racially Minoritised Individuals
Chapter 8: Social Justice Informed Therapy and Social Class
Chapter 9: Social Justice Informed Therapy and Visible and Invisible disabilities
Chapter 10: Social Justice Informed Therapy and Neurodiversity
Chapter 11: Social Justice Informed Therapy and Gender
Chapter 12: Social Justice Informed Therapy and Sexuality
Chapter 13: Social Justice Informed Therapy with Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Chapter 14: Therapy in the Shadow of the Climate and Environmental crisis
Chapter 15: Advocacy and Working with Individual Clients Beyond Traditional Therapy Models
Chapter 16: Social Justice in Clinical Supervision
Chapter 17: Critical Community PSYCHOLOGY & PARTICIPATORY Action Research
Chapter 18: Influencing Policy and Socio-Political Change

Like all effective activist organizers, the editors have courageously utilised their platforms as leaders in the field to demistify social justice education, and, successfully collate a diverse ecosystem of contributors. Each contributor uniquely evokes, provokes, and mobilises the reader to take seriously the lifelong project of interrogating power relations, politics and social change.  

I would consider this text akin to Wilkinson and Pickett’s the “The Spirit Level” applied to the psychological therapies, as a primer for purpose-orientated readers. This text offers hope to those wanting to make a positive impact in their communities as everyday ‘change agents’, by channeling their human potential for healing, advocacy and solidarity.    

Dr Jonathan Day (PsychD), Senior Counselling Psychologist (HCPC reg.)
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, and, member of the Therapy and Social Change (TaSC) Network.

This ambitious book aims to demystify 'social justice' – once a term reserved mainly for therapeutic activists and writers on the fringes - by broadly exploring its place in the heart of the psychological professions. A range of contributors ponder the meaning of this concept, and how we might make individual sense of it, as well as now it might be applied in the therapy room and beyond Split into three sections, the first part is theoretical, where ideas and models are given as suggestions for practitioners to use when attempting to embed social justice into their work.

The second and longest part, 'Social justice informed therapeutic practice, includes chapters that offer thoughtful reflections on working with a diverse range of client groups.

The third section looks at other creative ways that those working in the psychological professions can engage more widely with social justice.

Although I enjoyed this book - and it is undoubtedly an important addition to the crucial conversations around anti-oppressive practice - at times it felt a little unbalanced in style. The first part felt much more academic and perhaps less accessible than the rest, which makes me wonder what type of readership this book best appeals to in its totality.

There's an argument to suggest that this title tries to deliver too much, but despite this I am left with new insights that I can tangibly apply to my work and life. If the reader can pick and choose what sections may be of most interest to them I believe they too will find this an extremely valuable resource.

Caz Binstead (MBACP)
Integrative therapist and supervisor
Therapy Today

“The Handbook of Social Justice in Psychological Therapies” is very important and a much needed position.
It is not only an excellent read but it also provides the reader with the depth of knowledge on social justice. It is very empowering and informative.
Fantastic structure and links with practice (particularly useful are the Case Studies positioned at the end of chapters).
I feel grateful for the authors for exploring the subject of social justice in psychological therapies. Considering these exceptional times we are living in, this book is an essential read when trying to gain a better understanding of our clients’ lives and challenges they come across.

Mrs Maria Thrasivoulou
Social Science, University of Derby Radiography
December 7, 2023

This is a superb guide to issues in social justice. It will be on the reading list from Level 3 up in next year's handbooks.

Mr William Humphreys
Psychology, Bridgwater & Taunton College
March 26, 2024

Laura Anne Winter

Dr Laura Anne Winter is a HCPC Registered Counselling Psychologist and BPS Chartered Psychologist. She currently works at the University of Manchester as a Senior Lecturer in Education and Counselling Psychology and is the Programme Director for the Doctorate in Counselling Psychology and the Associate Director for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion for the School in which she is based. Laura’s research and writing has focused on social justice, equality, and related issues in counselling and psychotherapy, psychology, and education. Her clinical practice has been based in NHS, third sector, and University counselling service settings.  More About Author

Divine Charura

Divine Charura is professor of counselling psychology and programme director for the doctorate in counselling psychology at York St John University. He is a chartered counselling psychologist and registered psychotherapist and has co-authored and edited numerous books in counselling and psychotherapy.  More About Author

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