Community in Difference: Cultivating a Home for Love & Justice in an Indifferent World
the annual conference of the Society of Humanisitic Psychology (division 32) of the apa

Psychosocial and Ecological Accompaniment
in the Face of Violence

with John Becknell, G.A. Bradshaw, Harry Grammer, Aaron Kipnis,
Madeleine Spencer, and Mary Watkins

Wednesday, February 27, 9:00am to 4:30pm | $140 includes lunch

6 Continuing Education Credits for MFTs, LCSWs, and RNs

CLICK HERE to register | CLICK HERE to view all workshops

Violence–both structural and direct–assaults the integrity and well-being of human and other animals, their communities, and the places in which they dwell. It leaves in its wake needs for accompaniment, witness, and repair. While psychotherapists are able to perform some of these restorative functions, forms of group, intergroup, and trans-species work outside of therapeutic practice are better suited for many cultural and cross-cultural contexts. Presenters will nourish an understanding of psychosocial and ecological accompaniment, in the hopes that they can be understood as crucial restorative forms of psychologically-minded praxis.

Ecological and Psychosocial Accompaniment
Mary Watkins

Beginning with the history of the term "psychosocial accompaniment," Mary Watkins will lay the groundwork for understanding how to shift between customary therapeutic and research practices to engaged ecological and psychosocial accompaniment and participatory research. The need for an ethics of accompaniment in an age of coloniality and rapacious global capitalism will be central.

Mary Watkins, Ph.D., author of Toward Psychologies of Liberation, is the co-chair of the Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology Specialization of Pacifica's M.A./Ph.D. Depth Psychology Program. For this panel, she draws on her experience coordinating community and ecological fieldwork and research at Pacifica for the past 17 years.

Sacred Bones: Human Transformation through Animal Liberation
G. A. Bradshaw

Nonhuman animals are largely excluded from discussions of social justice and psychosocial restoration. The terms "environment, biodiversity, species extinction, sustainable use, and global change" mask the reality of animal genocide by reducing sentient beings to faceless entities subordinate to human needs. Dr. Bradshaw introduces the concept of nature-based consciousness and trans-species accompaniment as a necessary process for peace and restoration of spiritual wholeness.

G.A. Bradshaw, Ph.D., author of Elephants on the Edge, is the Executive Director and founder of The Kerulos Center (www.kerulos.org). Her work focuses on trans-species psychology and human cultural transformation in service to animal self-determination.

The Middle Class Philanthropist: Psychological Empowerment
and Liberation of Women at the Economic Margins of the World

Aaron Kipnis

Aaron Kipnis will discuss his research with Untouchable women in Central India and women in Post-Taliban Afghanistan who are raising families on one dollar a day. As a humanistically trained psychologist, Dr. Kipnis highlights the importance of fostering economic literacy, social inclusion and community building as practical antidotes to the psychology of hopelessness and despair.

Aaron Kipnis, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Santa Monica, California and has been Core Faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute for 16 years. He is well-published on a range of psychological topics with a forthcoming book titled The Midas Complex: How Money Drives Us Crazy and What We Can Do About It.

Listening to War: Bearing Witness to Veterans' Narratives
John Becknell

What might change if we paused and made time to simply listen to war veterans? Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh describes war veterans as "the light at the tip of the candle" and suggests veterans have vital guidance and wisdom we all need. In a society that only seeks to silence, fix, or heal veterans, this presentation explores the surprising experience of civilians who simply bear witness to veterans" first-person narratives of war and the military experience. Bearing witness may be one of the most productive and powerful actions we can take in limiting war and healing war suffering.

John Becknell, M.A., works to promote dialogue between veterans and civilians and between public safety workers and the communities they serve. He works as a consultant to rural communities in developing reliable and sustainable emergency medical services. He is completing his doctoral dissertation at Pacifica Graduate Institute on the experience of bearing witness to narratives of war.

Accompanying Our Neighbors Without Homes: OCCUPY Santa Ana
Madeleine Spencer

Intent on discovering new ways to practice liberatory measures, Occupy Santa Ana (OSA), since its inception in 2011, has been called to recognize first and foremost Paulo Freire's (1994) position stating, that in our acceptance of the struggle for humanization we also accept our total responsibility for the struggle. Liberation begins from the ground up; there is no way around this. Those in our society without the basic necessities for survival are the ground of our movement; hence at OSA we have realized that this is where we must begin. This presentation will provide a partial look at the layout of those grounds and share how through psychosocial accompaniment and participatory action research we have engaged in working in Santa Ana California with our neighbors without homes.

Madeleine Spencer, M.A., Between social justice activism, conducting individual and group therapy, and working as a Learning Facilitator at Santiago Canyon College, Spencer's interests lie in community building, in realizing the creation and implementation of workable social systems that aim at ecological sustainability and a resource-based economy. She is a member of Orange County's Occupy Movement.

F.L.O.W.: The Fluent Love of Words
Harry Grammer

The New Earth Organization works with youth who live under the jurisdiction of the youth authority. Through arts and eco-based activities,mentors accompany youth as they emerge into adulthood with the possibility of claiming their words, actions, experiences, and the directions of their lives.

Harry Grammer is the founder of the community based non-profit, New Earth Organization, which provides arts, academic, and transition programs for incarcerated youth. He was the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Josephine "Scout" Fuller Award by Psychologist for Social Responsibility for the work he does with the youth behind bars and in the community.