In this podcast the Discovering Community Psychology group are joined by Abdullah Mia, a Clinical Psychologist working to incorporate community psychology ideas into his work within a medium secure forensic setting. Abdullah speaks about using community psychology ideas within his work in the NHS, viewing the forensic settings he works in as a microcosm, a small community of their own. He recommends reading about first and second order (https://doi.org/10.1177/002188638702300404) change as it mixes with organisational development with what he understands to be community psychology principles.
In this episode Abdullah shares his journey with community psychology ideas and reflects on his experience of applying these approaches in practice and the importance of working alongside others in order to challenge oppressive structures including the way that clinical psychology can reinforce power differentials by holding onto knowledge as if it is ours. He reflects on the need to remain connected to your values and ideas, but not necessarily your methods. Abdullah explains that within clinical psychology there is a need to speak the language of the people we work alongside in order to build connections. Recognising that your way of doing things may not be the best way, or the way which resonates most with the community you are working with, and being open to doing things differently
Abdullah finishes by sharing some of the challenges of community psychology. One of which is the way in which it draws attention to oppressive practices, without considering the pain and suffering which can come with that. Abdullah speaks to the importance of making sure support systems are in place which allow those in positions of power to grieve for the loss of their sense of self, or their previous ways of working when we highlight how their practice may have contributed to violent trauma.
Here are some links and references from Abdullah that we hope will let you explore more of the topics he was discussing:
Stacey, R.(2001) What Can It Mean to say that the individual is social through and through. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0533316401344005
Bartunek, J.M. & Moch, M.K. (1987). First-Order, Second-Order, and Third-Order Change and Organization Development Interventions: A Cognitive Approach. https://doi.org/10.1177/002188638702300404
Neal, J. W. & Christens, B. D. (2014) Linking the Levels: Network and Relational Perspectives for Community Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10464-014-9654-2
Perkins, D.D. (1995) Speaking truth to power: Empowerment ideology as social intervention and policy. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02506991
Social network analysis https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0038038588022001007
Augusto Boal and Forum Theatre I really like as a way in which we can embody and act changes https://organizingforpower.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/games-theater-of-oppressed.pdf