Liberation psychology consists of frameworks that seek to reconstruct psychology by focusing on the conditions of the oppressed. It first emerged in Latin America, and unlike traditional psychology, it addresses social inequalities both in theory and practical sense. When we speak of liberation psychology, we also mean community and critical psychology because it’s an interdisciplinary approach that draws from them. Below are the top ten Ph.D. programs that speak of liberation psychology.
1. Pacifica Graduate Institute – Liberation Psychology
This program embodies transdisciplinary and transformative approaches to the challenges that we consider the most critical, personal, communal, cultural, and ecological. It widens the former focus of liberation psychology to include the ecosystem i.e. eco-liberation psychology and includes; community psychology, indigenous psychology, and eco-psychology.
Through the effects of injustices, violence, and exploitation on psychological, communal, and ecological well-being, scholars can study the community and eco-psychologies in the light of liberation and indigenous psychologies. Learning materials include liberation theology, liberation psychology network, and liberation psychology bibliography.
2. Ph.D. in Critical Psychology
Offered at Point Park University, the PhD creates possibilities for continuous psychologies that emphasize liberation, equality, social justice, and dignity to promote the welfare of individuals and communities. It goes beyond critique to examine the underpinnings of mainstream psychology and its role in power and oppression.
It enables psychologists to be well-versed in theoretical and socio-political demands of liberation psychology. By the end of the program, you should be able to solve problems in social psychology, such as oppression, through a critical psychological lens.
3. Programs in Psychoanalysis, Society and Culture
Being one of its kind in the US, it emerged to fill in the gap for critical pursuits such as the cultural analysis of psychoanalysis. Students engage in advanced seminars, unique field experience, and original research to critically investigate larger systems and social issues such as inequality and exploitation.
As a doctoral student, you will examine how the current psychological approaches have embodied the human psyche and affected the understanding of societal concerns psychoanalytically.
4. Ph.D. in Psychology: Consciousness and Society
Using the three theoretical approaches that analyze the intersection of consciousness and society i.e. Humanistic, Critical and Transpersonal approaches, this program aims to produce Ph.D. graduates who can productively promote transformations in a global society through research, consulting, and teaching.
All classes and projects offer a consolidative and varied approach toward consciousness and include an awareness of the less explored spiritual dimensions that enlighten individual and community life. It enhances social justice and ecological and integrative thinking through a broad-based sense of the place of the community life for the individual.
5. Community Psychology – UVA Arts & Sciences
This program takes an ecological perspective that focuses on structural inequality and social injustices. Students complete a mandatory community field laboratory where they collaborate on a project with community partners. The curriculum solves societal problems through its psychological research and interdisciplinarity.
As a student, you’ll learn critical perspectives on psychological research, program evaluation, and structural determinants of inequality. Application for this program no longer requires a GRE.
6. The Community Psychology Ph.D. Program
Offered at Wichita State University, students experience extensive and educational community research through an apprenticeship education. Educational experiences include strategic planning and visioning with government facilities, customer-run organizations, and human service coalitions.
Its classroom lessons emphasize theoretical foundations in core areas of psychology like social and developmental psychology.
Apply here and learn about its recent Community Psychology practica
7. Ecology/Community Psychology – Michigan State University
By working with communities, addressing systematic issues, and creating social change, this program aims to produce scholars who will promote social justice and empower disenfranchised populations. Its approach to community research action enables scholars to identify the relationship between individuals and the systems in which these individuals are embedded.
The training offers competitive support packages and fellowships, research and travels to professional conventions, and learning in an intellectual environment that fosters students’ career development.
8. The Community Psychology Program – Georgia State University
This program offers a concentration in community psychology and a joint Clinical-Community psychology. It also administers a dual degree M.P.H./Ph.D. in conjunction with Georgia State’s School of Public Health.
Learning involves theory and empirical research related to psychology in developing and advocating for effective social interventions that enhance the welfare of diverse groups in diverse settings. The program is further guided by values such as a research-informed perspective, Interdisciplinary scholarship, and collaborative relationships.
9. Community well-being Ph.D.
It envisions a hub for engaged scholarship in community well-being and social change by training community-engaged action researchers committed to upholding social justice. Through its community-engaged scholarship, the researcher is involved in a mutually beneficial partnership with the community.
Scholars are prepared for careers in academia, research, and public policy. Grounded in the discipline of community psychology, you’ll be able to enhance individual, relational and collective well-being via community-based research and action.
10. Applied Social and Community Psychology
It applies theory and research across the psychological sciences that enable researchers to use their knowledge and solutions to serve the public interest. As a research-intensive program, it develops and implements initiatives that foster equity and diversity.
Courses under this program include applied and basic research and techniques to address social injustices and inequality at different levels and forms. Graduates can work in many fields such as community programs, research, and development settings.
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