Liberation Psychology


Liberation psychology involves the application of psychology in a participatory manner for the purposes of undertaking transformative action and advancing social justice. Liberation psychology is an applied psychology with well developed theoretical concepts and principles of practice. Many liberation psychologies originate in critiques of psychology as individualistic and acontextual and as potentially oppressive especially through racist, sexist, ethnocentric, homophobic and class biases ( (Bulhan, 1985; Martin-Baro, 1996; Moane, 2011). Liberation psychology involves participatory practices that aim to avoid reproducing oppression. Such practices must firstly be critical and reflexive, that is, involve a critical reflection of power and privilege and an awareness of their role in contexts of practice. An analysis of power and oppression is thus central, and many practitioners of liberation psychology adopt a structural analysis, that is, an analysis that focuses on economic and political structures associated with inequality.

Web Resources

What is Liberation Psychology? Webpage at Pacifica Graduate Institute

Liberation Psychology Network a new network to disseminate, discuss and develop Liberation Psychology in English with a list of more resources here:

Books & Chapters

Burton, M., & Kagan, C. (2009). Towards a really social psychology: Liberation psychology beyond Latin America. In M. Montero & C. Sonn (Eds.), Psychology of Liberation: Theory and Applications (51-72). New York: Springer.

Dussel, E. (2000). Philosophy of Liberation. Maryland, U.S.: Rowman & Littlefield.

Martín-Baró, I. (1994) Writings for a liberation psychology, edited by A. Aron & S. Corne. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Moane, G. (2011). Gender and Colonialism: A Psychological Analysis of Oppression and Liberation (2nd Eds.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Montero, M. (2009) Methods for liberation: Critical consciousness in action (pp. 73-92). In M. Montero & C. Sonn (Eds.) The Psychology of Liberation. Theory and Application. New York: Springer.

Montero, M, & Sonn, C. (2009) About Liberation and Psychology: an Introduction. In M. Montero & C. Sonn (Eds.) The Psychology of Liberation. Theory and Application. (10 pages). New York: Springer.

Montero, M. & Sonn, C. (2009). Psychology of liberation: Theory and applications. New York: Springer

Montero, M., Sonn, C., & Burton, M. (2017). Community Psychology and Liberation Psychology: A Creative Synergy for an Ethical and Transformative Praxis . In M. A. Bond, I. Serrano-García, and C. B. Keys (Eds.). APA Handbook of Community Psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical Foundations, Core Concepts, and Emerging Challenges. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Watkins, M., & Shulman, H. (2008). Toward Psychologies of Liberation. Palgrave Macmillan


Burton, M., & Kagan, C. (2005). Liberation social psychology: Learning from Latin America. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 15: 63-78

Montero, M. (2007) The Psychology of Liberation. From Politics to Ethics and Back. Political Psychology, 28 (5) 517-.534.

Montero, M. (2003) Relatedness as the Basis for Liberation. International Journal of Critical Psychology, 9 (pp. 61-74).