Liberatory praxis alongside elders
Castro, M. 2015. Liberatory praxis alongside elders. in: Afuape, Taiwo and Hughes, Gillian (ed.) Liberation Practices: Towards Emotional Wellbeing Through Dialogue Routledge.
|Afuape, Taiwo and Hughes, Gillian
Liberatory praxis is often associated with high levels of activity or activism, in turn associated with younger generations; the underlying (and mistaken) assumption being that ‘older people’ do not have the energy or level of activity necessary to make social changes. In the UK, liberatory praxis has not focused specifically on older generations. This chapter will provide an overview and include stories of liberatory praxis alongside elders. The chapter has been constructed from numerous dialogues I had over seven years working as a clinical psychologist in the National Health Service (NHS) alongside elders who came into contact with older people’s mental health, social services and voluntary organisations. It is also the result of dialogues and joint teaching over the last five years with Joyce Mangan (now eighty), with whom I had therapeutic conversations in 2004. Joyce later became a consultant to services and educator, from primary school to doctorate level. Although Joyce’s current caring role has not allowed involvement as co-writer, we discussed an earlier draft of the chapter and this final form includes her invaluable contributions. In the act of writing, I am in dialogue with myself, holding in mind the voices of elders in my personal life too. I also hope that in reading, you, the reader, will enter into a dialogue with me, rather than take my statements as final or truth. I think these dialogues, highly enriching and transporting, have been made possible by actively positioning myself alongside elders who accessed help (and their family, friends and carers), so that I was not a helper but, as Joyce says, ‘a friend’ in solidarity. ‘I am thinking of a solidarity that is constructed by therapists who refuse to draw a sharp distinction between their lives and the lives of others, who refuse to marginalise those persons who seek help’ (White 1993; p. 132). Or, as Martín Baró wrote, one more among the people: ‘Socioeconomically, the people is those who accept the other and seek to become the other. Politically, the people is those who are open to the other. Historically, the people is those who look for and struggle for the other’ (1994; p. 183, my emphasis). I will return to these ideas, as they form the basis for liberatory praxis alongside elders.
|Liberation Practices: Towards Emotional Wellbeing Through Dialogue
|27 Nov 2015
|Publication process dates
|06 Dec 2018
|Web address (URL)
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