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New eBook Brings Community Psychology to Life in the Classroom

Stories | 03.21.22

When teaching her clinical psychology students in Chicago about community psychology practice, Geraldine Palmer, Ph.D., noticed there was no seminal handbook dedicated to case studies in community psychology practice. While traditional textbooks have a multitude of theories, she saw the need for real examples of community psychology in action. As an experienced community psychologist herself, she decided to make one of her own.

Case Studies in Community Psychology Practice: A Global Lens provides readers with theories and lived experiences from community psychologists practicing worldwide.

“A big part of community psychology is the practice within the community. There was no dedicated case studies book on practice. It’s the first of its kind,” said Palmer, an assistant professor with Adler University’s Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology program. “Traditional academic publishing also often minimizes the voices of people of color, which is why it was important for me to ensure at least half of the book’s contributors were BIPOC.”

Clinical psychology often looks at the individual, whereas community psychology examines an individual’s relationship with their community and institutions, such as their family, school, or neighborhood.

From homelessness in Hawaii to art empowerment on Chicago’s South Side to youth conflicts in Lebanon, chapters highlight a unique story within a specific population, speaking to the world’s diverse problems and solutions today. Each study is rooted in liberation, intersectionality, and diversity, as community psychologists must provide care without reinjuring the population they serve.

“One of the core values of community psychology is not just going into a community to ‘save it,’ but going there to help foster resilience in the community that’s already there. These stories bring that forward.”

After piloting the eBook last fall and receiving positive student responses, Palmer formally introduced it into her Adler curriculum. It is now available online and accessible to all readers.

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