1st Edition

The Healing Power of Community Mutual Aid, AIDS, and Social Transformation in Psychology

    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Healing Power of Community offers a diverse cross section of interdisciplinary and depth-psychological perspectives in support of using mutual aid approaches in all levels of group and community practice as a remedy for individualism and social and political divisions, centering social justice.


    Written by three distinct voices who collaborated at the height of the AIDS crisis, the book begins with an autoethnographic study of Project Quest, an HIV/AIDS clinic established in 1989, before looking at how the lessons learnt from this clinic can be applied to our current global mental health climate. Filled with clinical and theoretical applications, chapters include content on what mutual aid communities are, rethinking professionalism and boundaries in a crisis, healing collective trauma, group psychotherapy, psychodrama, depth psychology, and how mental health professionals can support radical change of key structures in nonprofit clinics, public administration, private practice, and research. Arguing for their approach of radicalizing mental health and community-based practice today, the book examines how this can be achieved by moving beyond individual-level approaches, creating new frameworks to meet the mental health needs of our era in creative ways.


    This book is designed to engage clinical social workers and mental health care clinicians working in community-based mental health, as well as those involved in community psychology, collective trauma and grief, HIV/AIDS advocacy, policy making, and political advocacy.

    Foreward by John Olesen


    Robin McCoy Brooks, Graham Harriman, Lusijah Marx

    PART I: Scientific, Activist, Historic and Psychological Roots of Mutual Aid      

    1. Scientific Perspectives of Mutual Aid & Survival Activism

    Robin McCoy Brooks

    2. A Brief History of Mutual-aid Movements

    Robin McCoy Brooks

    3. Luminaries of Group and Community Psychology

    Robin McCoy Brooks

    PART II: The Quest Story

    4. Project Quest’s Story

    Lusijah Marx

    5. Rethinking of Boundaries and Professionalism During a Crisis

    Graham Harriman

    6.  Group Psychotherapy, Psychodrama and Community Building

    Robin McCoy Brooks

    PART III: Re-visioning the Non-profit Clinic, Public Program Administration &

    Depth Psychology in Psychology

    7. Re-visioning The Non-Profit

     Lusijah Marx

    8. Community Empowerment in Public Program Administration.

     Graham Harriman

     9.  Contemporary Applications of Jung’s Method of Active Imagination in Activist   Arts-based Research and Psychodrama

    Robin McCoy Brooks



    Lusijah Marx is a nurse, clinical psychologist, and psychedelic facilitator in Portland, OR. She co-founded the Quest Center for Integrative Health Care, a wellness-based healthcare nonprofit, and founded Radiance Integrative Health and Wellness.


    Graham Harriman is a long-term survivor of HIV, a psychotherapist, and Chair of the CAEAR Coalition. Most recently he also served as the Director of the HIV Health and Human Services Planning Council of New York at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.


    Robin McCoy Brooks is a Jungian analyst, nationally certified Trainer, Educator, and Practitioner of group psychotherapy, sociometry and psychodrama, and author of Psychoanalysis, Catastrophe & Social Change (2022), winner of the “best book” award by the International Association for Jungian Studies.

    “Powerful, necessary, rejuvenating, and optimistic, this book delves into the ancient past as well as the emerging psychosocial field to explore ‘mutual aid’ as a proven archetypal social form oriented against oppressive hierarchy. Using the previously untold story of a successful mind-body response to the AIDS crisis, the authors joyfully demonstrate that mutual aid communities can be a decolonizing, empowering, psychodynamic, and artistic pathway to better lives.”

     Susan Rowland (PhD) teaches at Pacifica Graduate Institute and is author with Joel Weishaus of Jungian Arts-based Research and the Nuclear Enchantment of New Mexico (2021)

    The Healing Power of Community concretizes the authors’ collective wisdom emerging from their shared dedication to empowerment and meaning-making through community suffering and solidarity. The spirit of their work during the AIDS crisis is enriched with theory, history, arts-based research, and practical guidance from psychodrama, mutual aid practices, liberation psychology, and Jungian analysis. An essential resource for anti-oppressive practitioners working with groups and communities."

    Scott Giacomucci, DSW, LCSW, BCD, CGP, FAAETS, TEP, Director, Phoenix Center for Experiential Trauma Therapy; Author of Social Work, Sociometry, & Psychodrama (2021) and Trauma-Informed Principles in Group Therapy, Psychodrama, & Organizations (2023).


    The Healing Power of Community is not just an inspirational or informative resource, but a triumphant and urgent call for each of us to join together around our mutual concerns and to actively participate in the creation of a new consciousness!”

    Nora Swan-Foster, Jungian Analyst, art therapist, former North American Editor of the Journal of Analytical Psychology, and author of Jungian Art Therapy and Art Therapy and Childbearing Issues.

    “The connection of humanity contains our social suffering and facilitates transitions of collective darkness into the group healing process. This book not only demonstrates different ways of mutual aid for group healing but also bridges possible methods of applying psychodrama and depth psychology for improving social justice.”

    Siyat Ulon, MD, TEP Director of American Board of Examiners of Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy.



    “The invincible courage to sustain a loving community in the time of AIDS is extraordinary. For me, it is deeply personal since I was working among healing physicians at San Francisco General Hospital in the 1980s. As these pandemics continue, it remains personal and this community's story of unshakable compassion is more important to share widely than ever.”

    Molly Osborne is an M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, OHSU, former OHSU Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Integrated Ethics Program Officer Portland VA Hospital



    “The authors offer a remarkable integration of experience, psychology, and politics from the dark years of the AIDS crisis. It is rare to read records of groups from that time, and the authors offer powerful ways to bring their meanings forward into our present.”
    Paul Attinello, PhD, Jungian analyst, HIV/AIDS scholar



    “The notion of humankind is marked by this book:  Human Kind.  It is the activity of human kind(ness) that must be realized now; if we are to survive.  This book will offer a warm and kind, a caring and loving, a realistic and an optimistic path – a welcomed document long overdue and right on time.”

    Edward Schreiber, TEP, Director, Zerka Foundation, Amherst, MA