Community Psychology

In Pursuit of Liberation and Well-Being

by Geoffrey Nelson and Isaac Prilleltensky

Chapter 6: Accountability, Commitment, and Inclusion

Table 6.a

Challenges to Commitment and Ethical Action in Professionals Working in a Child Guidance Clinic

Sources of Negative Processes

Negative Processes

Challenges to Commitment to Values

Positive Processes

Sources of Positive Processes

Competing definitions of:

Who is the client?

What is good for the client?

Who controls clinicians' jobs?

Systemic entanglements among worker, unit, clinic, school, and family

Working in interlocking Systems

Effective collaboration

among systems

Dialogue regarding:

Clear expectations

Mutual respect

Role clarification

Pre-referral consultation

No team building

No support for showing weaknesses

Job insecurity

Poor physical conditions

Climate of isolation and insecurity

Meeting workers' needs

Climate of safety and support

Team building

Peer support

Support from supervisors

Proper space

Mind-fix vs system fix mentality

Threat to the status quo

Pressure to comply

Dealing with pressure to acquiesce to status quo

Ability to challenge system

Support from colleagues and superiors

Good relations with schools

Need for labels for placements

Need for labels to psychologize problems

Pressure to label

Dealing with pressure to label children and youth

Ability to assess without stigmatizing

Less emphasis on labels

Understanding negative effects of labelling

Belief in expert model

Restrictive orientation

Need for power and control

Professional arrogance

Facing the perils of professionalism

Professional humility

Inclusive orientation

Collaborative approach

Lack of sensitive to diversity

Racial and patriarchal biases


Facing racial and gender discrimination


Awareness of discrimination

Commitment to equality

Giving-in to pressure to be in schools

No time for proper service and reflection

Finding time and space for reflection and accountability

Time for proper service and reflection

Commitment to unit meetings and peer consultation

Adapted from Prilleltensky, Walsh-Bowers and Rossiter (1999)