Liberation Psychology

Liberation Psychology as
a Resource for Child Psychiatrists

Carol L. Kessler, MD, MDiv
I first encountered Ignacio Martín-Baró’s liberation psychology when I volunteered for the Salvadoran Archdiocese Health Project in 1987. At the time, physicians working with the poor in El Salvador were persecuted. Aesculapius International Medicine, a small non-profit organization, responded to the Salvadoran Archdiocese’s request for health professionals who would be less likely targets of dollar-backed bullets. We would travel to towns in conflict zones to teach volunteers to diagnose and treat the most common diseases. Poor survivors in remote areas became health promoters for their neighbors. Seeds of liberation were sown.