Grasping and Transforming the Embodied Experience of Oppression

This paper introduces an interdisciplinary approach to diversity and anti-oppression work grounded in research and designed for use by social workers, counselors, educators, and other human service professionals. Comprising a conceptual framework and a model of practice, this approach integrates key findings from education, psychology, and embodiment studies while addressing critical gaps in how these fields have understood and responded to issues of social justice. The approach has evolved from my work as a somatic psychotherapist and movement educator, and been informed by the research colleagues and I have conducted into the embodied experience of oppression (Johnson, 2009; Johnson & Caldwell, 2010).

The ideas that form the basis of the approach have existed for many years, as have the practices these ideas have generated. They reach back at least as far as the early American educator John Dewey and th

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