© 2016

Cultural and Critical Explorations in Community Psychology

The Inner City Intern


Table of contents

About this book


This book engages the practice of community-based psychology through a critical lens in order in order to demonstrate that clinical practice and psychological assessment in particular, require more affirmative psychopolitical agency in the face of racial injustice within the urban environment. Macdonald includes examples of clinical case analyses, vignettes and ethnographic descriptions while also drawing upon a cross-fertilization of theoretical ideas and disciplines.  An oft neglected element of community psychology is the practice of community informed psychological assessment, especially within the inner city environments. This book uniquely suggests ideas for how clinical practice, in relationship to issues such as race and cultural memory can serve as a substantial vehicle for social justice against the backdrop of a prejudiced criminal justice system and mental health delivery system. 


community based psychology inner city race cultural memory psychopolitical

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology, Lesley UniversityCambridgeUSA

About the authors

Heather Macdonald is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Lesley University, USA. She came to academia after years of practice as a clinical psychologist whose work involved community outreach, child assessment, and individual therapeutic services to children and families in the foster care system and the juvenile justice system. Dr. Macdonald’s work in the inner cities and abroad has led to scholarly research on the interface between culture, social justice, relational ethics, clinical practice and post-colonial thought.

Bibliographic information


“Addressing key absences in the domains of both psychological assessment and community psychology, Macdonald offers a genuinely pathbreaking series of case studies and vignettes that enable us to re-conceptualize what psychological assessment and community psychology can become. This is a timely book, which, in its foregrounding of affirmative psychopolitical forms of agency, promises to re-energize and reinvigorate the field of a politically-aware community psychology.” (Derek Hook, Associate Professor of Psychology, Duquesne University, USA)

“Dr. Macdonald’s book is a very interesting deconstruction of the colonial discourse as a discourse of power as applied to the European-American psychological assessment tradition. Her book is of great interest for the clinician willing to enhance their cultural competence when practicing psychological assessment; for the scholar interested in social justice and oppression; and for the merely curious looking for an intellectually stimulating book on how assessing people’s minds can be contaminated by biases and prejudices in the evaluator’s own mind.” (Nicolae Dumitrascu, Clinical Testing Coordinator, Jesse Danielsen Institute, Boston University, USA)