Social Justice in Clinical Practice: A Liberation Health Framework for Social Work was initially conceived three years ago, when editor Dawn Belkin Martinez was contacted about making a textbook alternative to introductory social work texts. Designed to be used as both a textbook for the classroom and a guidebook for clinical activists out in the field, Social Justice in Clinical Practice is written from the point of view that inattention to the sociopolitical contexts of the problems for which clients present can exacerbate the very conditions clients come to therapy to address. Theory is blended with concrete practice wisdom to develop a guide for readers who are looking for a new way of practicing that challenges the dominant paradigm of pathologization, stigma and systemic oppression.

Within this text, readers will be introduced to the works of educator Paulo Freire and psychologist Ignacio Martin-Baro. Consistent with Martin-Baro’s emphasis on rescuing the historical memory of change, readers will learn how the stories of iconic activist movements such as ACT UP and The Black Panthers can be incorporated into therapy sessions to challenge the idea that “things have always been this way” or that “change is impossible”.

Composed by seasoned clinicians, professors and practitioners,  this book reflects a broad range of approaches for applying the Liberation Health Framework.



Dawn Belkin Martinez, PhD, LICSW, is Lecturer in Clinical Practice at the Boston University School of Social Work, USA and formerly an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  Along with her colleague Ann Fleck Henderson, she is the editor of the book ” Social Justice in Clinical Practice: A Liberation Health Framework for Social Work, published in 2014 by Routledge.    Dawn is one of the founding members of the Boston Liberation Health Group and gives presentations locally, nationally, and internationally about her work with immigrant families, liberation health theory and practice, and social justice.

Ann Fleck Henderson, PhD, LICSW, is a Professor emerita at Simmons College School of Social Work, Retired 2010. Ann has been a Consultant to Futures Without Violence and is a founding member of the Massachusetts NASW Committee on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Ann has formerly been (at different times) a clinical social worker, counseling psychologist, and clinical supervisor at Harvard University and Cambridge Health Alliance.


Estela Pérez Bustillo, LICSW has served a diverse immigrant population in health care settings throughout Greater Boston for 25 years as a clinical social worker. Previously, while living in Los Angeles County, she specialized in counseling at-risk children and families in the child welfare system and at a child guidance clinic. Colombian-born and raised in New York City, she has also lived in Salvador, Brazil, where she taught at the graduate school of social work and more recently, at Boston University.

Liana Buccieri, LICSW, has worked as a social worker in Boston since 2007 when she graduated from Simmons School of Social Work with a Master’s in Clinical Social Work. She has counseled students of all ages in several Boston Public Schools, and worked for six years as an addictions counselor and general therapist in two urban community health centers. She currently works as a therapist with college students at Boston University. Regardless of the work setting, Liana is always interested in the intersection of social justice activism and clinical work.

Chloe Frankel, LCSW, is a graduate of Simmons College School of Social Work and a practicing clinician in the greater Boston area. She has worked at the intersection of mental health counseling and advocacy in home-based services, hospitals, psychiatric treatment centers, homeless shelters, jails, and courtrooms. She currently works with court-involved adults as a Social Services Advocate in the Boston Public Defenders office.

Jessica Kant, LICSW is a clinical social worker in Boston, Massachusetts. She uses a combination of family, group and individual modalities and draws from a range of liberatory theoretical perspectives. She believes that good social work practice at its core is found at the intersection of therapy and social justice.

Zack Osheroff, MSW, is a graduate of Brandeis University and Simmons Graduate School of Social Work. Zack is a lifelong student of social justice movements and is a committed activist. He currently works with high risk, underserved youth in Boston.

Jackie Savage-Borne, LICSW is the Hospital Program Manager at Passageway at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she has been providing services to survivors of domestic violence since 1999. Jackie currently supervises, trains and clinically oversees a staff of Advocates, and additionally directs the program’s graduate internship program. Jackie served has served as Chair of the Massachusetts NASW Chapter of the Committee on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault since 2000. As part of that Committee’s work, she was a lead author on a comprehensive web-based training program that is now a required part of curriculum in several graduate schools of social work, police stations and other community settings serving survivors of abuse nationwide. Jackie is a graduate of the Boston University School of Social Work.

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