Social justice pedagogy within and beyond counselling education: Radical praxis towards liberatory healing
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The current socio-political climate presents a challenge to the existing mainstream orientation that we have in our counselling programs. Therefore, it is critical for the practice and discipline of counselling to adapt in order to effectively address the changing needs of society and attend to the connection between justice and wellness. This manuscript style thesis draws from theoretical frameworks grounded in critical and political pedagogy, inviting readers to challenge the hegemonic systems of counselling education and consider the importance of social justice principles. A review of the literature demonstrates evidence of the significance that a social justice orientation holds, which is followed by an outline of the essential components that comprise a social justice orientation. These components include an emphasis on cultivating an understanding of sociopolitical forces that create and maintain oppressive structures; a critical, social, analysis of power, dominant discourses and broader societal norms which continue to cause harm; social action and advocacy efforts; and critical self-reflection and evaluation of biases about human behavior in relation to sources of suffering. Lastly, recommendations are made for weaving a social justice orientation into counselling education to promote wellness and liberatory healing for all who seek counselling support.