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The Therapist as Advocate: Anti-Oppression Advocacy in Psychological Practice


Please address correspondence to: Alisha Ali, Dept. of Applied Psychology, New York University, 246 Greene St., New York, NY, 10003. E-mail:


In this article, we present an approach entitled Anti-Oppression Advocacy (AOA) as a means of addressing poverty in a psychotherapeutic context. AOA is an integrative approach designed to meet two goals that we argue to be closely inter-related: therapeutic change, and economic justice. In AOA, the practitioner is expected to act as an advocate and to encourage clients themselves to engage in some form of social justice action. We provide a case example of using AOA in a shelter for homeless survivors of domestic violence. We also discuss some of the challenges involved in implementing the AOA approach.