A Gathering of Native American Healers: Exploring the Interface of Indigenous Tradition and Professional Practice
Authors: Virgil D. Moorehead Jr., Joseph P. Gone, Damia December
Publication Year: 2015
Journal: American Journal of Community Psychology
Keywords: Cultural Sensitivity and Appropriateness; Mental and Behavioral Health; Psychology; Traditional Healing; Multicultural Counseling; Alternative Medicine
Short Abstract: This article reports insights from a 4-day Gathering of Native American Healers at the University of Michigan in October of 2010.
Abstract: This article reports insights from a 4-day Gathering of Native American Healers at the University of Michigan in October of 2010. This event convened 18 traditional healers, clinically trained service providers, and cross-cultural mental health researchers for a structured group dialogue to advance professional knowledge about the integration of Indigenous healing practices and conventional mental health treatments in community-based mental health services for Native Americans. Our thematic analysis of transcripts from five Roundtable sessions afforded several key insights and understandings pertaining to the integration of Indigenous healing and conventional mental health services. First, with reference to traditional healing, the importance of a rampant relationality, various personal qualities, Indigenous spirituality, and maintenance of traditional life and culture were accentuated by Roundtable participants. Second, for traditional healers to practice effectively, Roundtable participants posited that these individuals must maintain personal wellness, cultivate profound knowledge of healing practices, recognize the intrinsic healing potential within all human beings, and work for the community rather than themselves. In speaking to the possibilities and challenges of collaboration between Indigenous and conventional biomedical therapeutic approaches, Roundtable participants recommended the implementation of cultural programming, the observance of mutuality and respect, the importance of clear and honest communication, and the need for awareness of cultural differences as unique challenges that must be collaboratively overcome.
Source: Link to Original Article.
Type of Resource: Peer-reviewed scientific article