Author(s): Gone JP
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Abstract Nineteen staff and clients in a Native American healing lodge were interviewed regarding the therapeutic approach used to address the legacy of Native American historical trauma. On the basis of thematic content analysis of interviews, 4 components of healing discourse emerged. First, clients were understood by their counselors to carry pain, leading to adult dysfunction, including substance abuse. Second, counselors believed that such pain must be confessed in order to purge its deleterious influence. Third, the cathartic expression of such pain was said by counselors to inaugurate lifelong habits of introspection and self-improvement. Finally, this healing journey entailed a reclamation of indigenous heritage, identity, and spirituality that program staff thought would neutralize the pathogenic effects of colonization. Consideration of this healing discourse suggests that one important way for psychologists to bridge evidence-based and culturally sensitive treatment paradigms is to partner with indigenous programs in the exploration of locally determined therapeutic outcomes for existing culturally sensitive interventions that are maximally responsive to community needs and interests.
This article was published in J Consult Clin Psychol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy