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Curtin University of Technology
Building Mental Wealth Building Mental Wealth
Untitled Document

James McCloy

Towards a cross-cultural psychotherapeutic framework for Psychologists working with Western Australian Aboriginal people

The proposed research aims to explore/develop applied methodologies for intervention with Indigenous clients to assist in delivery of culturally appropriate therapeutic interventions. Using qualitative methodology, the proposed study will examine Aboriginals' views pertaining to Non Aboriginal psychology service provision in the areas of PTSD, grief and depression, Non Aboriginal practitioner's experience of working effectively with Aboriginal people in these areas and the skills and knowledge required so that Non Aboriginal psychological service providers can be more culturally appropriate in the services which they provide. The information gathered will be used to build a psychotherapeutic model or framework specifically designed for Aboriginal people. The development of a process framework or guide for practitioners intending to work with Aboriginal clients will avoid a lot of the confusion and uncertainty felt by non-Aboriginal therapists. Using such a guide may provide a foundation for more successful interventions and allow therapists to grow in confidence and experience.

Objectives There are several objectives of this study:

1. Investigate and describe culturally appropriate mental health interventions inherent in Aboriginal communities in terms of Western healing.

2. Investigate and describe the techniques/theoretical approaches used in treatment by Non Aboriginal practitioners of rural and urban Aboriginals, specifically focusing on PSTD, grief and loss and depression, given their impact on Indigenous mental health as described above.

3. Explore and describe a culturally appropriate process of intervention suggested by the Aboriginal people (from the target population) for Non Aboriginal mental health practitioners