Culturally Sensitive Counseling for Native Americans

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Running Head: Culturally Sensitive Counseling for Native Americans

Culturally Sensitive Counseling for Native Americans
Catherine D. Dunn
PSYD 8180 OL, SYSTEMS OF PSYCHPTHERAPHY
Course Instructor: Denise Scatena, Ph.D
May 21, 2010

ABSTRACT
Historical trauma is defined as an aggregate of emotional and psychological wounding over the lifespan and across generations, emanating from massive group trauma and continues to impacts the group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_trauma). In the case, of Native Americans, which is due to their historical treatment by the United States’ federal government, such traumas may include the legacies of boarding schools, massacres, and forced relocation. Psychologist should, therefore, be aware of, and respect, the cultural, individual, and role differences of their clients. Psychologist must consider these factors when working with members of such groups (Cory, Cory & Callanan, 2009). My main objective has been, identifying the cultural standards and skills, which are necessary in providing culturally sensitive counseling services to Native Americans who have experienced historical trauma. First, I consider a brief history of Native Americans and the impact of trauma for Native Americans. Second, I discussed the stereotypical images of Native American’s that have been perpetuated continuously. Third, I provided an overview of Native American diversity and identify factors that have impacted Native American’s culturally and traditionally where trauma is involved. Fourth, I identified specific cultural issues that should be considered when applying CBT therapy when the treatment of Native Americans is involved. Lastly, I examined the current therapies germane to Native Americans and the impact of such therapies. The results are that when providing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Native Americans, the collective, spiritual, and traditional values of the culture need to be understood.

According to the APA Ethics Code Standard 2.01b, Boundaries of Competence, psychologists need to have knowledge of their client’s cultures and be able to demonstrate competence in the provision of services that are sensitive to those clients’ cultures (Pope & Vasquez, 2007). Psychologist should thus be aware of, and respect, the cultural, individual, and role differences of their clients. Some of the key parameters might include age, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status. Psychologist must consider these factors when working with members of such groups (Cory, Cory & Callanan, 2009). The purpose of my paper will be to identify cultural standards and skills, which are necessary in delivering culturally sensitive counseling services to Native Americans who have experienced historical trauma. Historical trauma is defined as a cumulative of emotional and psychological wounding over the lifespan and across generations, emanating from massive group trauma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_trauma). For the purpose of this paper, I am interested in exploring Native Americans trauma, which was in direst result of the historical treatment by the United States’ federal government, which includes the legacies of boarding schools, massacres, and forced relocation. My first goal will be to consider a brief history of Native Americans and the impact of trauma for Native Americans. Second, I will discuss the stereotypical images of Native American’s that have been perpetuated continuously. Third, I will provide an overview of Native American diversity and identify factors that have impacted Native American’s culturally and traditionally where trauma is involved. Fourth, I want to identify specific cultural issues that should be considered when applying CBT therapies for the treatment of Native Americans seeking therapy. Lastly, I will examine the current therapies germane to Native...
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