9.2 essay on Chapter 12 Native Clients
Dr. Yellow Horse Brave heart talks extensively about how Native Clients can be misunderstood and their behaviors misdiagnosed. Much of their behaviors which are not understood by the dominant culture, have significance due to trauma they have endured as a group. Their reverent affect is a symptom of grieving brought on by oppression and abuse throughout the generations. The group shares each other’s grievances for generations and interdependent of each other. The “boarding school era” is a traumatic episode in Native history where children were taken from their homes and placed in residential schools; experiencing physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. They were incarcerated, starved, and isolated. The children learned to distance themselves from the abuse, therefore developing the stunted affect inherent in abuse victims. The Native people are so connected to each other that they consider up to 7 generations before they make decisions that will affect the community. They are connected to their spirituality and the spirits present around them, nature (oyate) and the objects present, the animals, and definitely each other. If these differences are not respected and a clinician attempts to diagnose and treat a Native client in the same traditional manner accepted among the dominant culture, a client can be misdiagnosed and termed as dysfunctional. Their interdependence can and should be seen as a strength and yet can be misinterpreted as co-dependence. They are taught to support and encourage each other without interfering and yet this could be seen as enablement. Their spiritual manifestations can be seen as having hallucinations and or delusions. These kinds of cultural distinctions are not only among the Native population, but some similarities are seen among the Jewish population due to the genocide and abuse in their history. As an example, Ruth has two reasons for developing PTSD...
References: Fong and Furuto, Culturally Competent Practice
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