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American Indian Clients and Non native Counselors

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  • American Indian Clients and Non native Counselors

    The First Minutes Act as an Overture for the Journey- An Exploration into a Non Native counselors First Session with an American Indian Client.

    For my MA Counselling dissertation at York St John University, UK, I am researching the dynamics of non native counsellors working with American Indian clients. Research suggests that the first counselling session is significant as over 50% of American Indian clients do not return for further sessions (Sue, 1977). I wish to research how we can provide a more sensitive counselling practice to American Indian clients by exploring the experiences, processes and reflections of non native counsellors first session by way of sentence stems, which participants can complete. By completing these stems your feedback will be included in my final project. No identification of any individual respondent will be made, just the reflections themselves. As a practicing counsellor I use the American Association of ethics and guidelines as a framework. A full Statement of Intent can be emailed to participants on request. For any questions and queries I can be contacted at [email protected]
    Many thanks for your time, any responses would be greatly valued, Laura Pritchard

    1) What I am trying to achieve with my American Indian client in the first session is…
    2) What I find is most helpful is….. Because…..
    3) What I find least helpful is….. Because…….
    4) I try to create a therapeutic relationship with an American Indian client in the first session by …..
    5) During my first session with an American Indian client I tend to feel…..

  • #2
    Well welcome to! I happen to be getting a M.S. here in the U.S. in counseling as an American Indian working with American Indians.

    First and foremost it is so important to establish respect. A non-Native American counselor should be non judgmental and come into a first session willing to be transparent.

    You should look up more current information on Native Americans (American Indians) in counseling. There is some good research out there that shows that counseling centers and treatment programs have better results when they are based in Native American traditions. A more culturally specific approach has been shown to work more effectively than approaches normed on the general 'white Anglo Saxon male' population.


    • #3
      Here are a few older references that might help:

      Allison, K.W.; et. al. (1994). Human diversity and professional competence: Training in clinical and counseling
      psychology revisited. American Psychologist, 49 (9), 792-796.

      Beauvois, F., and LaBoueff, S. (1985). Drug and alcohol abuse intervention in American Indian communities. International Journal of the Addictions, 20(1): 139-171.

      Bee-Gates, Donna; Howard-Pitney, Beth; LaFromboise, Teresa; Rowe, Wayne. (1996). Help-seeking behavior of Native American Indian high school students. Professional Psychology, Research and Practice, 27 (5), 495+.

      Bennett, Sandra K.; Big Foot-Sipes, Dolores. American Indian and Whites college students preferences for counselor characteristics. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 1991, 38:4. pp440-445.

      Big Foot-Sipes, D.S., Dauphinias, P., LaFromboise, T.D., Bennett, S.K., Rowe, W. (1992). American Indian secondary school students’ preferences for counselors. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development.
      20, pp113-122.

      Clark, Susan; Kelley, Susan, D.M. Traditional Native American values: Conflict or concordance in rehabilitation? Journal of Rehabilitation, April 1992, 58:2. pp23-29.

      Cook, D.A.; Helms, J.E. (1988). Visible racial/ethnic group supervisee’s satisfaction with cross-cultural supervision as predicted by relationship characteristics. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 35:3, pp268-274.

      Davidson, Karen L. (1992). A comparison of Native American and White students’ cognitive strengths as measured by the Kauffman Assessment Battery for Children. Roeper Review, 14 (3). p. 111-115.

      Dubray, W.H. (1985). American Indian values: Critical factors in casework. Social Casework. 66, pp30-37.

      Dufrene, P.M,. (1991). A comparison of the traditional education of Native American healers with the education of American art therapists. Art Therapy. 8, pp17-24.

      Dufrene, P.M. and Coleman, V.D. (1992). Counseling Native Americans: Guidelines for group processes. Journal for Specialists in Group Work. 17, 229-235.
      ------------(1994). Art and healing for Native American Indians. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development. 22, pp145-152.
      ------------(1994) Art therapy with Native American clients: Ethical and professional issues. Art Therapy: Journal
      of the American art therapy association. 11:3, pp191+

      Dykeman, C., Nelson, J.R., Appleton, V. Building strong working alliances with American Indian families. Social Work in Education. 17:3, pp148-158.

      Edwards, E.D.; Edwards, M.E. (1980). American Indians: Working with individuals and groups. Social Casework.61:8, pp498-506.

      Everett, F., Proctor, and Cartmell. (1989). Providing psychological services to American Indian children and families. In D.R. Atkinson, G. Morton, D.W. Sue (eds.), ¬Counseling American Minorities: A cross-cultural Perspective. Dubuque, IA: Brown. Pp53-71.

      Garrett, J.D., Garrett, M.W. The path of good medicine: Understanding and counseling Native Americans. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development. 22, pp134-144.

      Garrett, J.T.; Walkingstick Garrett, M. (1994). The path of good medicine: Understanding and counseling Native American Indians. Journal of Non-White Concerns in Personnel and Guidance. 22:3, pp134+.

      Gentry, Carole. (1991). Multi-cultural psychology: Training a new generation of professionals.” Winds of Change, 6, 4. pp146-149.

      Goodman, C.T.; Short, D. (1980). Working with American Indian parents: A cultural approach. Social Casework.61:8, pp472-475.

      Heinrich, Robert K., et. al. Counseling Native Americans. Journal of Counseling and Development, Nov/Dec 1990, vol. 69, pp128-133.

      Herring, Roger D. Understanding Native-American values: Process and content concerns for counselors. Counseling and Values, Jan. 1990, 34:2, pp134-137.
      ---------(1994). The use of humor as a counselor strategy with Native American Indian children. Elementary School Guidance and Counseling, 29, 67-77.

      Johnson, M.E., Lashley, K.H. Influence of Native Americans’ cultural commitment on preferences for counselor ethnicity and expectations about counseling. Journal of Multicultural counseling and development. 17:3,

      LaFromboise, Teresa D., et. al. Counseling intervention and American Indian tradition: An integrative approach. The Counseling Psychologist, Oct. 1990, 18:4, pp628-654.

      LaFromboise, T.D., Dauphinias, P., Rowe, W. (1980). Indian students’ perspectives of positive helper attributes. Journal of American Indian Education. 19:3, pp11-16.

      LaFromboise, T.D., Dixon, D.N. (1981). American Indian perceptions of trustworthiness in a counseling interview. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 28, pp250-257.

      Manson, S.M.; Walker, R.D.; Kivlahan, D.R. (1987). Psychiatric assessment and treatment of American Indian and Alaska Native youth. Hospital and Community Psychology, 38, 165-173.

      Marshall, C.; Martin, W.; Thomason, T.; Johnson, M. (1991). Multicultural and rehabilitation training: Recommendations for providing culturally-appropriate counseling services to American Indians with disabilities. Journal of Counseling and Development, 70(1): 225-234.

      Matheson, Lou. (1996). Valuing spirituality among Native American populations. Counseling and Values, 41 (1). p. 51-59.

      Mihesuah, Devon A. Suggested guidelines for institutions with scholars who conduct research on American Indians. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, 1993, 17:3, pp131-139.

      Moody, Joy. (1995). Art therapy: Bridging barriers with Native American clients. Art therapy: Journal of the American art therapy association. 12:4, pp220-226.

      More, A.J. (1989). Native Indian learning styles: A review for researchers and teachers. Journal of American Indian Education. Special issue, August. pp15-28.

      Myers, W.M.D. (1987). Cross-cultural medicine. Behavioral Sciences Exchange. 8, pp113-119.

      Orlansky, M.D., Trapp, J.J. (1987). Working with Native American persons: Issues in facilitating communication and providing culturally relevant services. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness. 81, pp151-155.

      Ritche, Martin H. (1994). Cultural and gender biases in definitions of mental and emotional health and illness. Counselor Education and Supervision, 33(4):

      Roetnberg, K.J., Cerda, C. Racially based trust expectancies of Native American and Caucasian children. Journal of Social Psychology, 134:5, pp621-631.

      Sue, Derald Wing. Counseling the Culturally Different: Theory and Practice. John Wiley and Sons, New York. 1981.

      Thomason, T.C. Counseling Native Americans: An introduction for non-Native American counselors. Counseling and Development, March/April 1991, 69:4, pp321-328.

      Trimble, J.E. (1987). American Indians and interethnic conflict. In Boucher, J.; Landis, D.; Clark, K. (Eds.). Interethnic Conflict: International Perspectives. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. 208-230.
      -----(1987). Self-perception and perceived alienation among American Indians. Journal of Community Psychology, 15, 316-337.
      -----; Fleming, C. (1989). Providing counseling services for Native American Indians: Client, counselor, and community characteristics. In Pedersen, P.; Draguns, J.; Lonner, W.; Timble, J. (Eds.). Counseling Across Cultures. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

      Tyler, John D. & Suan, Lance V. (1990). Mental health values differences between Native American and Caucasian American college students. Journal of Rural Community Psychology, 11 (2). P. 17-29.

      Wasinger, Louise. The value-system of the Native American counseling client: An exploration. American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 1993, 17:4, pp91-98.

      Williams, E.E. and Ellison, F. (1996). Culturally-informed social work practice with American Indian clients: Guidelines for non-Indian social workers. Social Work. 41:2, pp147-151.

      Those are just a few. I am an LCSW Ojibway in Oklahoma, and have these and hundreds of other research papers in binders. If you need my full bibliography (which is mostly late-1990's data), please don't hesitate to ask:

      smokinghawk @ mail (dot) com
      Use the subject line "Native American counseling" so I'll notice it.


      • #4
        Also good are some articles by Don Coyhis.


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