Worldviews and Therapy

This paper will describe the issues unique to Native Americans; explain the relationship between the worldview of its members and their current perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors, explain the implications of these issues when working with someone from that group in counseling/therapy, and if any issues touch on specific worldviews, perceptions, attitudes, etc. that present specific challenges.

Worldviews and Therapy
Alcoholism and co morbidity is signs of psychopathological distress among adults on many Native American reservations.   Traditional societies did not have the modern drug and alcohol problems they face now. Therefore, it is important to establish the context of the issue of drug and alcohol abuse. Socio-economic factors, resulting in the encroachment and eventual destruction and even extinction of native cultures have produced the symptomatic self-destructive acting out of native populations (Poupart, 2003).
The Flathead tribe experience is in accord with the experiences of the tribes of the Great Plains.   The men were hunters and the women the gatherers and artisans; both genders participated in child rearing. Their religious practices were (and still are) tied to Mother Earth and sacred lands. Role status was assigned through sacred rites (for example Vision Quest) and other sacred signs such as the gathering of a Medicine Bundle and animal totems (Poupart, 2003).
With the encroachment of the “white man”, the means for determining and enacting social roles were destroyed.   Native men have lost their masculine role as hunter and racism has furthered that emasculation, as most Native men do not have the opportunity to obtain honorable employment that would support their family. Unemployment on the reservations often stands at ninety percent (Poupart, 2003).
After killing many Natives with small pox infected blankets, the United State government launched various systematic campaigns; one was the introduction of...