Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing: implications for a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy framework

Kilcullen, Meegan, Swinbourne, Anne, and Cadet-James, Yvonne (2016) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing: implications for a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy framework. Australian Psychologist, 51 (6). pp. 453-462.

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Objective: It has been acknowledged that the mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has been 'bedeviled' by the inappropriate application of non-Indigenous models of mental health. To enhance Indigenous health and wellbeing it is necessary for non-Indigenous practitioners to find a culturally safe way to enter the negotiated space of cross-cultural mental health. This will be facilitated through understanding both the points of similarity and divergence in perspectives of mental health across cultur's. The current study aimed to explore urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s understandings of mental health using a Social Emotional Wellbeing and Cognitive Behavioural framework.

Method: A qualitative research project was conducted with a sample of 19 Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people. Data was collected via individual semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Thematic analysis was conducted to identify themes within the data.

Results: Qualitative: Four themes emerged as reflecting health and wellbeing – coping skills, knowledge, social support, and connectedness. The theme of connectedness to country, family and kinship, cultural knowledge and social networks emerged as reflecting a unique contribution to Indigenous health and wellbeing. However, the themes of coping skills, knowledge and social support shared cross-cultural meaning. In particular, coping skills identified in the behavioural, emotional and cognitive domains shared many cross-culturally applicable avenues for intervention.

Conclusions: Therapeutic interventions in these domains are already well established within cognitive behaviour therapies. Cross-cultural understandings within these themes offer clinicians a culturally safe avenue for supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.

Item ID: 41220
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1742-9544
Keywords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander; mental health wellbeing; CBT; SEWB; cross-cultural psychology; cultural competence
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2016 04:16
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 100%
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