PSY114 workbook entries

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Workbook Entries

Workbook entry 1

One of the major psychological impacts of colonization is transgenerational trauma. Transgenerational trauma refers to the kind of trauma that is passed from one generation to another if the same trauma has not been resolved within one generation before it transfers to the next. There are many effects of transformational trauma and are passed on to the next generation if not resolved. Many of the problems faced by families and communities within the society are directly related to this nature of trauma. Each generation that fails to deal with the effects of transgenerational trauma merely passes to the next generation and so on up to the time when the problems are solved (Robertson, 2016).

One major aspect in the society whose effects have led to transformational trauma is colonization. Colonization took place several years ago and impacted on the lives of people both positively and negatively. Some of the negative effects of colonization have never been solved and exists even up to today, hence transformational trauma. Across the world today, many conflicts found in areas that were colonized by the Soviet powers or the Western Europe are as a result of transformational trauma(Kirmayer et al., 2014). Also, in Australia, for instance, indigenous people continue to experience trauma due to colonization. Some of the effects of colonization that cause trauma to people even up to today include loss of culture, land, associated violence as well as other policies such as forced removal of children. In many indigenous communities, such kinds of trauma continues to be passed from one generation to another with the devastating effects. One major effect of colonization is loss of local culture characterized by the adoption of foreign cultures and this continues to be felt even today. Many communities lost their culture and adopted the cultures of countries that colonized them. Up to today, most of these communities still cling on to these foreign cultures, most of which have devastating effects to religion, for example (Robertson, 2016; Kirmayer et al., 2014).

Research indicates that people who experience trauma tend to engage themselves in behaviors that are self-destructive that may even take them to the criminal justice systems. Also, trauma as a result of colonization, causes life-style diseases that still affect people even today. The high rates of poor physical health among people in the society as well as mental health problems, domestic violence, addiction, self-harm and suicide of indigenous cultures and communities are directly related to trauma as a result of the effects of colonization. For example, adoption of new forms of technology came along with colonization and this has made children of tender ages engage themselves in destructive behaviors as a result of technology such as the internet. For instance, in Africa, many communities experience trauma caused by the behaviors of children who adopted western cultures and this has created a society that is vulnerable to immorality (Robertson, 2016).

Colonization brought self-destructive behaviors that are still felt in today’s communities and have caused a lot of enmity among them. Domestic violence as well as violence towards won or other communities, also forms the basis of the effects of colonization. Such effects are still felt today and continue to inflict trauma to the people affected. Such trauma continues to be transferred from one generation to another and this is expected to continue to the next generations (Kirmayer et al., 2014).

Workbook entry 2

The Healing Foundation came into existence after colonization whereby people within the colonized nations were faced with unresolved trauma, which continues to be passed on from one generation to another. This organization came so as to help the people affected by colonization to heal as well as connect them back to their culture, spirit and philosophy. It is basically a national Aboriginal and a Torres Strait Islander organization that focuses on rebuilding the community into a strong community in terms of culture as well as offer healing solutions to people affected bytransgenerational trauma. This organization partners with other organizations in designing and delivering programs for healing for the benefit of communities (Healing Foundation, 2016).

In conjunction with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the Healing Foundation is involved in various activities and programs that work to help the community regain their lost cultures as well as offer healing solutions to people affected by transgenerational trauma. The organization works in conjunction with members from the stolen generations in creating healing responses. Also, it supports children and the youth, together with their close families in improving the emotional and social well-being. The Healing Foundation also partners with other organization in building the capacity and leadership of communities in response to trauma through incentives based on training and education. The organization develops practices for indigenous healing as well as sharing relevant information with communities, governmental and non-governmental organizations within Australia(Healing Foundation, 2016).

The Healing Foundation addresses grief and loss through its vision, which concentrates on supporting the community through the process of healing from transgenerational trauma. It allows the community to take control of their own healing through the provision of healing programs done in conjunction with other governmental and non-governmental organizations. It suggests national agenda on healing as well as the creation of partnerships based on several plans for the benefit of those peoples affected by transgenerational trauma. Essentially, the organization helps to address grief and loss to the people affected through giving them the support they require. People affected by grief need to be emotionally comforted and this is executed by the Healing Foundation. Also, the organization visits the affected communities and offers them the support they require (Healing Foundation, 2016).

The Healing Foundation promotes healing through giving social, cultural, emotional, and spiritual as well as the physical well-being of communities affected by transgenerational trauma. In the past, the Healing Foundation has been involved in effective healing programs that have positively impacted on individual families and communities in the aspects of identity and self-worth. What shows that the healing programs by the organization have had positive impacts are the aspects of health status and disparities. Also, positive impacts are also indicated by knowledge and skills acquired by members of the community as well as the development of individual, family and community capacity. Providing the relevant knowledge through training and education forms the basis of how this organization promotes healing. Also, people suffering from trauma need to be supported emotionally and this is part of the work done by the Healing Foundation (Healing Foundation, 2016).

Workbook entry 3

Having the attitude that ‘people are just people’ may have serious problems when a psychologist is dealing with indigenous people. The meaning in this quote is that whenever you are interacting with other people, you tend to perceive all people as equal and chances are that this will bring out problems when interacting with other people. For example, the way you perceive people at personal level may not be the same as how you perceive them as professionals. People who have this perception tend to experience problems when dealing with others, both at personal and professional levels (Dudgeon, Pickett & Garvey, 2000).

Working with indigenous people as a psychologist poses various problems and challenges, one being cultural incompetence. Tracy Westerman, the managing director at the Indigenous Psychological Services (IPS) in Australia says that Western practitioners tend to struggle a lot when working with Aboriginals or indigenous people simply because they lack the required standards in terms of cultural competence. She says that working with indigenous people requires one to be well trained in culturally appropriate standards so as to enable them to work and interact successfully with indigenous people (Vicary, 2003).

While working with the indigenous people in Australia, my major problem would be on how to understand all the cultures of the people and then be able to interact with them successfully with very minimal cultural conflicts. Being a qualified psychologist does not guarantee one success especially if the psychologist’s culture conflicts with that of the indigenous people.

Cultural training is the key to ensuring that you work very closely and successfully with the aboriginal indigenous people. More Aboriginal people ought to be encouraged to join the psychology profession and this will help create rapport between psychologists and the indigenous people. Similarly, as a non-indigenous psychologist, it is also valuable to focus on training yourself on the basic aspects of their culture so as to avoid some of the basic problems when interacting and working with them. Psychology is all about being genuine on your desire to make the profession as culturally appropriate as possible. ASO givens various ethical guidelines on working with Aboriginal clients and this forms the basis of cultural training. Respecting cultural protocols for the indigenous people is also a very key thing when it comes to working with them. The Aboriginals believe that their culture is paramount and that it has to be respected by all means. As a psychologist, you need to understand them and learn to value and resect their cultures, and through this, working with them would be a success (Dudgeon, Pickett & Garvey, 2000).

As a non-Aboriginal person, my problem working with the indigenous people is basically on how to learn and understand their cultures as well as how to respect it at all times as they would prefer. This means that I have to learn their culture as this would help me secure a successful relationship with them as a psychologist. I also need to undertake various cultural training programs, in addition to the formal education I obtain as a psychologist (Dudgeon, Pickett &Garvey, 2000).

Workbook entry 4

For professionals to have effective cultural interactions with clients, they need to have an understanding of the client’s culture as well as understand the central importance of views of the world as this affects behaviors and attitudes. My attitude towards other people especially those from opposing cultures has changed a lot and have been able to have a respect for other cultures (Freeman et al., 2014).Working with someone from another culture is not one of the best experience for many people, but still others perceive it as an opportunity to learn new cultures. However, the experience depends on the nature of opposing culture, as many people value their cultures more than any other culture. For example, working with Aboriginal people may not be one of the best experiences as they tend to value their culture so highly such that you may even forget your own culture completely. The Aboriginals believe that their culture is paramount and that it has to be respected by all means. As a psychologist, you need to understand them and learn to value and resect their cultures, and through this, working with them would be a success. Nevertheless, if you get to learn their culture, you can engage them and create a very strong relationship (Freeman et al., 2014).

There are various ways in which one can show respect for another person’s culture. One of the well-known ways of respecting other people’s culture is through learning and educating themselves on the culture ideals. Learning about other people’s cultures means that you value them and this is majorly one of the best ways of showing respect for them. When you learn about new cultures, you are able to have an overview of some of the basic aspects of the culture. For instance, some activities, phrases or even gestures are more polite than other, where as other are abusive. Thus, learning some of these basics helps you to identify the things that should be avoided regularly as well as those that can be applied occasionally (Dudgeon, Pickett & Garvey, 2000).

A person who is always willing to participate in another culture’s important activities is termed as showing respect to the people as well as their culture. Learning and practicing a new culture means that what you are learning is important and this gives the opposing culture the confidence that their culture is indeed respected. Also, appreciating and respecting what other people do towards promoting their cultures is also another way of showing that you respect them and their culture. For example, people have different religious backgrounds, say Christianity, Islamic religion among others. As a Christian, showing respect to a Muslim when he or she is worshipping indicates that you respect their religion. Similarly, respecting what other people are doing in promoting their cultures forms the basis of showing respect for them and their respective cultures (Freeman et al., 2014).


Dudgeon, P., Pickett, H &Garvey, D. (2000). Working with Indigenous Australians: A Handbook for Psychologists. Perth: Gunada Press.

Freeman, T., Edwards, T., Baum, F., Lawless, A., Jolley, G., Javanparast, S., & Francis, T. (2014). Cultural respect strategies in Australian Aboriginal primary health care services: beyond education and training of practitioners.Australian and New Zealand journal of public health38(4), 355-361.

Healing Foundation (2016). The Healing Foundation helps our people to heal by connecting them back to our culture, philosophy and spirit.Retrieved from

Kirmayer, L. J., Gone, J. P., & Moses, J. (2014). Rethinking historical trauma. Transcultural Psychiatry51(3), 299-319.

Robertson, L. H. (2016). The trauma of colonization: A psycho-historical analysis of one aboriginal community in the North American “North-West”. Journal of Psychology, 49(3).

Vicary, D.A. (2003), ‘Counselling as Yarning: Aboriginal insights into Western therapy’. Proceedings of the 38th APS Annual Conference, Australia, 242-246.