This paper will discuss the Native American culture and briefly review their history, some beliefs and roles in society today. A short description into their culture with References will be used to show how Native Americans have been affected throughout hundreds of years. The trauma this culture endured has created many barriers, yet one often seen today is their extreme problem with the disease of Alcoholism. The Native American culture has gone through endless struggles, which has cost them to lose so much and still continues to impact them today. They are slowly moving back toward getting benefits that should have been available long ago, but in today’s world Native Americans still battle with many barriers not only in society, but in getting appropriate treatment for mental health or addiction issues.
According to the Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life Native Americans were miss-represented by the Europeans that came to North America to settle. In the section titled, “Native North Americans” the author Williams talked about how this culture was far from primitive. Native Americans were actually very well versed in using the land to take care of themselves and highly self-reliant. In this article, it stated,
From the time Columbus set foot on the Americas, through the next four hundred years, Europeans decimated Native North American cultures and populations, killing perhaps as many as 60 million Native peoples. Some were slaughtered in wars as the Europeans pushed them off their homelands to make room for European expansion. Many others died from European diseases for which they had no immunity or known treatments. Native North American populations did not begin to recover from this holocaust until about 1900...
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...ffectiveness of traditional Native American healing methods” (Szelmko, Wood, & Thurman, 2006).
In conclusion when it comes to therapies overall as the counselor we should educate ourselves on the history of trauma within this culture. It should be taken into consideration the importance of traditional practices and beliefs when trying to gain overall wellness. The huge point that should be made is that a lot of treatment practices have been centered on European American values. These values have been forced on the Native American culture for centuries in a detrimental way. The idea of assimilation has been imposed on this cultural causing trauma and therefore trying to force a basic practice will not be affective. These are things that should be taken into consideration in the beginning of treatment with the Native American culture (Szelmko, Wood, &Thurman, 2006).
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