Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work

Summer 8-28-2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Consuelo Cavalieri, Salina Reninger


The current literature on the Native American population, much less culture, is very sparse. Most literature focuses on disparities, suicide rates, substance/chemical abuse rates, and poverty levels. For this research, instead of focusing on these aspects, my goal was to focus on healing, and to position myself as both the investigator and the sole participant. A critical autoethnography focuses on the researcher’s rich, lived experiences and presents that information in an evocative manner (Ellis, Adams & Bochner, 2011; Chang, 2016). It is also a cultural experience that seeks to not only tell a story about a specific phenomenon, but to change perceptions of the issue and is regarded as a politically, socially-just, and socially-conscious act (Ellis, Adams & Bochner, 2011; Chang, 2016). My research attempted to improve clinician knowledge about the various cultural aspects that should be taken into consideration by therapists, as well as contribute to the gaps in research in regard to the Native American population. In this process, I have identified pivotal moments in my life that highlight the challenges that I have experienced in finding myself, learning about my culture, and my path to understanding and healing. In my analysis, I focus on how socio-political status, help-seeking, cultural principles, and education impacted my journey to bring attention to the needs of Native Americans and the need for healing. My hope is that this information will be carefully and respectfully utilized, so that our Native American population may be appropriately served in a culturally sensitive manner.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.