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Indigenous Healing Psychology


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Table of Contents


“Things of Power”
Releasing the Healing Potentials of Psychology


“If We Can’t Measure It, Is It Real?”
Entering the Profession of Psychology Maps

“We Try to Understand Our World--That’s Just What We Do” Indigenous Elders as Our First Psychologists


“We Respect What Remains a Mystery in Our Lives”
The Enduring Foundation of Spirituality in Everyday Life

“The Purpose of Life Is to Learn”
Research as a Respectful Way of Experiencing and Knowing

“All in the Circle of Our Lives Remains Valuable” Nourishing a Recurring Fullness throughout the Life Cycle

“Health Is More Than Not Being Sick”
Balance and Exchange as Foundations of Well-Being

“All My Relations” Honoring the Interconnections That Define Us


“There Is No One Way, Only Right Ways”
The Renewing Synergy of Multiple Psychologies



About the Author

Richard Katz received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and taught there for twenty years. The author of several books, he has spent time over the past 50 years living and working with Indigenous peoples in Africa, India, the Pacific, and the Americas. He is professor emeritus at the First Nations University of Canada and an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Saskatchewan. He lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


“A remarkable culmination of Katz’s invaluable life-long work with Indigenous healers, Indigenous Healing Psychology is a brilliant, groundbreaking work connecting psychology to its roots so it can more truly become a force for healing and social change. A genuine invitation to a breathtaking journey that is a rare treasure. Just what psychology so desperately needs.”
*Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., New York Times bestselling author*

“A deeply honest book showing the greatest respect for Indigenous knowledge. You can see how our traditional Anishnabe teachings can offer a path to healing psychology. Indigenous Healing Psychology shows how psychology can finally begin to heal our people.”
*Danny Musqua, Anishnabe Elder, Keeseekoose First Nation*

“Katz shares his extraordinary journey through world cultures and methods for inner and community work. Psychology will only be the better for encompassing such powerful Indigenous wisdom. This book is a mind-expanding gift to the reader, a well-researched offering to psychology, and a force for good.”
*Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., author of Emotional Intelligence*

“Katz convincingly argues that the inclusion of Indigenous spiritual worldviews in mental health intervention and treatment will produce better client outcomes and better relationships among people no matter where they live. He offers the reader a profound challenge that is supported with Indigenous ways of knowing and living. His long-awaited book is beautifully crafted, clearly written, convincing, and logically organized--complete with a wealth of thought-provoking material written in a confident, authoritative voice. Anyone who carefully and thoughtfully studies these pages will come out a richer, well-informed person who will view spirit, the sacred, place, and connectedness through a discerning lens.”
*Joseph E. Trimble, Ph.D., distinguished professor of psychology at Western Washington University*

Indigenous Healing Psychology presents a powerful and inspirational pedagogy into Western and Indigenous healing traditions; it offers valuable guideposts to ways we can all transform ourselves to meet the challenges of our fast-changing world.”
*Harvey Knight, Indigenous cultural advisor to the Regional Psychiatric Centre, Saskatoon*

“Katz journeys into the heart of what psychology is and what it can be. He exposes the Western myopia that limits the espoused goal of psychology, i.e. understanding the human experience of mind, body, and our relationship to the world. His personal experiences of navigating formal psychology and his subsequent lessons learned from traditional healers point to the ignored facets of spirituality, humanism, culture, and community that cannot be separated from a truly holistic human psychology and healing.”
*Dennis Norman, Ed.D., ABPP, faculty chair of the Harvard University Native American Program*

“This book is a must-read for all students of indigenous psychology. It teaches all the essentials. Consistent with the experiential focus of the wisdom tradition, Katz does not preach; he tells what he knows experientially. The reader is invited to join him on a personal journey that took him from the lecture halls of Harvard to paths in search of the healing wisdom of the Indigenous peoples. This account of Katz is testimonial to the possibility that doing research in Indigenous psychology is a spiritual journey that can be profoundly fulfilling and transformative for the reader as well.”
*Louise Sundararajan, Ph.D., Ed.D., fellow of the American Psychological Association*

“In this engaging and excellent book, Katz gives the reader a foundation for understanding the quality and depth of Indigenous healing. He has learned from the elders to do it in the best possible way: by telling stories that illuminate complex concepts and make them relatable and usable.”
*Melinda A. García, Ph.D., author*

“Indigenous Healing Psychology is a powerful, provocative, and enlivening book that, through Katz’s expansive and inspiring voice, offers psychology just what it needs to hear in order to fulfill its promise to be truly healing and equitable. I know from my own work as a psychologist and counselor that people are searching for precisely what Indigenous Healing Psychology offers. Celebrating diversity in all its myriad manifestations, this is a bold and exhilarating book.”
*Niti Seth, Ed.D., academic counselor at the Harvard University Bureau of Study Counsel*

“Indigenous Healing Psychology is a fascinating look at the world of psychology as a discipline in need of healing. Katz traces the evolution of his encounters with some of the giants of psychology at Harvard as well as honored Indigenous healers in other cultures. This book is a major contribution to revisioning mainstream psychology by returning it to its fundamental commitments to diversity, cultural meanings, human potential, and social justice.”
*Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, LifeWorks program of integrative learning at Stanford University*

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