How can Psychology and Counselling be agents of change for Aboriginal Australians?

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Frankie Merritt [1], The University of Notre Dame Australia          


My PhD thesis is about decolonisation and empowerment; it is specifically about First Nations people claiming (or reclaiming) their autonomy. I explored concepts and their use with Aboriginal people and I chose one concept to focus on.  The concept I chose to focus on was “resilience”. I chose this concept to help me address the issue of miscommunications, especially in regard to healthcare delivery with Indigenous Australians.  By focusing on miscommunications – using a term like “resilience” – I hoped to play a role in helping to minimise the mistakes that are made due to assumed knowledge.  For example, the assumed congruence of terms and concepts that is at play in healthcare interactions between Indigenous and non-indigenous clients and counsellors. 



Address for correspondence:

Associate Professor Frankie Merritt
Head of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
School of Medicine, Sydney
The University of Notre Dame Australia
Email: frankie.merritt@nd.edu.au