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Through the Diamond Threshold: Promoting Cultural Competency in Understanding American Indian Substance Misuse

This curriculum was written by American Indians for the benefit of American Indians. The authors were mindful of how frequently psycho-educational skills programs provided to American Indian participants have been culturally biased and consequently unsuccessful because of their inherent prejudices and inappropriateness. Research suggests a less prescriptive, more flexible program that promotes culturally relevant and appropriate psycho-educational group techniques to promote cultural identity, self-disclosure, processing, altruism and an emphasis on psychology’s strength model rather than on psychology’s traditional deficit model.

Training Objectives: 1) Experience a world view of interpreting reality through heart and hand as well as head, 2) Gain awareness of one’s own attitudes, beliefs and perceptions about substance misuse based on cultural experience, 3) Gain awareness of how one’s attitudes, beliefs and perceptions are a product of one’s life experience.

Primary Author: Rockey Robbins, Ph.D. (Cherokee and Choctaw), Associate Professor, College of Counseling Psychology at the University of Oklahoma