Department welcomes Dr. Joseph Gone

The Department of Psychology looks forward to hosting Dr. Joseph Gone as part of the Lansdowne Speaker Series this month. Below are the details of the various events that will take place during the visit.


Lecture open to department members only:

Tuesday September 25, 2018 from 2:30-4:00pm in COR A221

Title: “Re-imagining Mental Health Services for Native Communities: Centering Indigenous Perspectives”

Abstract: The indigenous peoples of North America are heirs to the shattering legacy of European colonization. These brutal histories of land dispossession, military conquest, forced settlement, religious repression, and coercive assimilation have robbed Native communities of their economies, lifeways, and sources of meaning and significance in the world. The predictable consequence has been an epidemic of “mental health” problems such as demoralization, substance abuse, violence, and suicide within these communities. One apparent solution would seem to be the initiation or expansion of mental health services to better reach Native clients. And yet, conventional mental health services such as counseling and psychotherapy depend on assumptions and aspirations that may not fit well with indigenous cultural sensibilities. For example, counseling practices draw on the presumed value for clients of introspective and expressive “self talk,” while tribal community norms may emphasize communicative caution outside of interactions with intimate kin, leading to marked reticence rather than candid disclosure. Moreover, given the sensitive history of colonization, such differences have the potential to further alienate indigenous community members from the very services and providers designated to help them. This presentation will review the implicit logics that structure mental health service delivery as well as key ethno-psychological commitments of many Native communities in an effort to re-imagine counseling services in a manner that truly centers indigenous perspectives.


Opportunity for psychology students to meet with Dr. Gone:

Tuesday September 25, 2018 from 4:00-5:00pm in COR B129

**Please share this information with your students**


Lecture open to the public (Poster Attached):

Tuesday September 25, 2018 from 7:00-9:00pm in the First People’s House, Ceremonial Hall

Title: “Re/Counting Coup: Communicating Indigenous Vitality in the Age of Historical Trauma”

Abstract: Contemporary Indigenous peoples throughout the USA and Canada suffer from disproportionately high degrees of psychiatric distress. Mental health researchers and professionals, as well as Native community members, have consistently associated these disproportionate rates of distress with indigenous historical experiences of European and Euro-American colonization. This emphasis on the impact of colonization and associated historical consciousness within tribal communities has occasioned increasingly widespread professional consideration of “historical trauma” among indigenous peoples. In contrast to personal experiences of a traumatic nature, the discourse of historical trauma weds the concepts of “historical oppression” and “psychological trauma” to explain community-wide risk for adverse mental health outcomes originating from the depredations of past colonial subjugation through intergenerational transmission of vulnerability and risk. But is this discourse of historical trauma really the best way to describe, explain, and represent Indigenous responses to historical oppression and ongoing disadvantage? In this presentation, I describe various historical functions of Gros Ventre war narratives or coup tales, including their role in conveying or communicating life or vitality. Through comparative consideration of the “trauma narrative” and the “coup tale,” an alternative framework for cultivating Indigenous community resilience rather than vulnerability will be proposed on the basis of these fundamentally incompatible discursive practices.