Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Psychology

Resources and Publications




Other resources (presentations, lectures and videos)

If you are working with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples the following documents may be of interest to you:

The Healing Foundation discussion paper is an important document, which refers to best practice for the social and emotional wellbeing/mental health needs of Aboriginal communities.  The contents of this paper are relevant beyond just the scope of working with those who have been affected by abuse within institutions.  It contains the voices, views and research of many Aboriginal mental health professionals and I think provides important background information for how we need to promote best practice in these program areas.  

There is also an article from the British Journal of Psychiatry, which provides an interesting review of mainstream approaches to mental health treatment. Including in relation to CBT; summarizing several studies that demonstrate ‘that most of the specific features of CBT can be dispersed with without adversely affecting (therapeutic) outcomes’ and ‘what emerges from the evidence is that non-specific factors (client variables, extra-therapeutic events, relationship variables and expectancy and placebo effects) account for about 85% of the variance in therapeutics outcomes… In particular the relationship between therapeutic alliance and outcomes seems remarkably robust across treatment modalities’. 

Please click here to view the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice (2nd edition)
This book is a free resource which offers a high quality, comprehensive examination of issues and strategies influencing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and social and emotional wellbeing. To access this book click here

Radio broadcast Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) - development of a test for depression in older Aboriginal people.
"The creators of a new culturally acceptable screening tool which helps diagnose depression in older aboriginal people believe that it will allow the start of new processes in diagnosing a range of other mental health issues. University of Western Australia’s Winthrop Professor Osvaldo Almeida says he expects the tool will be useful to medical professionals and others who are working in remote areas."

Online training - Suicide Prevention Professional development
The Australian Psychological Society (APS), with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, has developed a professional development training package for allied health clinicians working under the ATAPS Suicide Prevention Service.  The aim of the ATAPS Suicide Prevention Professional Development training is to equip allied health workers with foundational knowledged and skills to assist working with, and effectively engaging populations at risk of suicide and serious self-harm.  Under the ATAPS framework allied health workers have been defined to include psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses occupational therapists and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers.

For APS members go to: https:www.psychology.org.au/events/eventview.aspx?eventid=9179&highlight=1

For non-members email: [email protected]

Public Lecutre - Dr. Michael J. Chandler, Emeritus Professor
How Cultural Continuity reduces Suicide Risk in Indigenous Communities
Listen at: http://www.ias.uwa.edu.au/lectures/2012_lectures/michael-chandler-lecture

Presentations by Dr. Elizabeth Tindle
Alcohol and the foetus - Dr Elizabeth Tindle, FAPS (PDF, 110kb) AMEX APS Gold Credit Card
Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Diagnosis and Counselling - Dr. Elizabeth Tindle QUT (PDF, 164kb)AMEX APS Gold Credit Card

Elizabeths Biography
Elizabeth started her Psychology career as a counsellor /psychologist in 1970 and was Chair of the Australian Psychological Society, College of Counselling Psychologists (Queensland Branch) for 12 years. She has worked as a counselling Psychologist at Queensland University of Technology since 1989.

Elizabeth qualified as a High School teacher of Physical Education and Geography in 1959 and has taught and lectured in many institutions in Australia, Scotland and England. She spent three years in the 1970s in the Galapagos Islands working at Charles Darwin research Station.

She has published and presented a number of papers on diverse topics at national and international conferences since the early eighties. Her doctoral thesis was on the foetal alcohol syndrome.

Video - Remote community highlights Indigenous youth suicide concerns
Aboriginal communities in Western Australia's Kimberley region represent the key concerns about an epidemic of Indigenous youth suicide with some lateral thinking used in the search for answers.