Moving Beyond Residential School Trauma Abuse: A Phenomenological Hermeneutic Analysis

  • Dee DionneEmail author
  • Gary Nixon


This qualitative study informs the literature by bringing two perspectives together: the trauma of residential school abuse and the transpersonal viewpoint of healing. A phenomenological hermeneutic approach explored lived experiences of residential school survivors and their families. Transpersonal psychology was introduced as the focus for a new healing paradigm. The research questions ask, “What has been the lived experience of the trauma of residential school abuseandHow are traditional and non-traditional healing practices mutually applied in the recovery process by individuals who are impacted by the residential school experience”? Five First Nations co-researchers were interviewed, the data was analyzed, coded, and a thematic analysis was undertaken from which six themes emerged. The results of this study may go on to employ this new healing paradigm to help First Nations people gain spiritual wholeness. Finally, a description and summary of research findings, limitations and implications for counselling were discussed.


Residential school Trauma, phenomenology Transpersonal Traditional healing practices Non-traditional healing practices 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada

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