Advertisement

Moving Beyond Residential School Trauma Abuse: A Phenomenological Hermeneutic Analysis

  • Dee DionneEmail author
  • Gary Nixon
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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

References

  1. Almaas, A. H. (2000). The point of existence: Transformations of narcissism in self- realization. Berkely: Diamond Books.Google Scholar
  2. Arminio, J. (2001). Exploring the nature of race-related guilt. Journal of Multicultural Counselling and Development, 29, 239–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Assembly of First Nations. (1994). Breaking the silence: An interpretive study of residential school impact and healing as illustrated by the stories of First Nations individuals. Ottawa: First Nations Health Secretariat.Google Scholar
  4. Bowins, B. (2004). Psychological defense mechanisms: a new perspective. The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 64(1), 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brasfield, C. (2001). Residential school syndrome. B.C. Medical Journal, 43(2), 57–112.Google Scholar
  6. Caputo, J. (1987). Radical hermeneutics: Repetition, deconstruction, and the hermeneutic project. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Chansonneuve, D. (2005). Reclaiming connections: Understanding residential school trauma among Aboriginal people. Prepared for The Aboriginal Healing Foundation, Ottawa, ON: Anishinabe Printing (Kitigan-Zibi).Google Scholar
  8. Chessick, D. R. (1990). Hermeneutics for psychotherapists. American Journal of Psychotherapy, XLIV(2), 257–273.Google Scholar
  9. Claes, R., & Clifton, R. (1998). Needs and expectations for redress of victims of abuse at native residential schools: Final report submitted to Law Commission of Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Government Printing.Google Scholar
  10. Corrado, R.R., & Cohen, I.M. (2003). Mental health profiles for a sample of British Columbias Aboriginal survivors of the Canadian residential school system. Prepared for The Aboriginal Healing Foundation, Ottawa, ON: Anishinabe Printing (Kitigan- Zibi).Google Scholar
  11. Creswell, J. (1997). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  12. Dion Stout, M., & Kipling, G. (2003). Aboriginal people, resilience and the residential school legacy. Prepared for The Aboriginal Healing Foundation, Ottawa, ON: Anishinabe Printing (Kitigan-Zibi).Google Scholar
  13. Duran, E. (2006). Healing the soul wound: Counselling with American Indians and other Native peoples. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  14. Freedman, K. (2006). The epistemological significance of psychic trauma. Hypatia, 21(2), 104–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gadamer, G. (1975). Truth and method. (Sheed & Ward Ltd. Trans. 2nd 1965 Ed.). New York: Seabury Press.Google Scholar
  16. Gergen, K. (1985). The social constructivist movement in modern psychology. American Psychologist, 40(3), 266–275.Google Scholar
  17. Giorgi, A. (1970). Psychology as a human science. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  18. Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and time. New York: Harper & Row Publishers.Google Scholar
  19. Hylton, J.H., Bird, M., Eddy, N., Sinclair, H., & Stenerson, H. (2002). Aboriginal sexual offending in Canada. Prepared for The Aboriginal Healing Foundation, Ottawa, ON: Anishinabe Printing (Kitigan-Zibi).Google Scholar
  20. Irwin, H. J. (1998). Affective predictors of dissociation II: shame and guilt. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 54(2), 237–245.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jardine, D.W. (1990). To dwell with a boundless heart: On the integrated curriculum and the recovery of the earth. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 5(2), 107–119.Google Scholar
  22. Kirmayer, L., Brass, G., & Tait, C. (2000). The mental health of Aboriginal peoples: transformations of identity and community. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 45(7), 607. Retrieved March 20, 2006, from EBSCOhost, University of Lethbridge online database.Google Scholar
  23. Kirmayer, L., Simpson, C., & Cargo, M. (2003). Healing traditions: culture, community and mental health promotion with Canadian Aboriginal peoples. Journal of Australasian Psychiatry, 11, 15–23. Retrieved, February 2, 2006, from Academic Search Premier, University of Lethbridge online database.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lane, P., Jr., Bopp, M., Bopp, J., & Norris, J. (2002). Mapping the healing journey: The final report of a First Nation research project on healing in Canadian Aboriginal communities. Ottawa: Solicitor General.Google Scholar
  25. Lewis, R., & Ho, M. (1989). Social work with Native Americans. In D. Atkinson, G. Morten, & D. Sue (Eds.), Counseling American minorities. Debuque: William C. Brown.Google Scholar
  26. Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  27. Maloney, R. P. (2002). On closing doors: Five significant moments for spiritual growth. Retrieved June 18, 2006 from http://infotrac.galegroup.com.darius.uleth, Expanded Academic Search Premier, University of Lethbridge online database.
  28. Maslow, A. (1968). Toward a psychology of being. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.Google Scholar
  29. Miller, J. R. (1996). Shingwauk’s vision: A history of native residential schools (p. 63). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  30. Morrissette, P. (1994). The holocaust of First Nations people: residual effects on parenting and treatment implications. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 16(5), 381–392. Retrieved November 07, 2005, from PsychINFO, University of Lethbridge online database.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Namka, L. (2008). The path to enlightment is always under construction: Spiritual emergence and the awakening process. Retrieved January 22, 2008, from http://www.omplace.com/articles/PathConstruct.html.
  32. O’Hara, J., & Treble, P. (2000). Abuse of trust: what happened behind the walls of residential church schools is a tragedy that has left Native victims traumatized. Macleans, 113(26), 16–21.Google Scholar
  33. Osborne, J. (1990). Some basic existential-phenomenological research methodology for counsellors. Canadian Journal of Counselling, 24, 79–91.Google Scholar
  34. Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2004). Nursing research: Principles and methods (7th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  35. Robertson, L.H. (2006). The residential school experience: syndrome or historic trauma. Pimatisiwin, 4(1), 1–28.Google Scholar
  36. Rowell, P. A. (2005). The victory over interpersonal trauma. (Point of view). American Psychiatric Nurses Association Journal, 7(2), 103.Google Scholar
  37. Rybak, C., Lakota Eastin, C., & Robbins, I. (2004). Native Americal healing practices and counseling. Journal of Humanistic Counseling Education and Development, 43, 25–32. Retrieved March 21, 2006, from Academic Search Premier, University of Lethbridge online database.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Satir, V., Banman, J., Gerber, J., & Gomori, M. (1991). The Satir model: Family therapy and beyond. Palo Alto: Science and Behaviour Books, Inc.Google Scholar
  39. Simon, R. I. (2002). Distinguishing trauma-associated narcissistic symptoms from Posttraumatic stress disorder: a diagnostic challenge. Harvard Review Psychiatry, 10(1), 28–36. Retrieved August 12, 2006 from University of Lethbridge online database.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sochting, I., Corrado, R., Cohen, I., Ley, R., & Brasfield, C. (2007). Traumatic pasts in Canadian Aboriginal people: further support for a complex trauma conceptualization? B.C. Medical Journal, 49(6), 321–326. Retrieved June, 16, 2007, from University of Lethbridge online database.Google Scholar
  41. van Manen, M. (1990). Researching lived experience: Human science for an action sensitive pedagogy. London: The Althouse Press.Google Scholar
  42. Wells, M., & Jones, R. (2000). Childhood parentification and shame proneness: a Preliminary study. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 28, 19–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wesley-Esquimaux, C.C., & Smolewski, M. (2004). Historic trauma and Aboriginal healing. Prepared for The Aboriginal Healing Foundation, Ottawa, ON: Anishinabe Printing (Kitigan-Zibi). New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  44. Wilber, K. (1990). Eye to eye: The quest for the new paradigm (rev.d). Boston: ShambahalaGoogle Scholar
  45. Wilber, K. (2000). Eye to eye. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  46. Wurmser, L. (2003). “Abyss calls out to abyss”: oedipal shame, invisibility, and broken identity. The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 63(4), 299–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada

Personalised recommendations