Counseling the Inupiat Eskimo

Counseling the Inupiat Eskimo

Counseling the Inupiat Eskimo

Counseling the Inupiat Eskimo

Synopsis

Current research indicates that in order to counsel a group of people different from the mainstream, it is important to understand their unique worldview. This book defines the worldview of personal well-being for the Inupiat Eskimo in order to establish guidelines for counseling strategies. Strategies are based on the wisdom of village elders, who define personal well-being in order to help others develop counseling practices that can bridge contemporary problems with the traditions and customs of the Inupiat culture.

Excerpt

The old adage that it is better to go upstream to find out why people are falling into the river, rather than continuing to rescue them as they float by, has not been the focus of counseling with the Inupiat people of northern Alaska despite the increasing rates of suicide, alcoholism, and depression among Alaska Natives.

In 1994, the Anchorage Daily News referred to a new study relating to accidents, homicides, and suicides in Alaska. The study, which covered a ten-year period (1980 to 1990), was released by the University of Alaska's Institute of Social and Economic Research (Berman & Leisk, 1994). The findings showed that Alaska Natives are more likely than people in other parts of the country to kill each other, kill themselves, or die in accidents.

Alarmed at previous rates of violent death among the Alaska Native population, Indian Health Service mental health specialists have made a concerted effort to provide adequate services to the Alaska Native population over the past eleven years; yet problems continue to escalate for Native people in Alaska. Within this period, the rate of suicide increased by 50 percent . . .

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