EXPERIENCES OF WESTERN CLINICAL PRACTICE AND TRADITIONAL MEXICAN AMERICAN HEALING WHEN THE PROVIDER IS THE SAME PERSON
Helen Marie Tafoya
B.A. Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 1991
M. A. Clinical Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, 1995
Ph.D., Counselor Education, University of New Mexico, 2018
In counseling ethics and standards, there is a call to integrate practices and for practitioners to become more aware of other cultures and traditions (Sue, Arrendondo, & McDavis, 1992; Ratts, Singh, Butler, Nassar-McMillan, & McCullough, 2015). Very little research exists that addresses when the Western mental health practitioner and the traditional healer are the same person. The current work explored the experiences of licensed mental health practitioners who are also traditional Mexican/Mexican American healers in their practice of both modalities. The theoretical frameworks for the current study are multiculturalism and social justice.
Six research participants from the Southwestern region of the United States participated in the study. The participants included four individuals who identified as female and two individuals who identified as male. The participants ranged in age from 46 to 69. All participants mentioned growing up with traditional healing practices and identified a relative as a practitioner. All participants mentioned at least one mentor/teacher from whom they specifically learned traditional healing practices. All participants identified as Spanish/English bilingual and were able to conduct psychotherapy and traditional healing in Spanish and/or English as needed.
I used an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis approach to explore how the participants described their experiences. I identified four major themes. Theme one is identity as a healer and that training in traditional healing is lifelong. Theme two reflects barriers and integrations to dual practice. Theme three is social justice, that is, traditional healing as a statement of cultural power, reclamation, political activism, and social justice. Theme four is about the healing methods used including different techniques, use of the plática specifically, and traditional healing as heart energy. I present implications for practice, teaching, and future research. In addition, advocacy for the client and the counselor from both mainstream and marginalized groups, as regards third party payment is a key direction for future practice, teaching, and research.
multicultural and social justice, Mexican American, traditional healing, curanderismo, interpretative phenomenological analysis, traditional healing, advocacy
Level of Degree
Individual, Family, and Community Education
First Committee Member (Chair)
Kristopher M. Goodrich, PhD
Second Committee Member
Thomas A. Chavez, PhD
Third Committee Member
Jan Armstrong, PhD
Fourth Committee Member
Terri Flowerday, Phd
Tafoya, Helen Marie. "EXPERIENCES OF WESTERN CLINICAL PRACTICE AND TRADITIONAL MEXICAN AMERICAN HEALING WHEN THE PROVIDER IS THE SAME PERSON." (2018). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/educ_ifce_etds/71