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Guided by the concept of synergy, this groundbreaking collection explores alternatives in the areas of counseling, education, and community health and development. Synergy refers to the process of two or more things coming together to create a new, greater, and often-unexpected whole. When synergy exists, formerly scarce resources can expand and become renewable and accessible to all.

Drawing upon the diverse cultural experiences of Aboriginal groups in North America and around the world, these compelling narratives provide practical insights into the emergence of synergy and obstacles to its existence. Synergy, Healing and Empowerment offers invaluable guidance in the pursuit of a just and equitable society.


PsycCRITIQUES, review database of the American Psychological Association (APA)

Global Advances in Health and Medicine

Fielding Graduate University News

Integral Leadership Review

Table of Contents

Section I: Synergy, Healing, and Empowerment: Starting Points
1. Synergy and empowerment: Renewing and expanding the community’s healing resources, Richard Katz
2. Synergy and healing: A perspective on Western health care, Richard Katz and Niti Seth
Section II: Synergistic Identities
3. Balancing world views and identities in becoming a culturally divewse counsellor, Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu
4. Feminism is for everybody: Aboriginal Women, feminism, and diversity, Verna St. Denis
5. Teacher as healer: Expanding educational resources, Richard Katz and Verna St. Denis
Section III: Education as Transformation: A Pathway toward Synergy
6. Education as transformation: An approach to training healers, Richard Katz
7. The experience of vulnerability: A key to the education of health professionals, Richard Katz and Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu
8. A narrative approach to transformational education: Cultural training for health care providers, Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu
9. Training culturally sensitive counsellors: A case study of the Masters of Aboriginal Social Work (MASW) program, Richard Katz, Danny Musqua, and Tania Lafontaine
Section IV: Synergistic Community
10. Breaking psychology’s stranglehold over therapeutic services to Indigenous peoples: Developing pathways toward collaboration, Richard Katz
11. The contribution of synergy to the experience of empowerment, Peter Cornish
12. Women’s talk (baira ni vato): A community-based Gujarati village structure for empowering communications, Niti Seth
13. Will there always be enough? Self-help groups as a renewable healing resource, Richard Katz and Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu

I highly recommend Synergy, Healing, and Empowerment for all those interested in indigenous psychology and cross-cultural psychology. I believe that all professional psychologists and policy makers can benefit from the profound insights of the authors.

PsycCRITIQUES, review database of the American Psychological Association (APA)

Synergy, Healing, and Empowerment is an especially important book. By pushing the envelope, it shows us the direction counselling and psychotherapy must go.

Paul Pedersen, PhD, pioneer scholar in multicultural counselling

Synergy, Healing, and Empowerment is an incredible book. Making a compelling case for the paradigm of synergy, which releases an everexpanding network of healing and empowerment, this book could not be more necessary and timely.

Stanley Krippner, PhD, professor of psychology, Saybrook University

This book will interest change agents and thought leaders who are committed to addressing the really big challenges facing healthcare systems in the 21st century.

Global Advances in Health and Medicine

Richard Katz

Richard Katz, PhD, received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Harvard University and taught there for nearly 20 years. Over the past 45 years, he has also lived and worked with Indigenous Elders and healers around the world. Richard is currently a professor emeritus at the First Nations University of Canada and an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan.

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, PhD, is a psychologist and writer who received a doctorate in counseling and consulting psychology from Harvard University and was a Fulbright scholar in Japan. He is currently a consulting professor in the Stanford University School of Medicine, teaching in the Arts, Humanities, and Medicine Program. He is also in the faculty of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford.