Thought Leadership, Uncategorized

Privileging Indigenous Modes of Healing


We are dedicated to evidenced-based clinical practice and training.  However, we recognize that some human experiences can not be operationalized to fit into neat and organized research studies (e.g. love, joy, transcendent experiences).  These human experiences are critical protective factors following traumatic events.

ISP International is unique in the sense that we are Western trained Psychologists who openly admit that westernized trauma interventions all too often miss the mark when applied to non-Western communities. Our mission is to utilize our expertise to empower communities to tap into their inherent strengths and innate ability to heal themselves.

This fundamental belief was the foundation of my dissertation.  During the summer of 2009, I had the privilege to travel to Salvador da Bahia, Brazil alongside Chanté D. DeLoach, PsyD.


Here is an excerpt…

“We need a psychology that breaks our hearts, because only that kind of psychology could awaken us to our entanglements in strategies of dissociation, to the despairs of trauma, to grief from mourning, and to potential joy in restoration and healing” (Watkins & Shulman, 2008, p.31). Past research has focused on biomedical models for trauma interventions. The research focusing on indigenous modes of healing for trauma interventions is limited despite the large amounts of focus on trauma within the field of psychology. This investigation seeks to highlight the phenomenology of Candomblé as a mode of healing from complex trauma responses in Afro-Brasilians. Participants were recruited in Bahia, Brazil with the help of a Portuguese cultural and language interpreter to participate in semi-structured, personal interviews. This investigation proposes that, liberation psychological approaches to trauma interventions support the use of traditional modes of healing as an appropriate and effective intervention for complex trauma.

The full published article on the findings of my dissertation is linked below.

African Spiritual Methods of Healing

I will post another blog about my personal transformative experiences while in Brazil in a couple of days.

Thank you for reading,




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