Crossing Cultures with the Power Threat Meaning Framework – New Zealand

“This is the first of two blogs about my invited tour of New Zealand and Australia with the Power Threat Meaning Framework (joined by contributing author John Cromby in Australia).  The PTMF is an ambitious attempt to outline a conceptual alternative to psychiatric diagnosis and the medicalisation of distress …”

This blog article has been written by Dr. Lucy Johnstone. It features on the Mad in the UK website. Here is an extract:

The New Zealand context

The marae was set in the grounds of a mental health service which offers Māori interventions alongside more conventional ones. This is a common service structure in NZ, and Pakeha (Europeans) are also able to access these approaches if they wish. There is no single model, but a well known one which is widely integrated into practice is Te Whare Tapa Wha (Durie, 1994). This is based on the 4 interconnected cornerstones of Māori wellbeing: mind, spirit, physical health, and the family (whanau). This has been expanded into the Meihana model by a group of clinicians who wanted to develop a framework that actively engaged with Māori beliefs, values and experiences  (Pitama et al, 2014). Meihana adds the dimensions of Taiao (physicalenvironment) and Iwi Katoa (societal context). If any of these elements are out of balance, there will be a threat to well-being. A number of variations on these models are described by McNeill (2009).  For example, Te Pae Mahutonga (Durie, 1999) explicitly includes the impacts of colonisation on Māori lives, experiences and concepts, as does the most recent version of the Meihana model, which also emphasisesthe role of racism, and migration away from traditional iwi land.

All of these are holistic perspectives, but differing from most Western ones in several aspects, including the emphasis on spirituality. The concept of whanau is much more expansive than the equivalent word in English, and includes the extended family of aunts, uncles, grandparents and so on, both living and dead. Several whanau make up a hapu, which in turn are part of an iwi or tribe. These identities are strongly connected to the natural world. Thus a traditional Maori introduction will include ‘my river is…’ and ‘my mountain is…’ as well as ‘my whanau is… ‘ …’my hapu is….’ and ‘my iwi is…..’ …”

You can read the entire article from here.

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