Collaborative and Indigenous Mental Health Therapy: Tātaihono – Stories of Māori Healing and Psychiatry (Writing Lives: Ethnographic Narratives)

Collaborative and Indigenous Mental Health Therapy: Tātaihono – Stories of Māori Healing and Psychiatry (Writing Lives: Ethnographic Narratives)

'Collaborative and Indigenous Mental Health Therapy: Taitohono: Stories of Maori Healing and Psychiatry’ was released several weeks ago by Routledge here in New Zealand. Launches were held in Gisborne, Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington(Lower Hutt and Porirua). There has been considerable interest in the release of this book a several NZ/Australian university programmes have pre-ordered copies for required reading for university courses. The unpublished manuscript had won the ‘best unpublished manuscript on body, mind and spirit’ awarded by the Ashton Wylie Foundation in 2014. It was then re-written to internationalise it first for Left Coast Press who was then taken over by Routledge. Prof Arthur Bochner, who recently released his co-authored(Carolyn Ellis) Evocative Autoethnography: Writing Lives and Telling Stories, is the series editor(Writing Lives: Ethnographic Narratives) and we are indebted to him for ushering this book in to publication.

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About the Book

This book examines a collaboration between traditional Māori healing and clinical psychiatry. Comprised of transcribed interviews and detailed meditations on practice, it demonstrates how bicultural partnership frameworks can augment mental health treatment by balancing local imperatives with sound and careful psychiatric care. In the first chapter, Māori healer Wiremu NiaNia outlines the key concepts that underpin his worldview and work. He then discusses the social, historical, and cultural context of his relationship with Allister Bush, a child and adolescent psychiatrist. The main body of the book comprises chapters that each recount the story of one young person and their family’s experience of Māori healing from three or more points of view: those of the psychiatrist, the Māori healer and the young person and other family members who participated in and experienced the healing. With a foreword by Sir Mason Durie, this book is essential reading for psychologists, social workers, nurses, therapists, psychiatrists, and students interested in bicultural studies.

Here is a sample of editorial reviews:

A significant contribution to the growing literature on indigenous views of health and illness. Asserts and secures Māori identity amid global pressures for cultural uniformity and homogenization. An informative journey into the Māori way-of-knowing and way-of-being in the world. The glossary of Maori language terms is a special treat.


Anthony J. Marsella, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of Hawaii.


Ahakoa he pukapuka i roto i te Reo Pākehā, ka puta mai he whakaaro Māori tuturu. Nā rāua i rangatira motuhake ai tā tātou akoranga hei whakamahiti korou tō tātou mahi tahi, kia piki ake ai te oranga o ngā whānau. Despite being in English, a truly Māori approach is visible. The two authors present a unique opportunity to elevate our learning in order to strengthen working together so that whānau health is advanced.

Dr Hinemoa Elder, Professorial Fellow in Indigenous Mental Health Research and Director of Te Whare Mātai Aronui


Tātaihono is a unique book on what should be a culturally-adapted and person-centered care in the 21st century. It outlines the experiences of two exceptional individuals, one a Māori healer and the other a European-New Zealander psychiatrist, whom carefully manage together challenging clinical cases among the Māori. A wonderful account on Indigenous healers-psychiatrists’ collaboration and their contributions to global mental health.

Mario Incayawar, M.D, MSc., PhD., Runajambi Institute, Inca Nation, South America.


The book is wonderful and makes a great contribution to psychiatry both in Australia and New Zealand. It furthers our understanding of the human experience through a cultural lens and clearly demonstrates the importance of good, respectful relationships within the clinical team and with the families seeking assistance. It also highlights the importance and significance of Indigenous knowledge and the benefit from using both a western and Indigenous perspective in achieving good outcomes. I really like the way the book has been written by honouring the voices of all who participated in the case studies and acknowledging their shared wisdom and experiences.

Professor Helen Milroy, Director, Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health, University of Western Australia.


I found this to be an excellent exposition of quality clinical practice in mental health in a bicultural framework. I would strongly commend it to trainee psychiatrists as a core text in their training, and would recommend it to all those working in mental health in New Zealand.

Professor Pete Ellis, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Otago, Wellington


This work will be of wide interest to multiple practitioner and lay audiences both nationally and internationally, for people with difficulties of this kind and their families, for indigenous and non-indigenous mental health workers in different contexts, for clinical teachers, trainees and researchers, and anyone concerned with the mental health and wellbeing of those in their communities.

Professor Tim McCreanor, Social Scientist, Massey University, Auckland

Collaborative and Indigenous Mental Health Therapy: Tātaihono – Stories of Māori Healing and Psychiatry (Writing Lives: Ethnographic Narratives)
Authors: , ,
Tag: Recommended Books
ASIN: 1138230308
ISBN: 9781138230309
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