When it comes to Indigenous counselling while working with children there are many aspects we need to consider including the child’s ethnicity and how that has impacted the current issue they are dealing with.
For a lot of people we there isn’t a thought given to how children from other cultures are perceived, treated or represented in the world. The reality is that children from indigenous or ethnic backgrounds are under represented in many ways in our health and education sectors.
We have a situation where copious amounts of money is being utilised to bring programs and education to children who are marginalised in our society, however we rarely provide them with the resources they can actually assimilate with.
At Innate Therapies we work closely with many children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds and the fact that the majority of counselling or therapeutic resources are created for caucasian children, has always added an additional layer of difficulty when providing therapy for indigenous children.
When you look at the resources available you will often see images of caucasion boys and girls. When working with children on issues of self-esteem and self-worth it is important that the images they are shown actually resemble themselves and their community. For example, showing an indigenous child a photo of a caucasian child and asking them to identify with them simply does not work and in fact creates more confusion for the child in question.
The team at Innate Therapies are committed to changing this situation.
We have commissioned an Australian Graphic Artist to create our unique range of indigenous characters that we now utilise throughout our workshops and 1:1 work with indigenous children. We will be producing a range of workbooks and resources not only for own work but also for other therapists to purchase and utilise in their work with indigenous children.
Our first workbook is being used in our group programs at Yarrabah and Djarragun schools and the response from the children has been fantastic.
The first work book – “Discovering My Feelings” is available in versions to suit ages 4-7 years and 8-12 years and is also available in both indigenous boy and girl and caucasian boy and girl options. You can view the range here.
Stay tuned for future indigenous resources being produced by the team at Innate Therapies.