By Gregory Phillips
Addictions and therapeutic in Aboriginal kingdom establishes a framework for knowing the problems pertinent to Indigenous addictions to alcohol, gunga and playing and its after-math in a single neighborhood, mammoth River (a fictitious identify for a true community).
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Extra info for Addictions and Healing in Aboriginal Country
While we were there, he made the point that while I had become a respected and trusted friend of the family, I was to make sure that I didn’t “... go telling them whitefellas or anyone about this place [the sacred sites] when you go back”. I obliged and promised not to. That he asked and made the point is evidence of the fine, yet tangible line between ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’. Another instance of this is that soon after I arrived in the community, Robert made the point that, “... there’s been a lot of outsiders coming in working here who don’t respect the church.
But we’re a Christian community here, and we don’t like others telling us otherwise”. This was quite a pointed statement to myself, given that Robert was the Chairman of the local church congregation, and that he knew my personal views on Christianity. He knew that my views were that traditional spirituality was usurped by Christian missionaries, and that a lot of our people remained angry at the church. What he appeared unaware of was that I still respected the church, because many of our Elders had no choice but to practice at least some form of spirituality, rather than none, and that belief in Christianity had actually helped some of our Peoples cope with the abuses of colonialism.
Central to the dilemma of naming Indigenous traumatisation as PTSD is the mitigating factor of the design, construction and underlying meanings of the branch of health which PTSD is said to belong to: mental health. It is extremely western and culture-bound to refer to traumatisation as belonging to the mental health field, given that Indigenous Australians view spirit and emotions to be involved in their explanatory models as well. In western health belief and 30 Addictions&Healing in Aboriginal Country paradigms, illnesses become medicalised as dysfunctions of the body or the mind, but rarely as dysfunctions of the heart or spirit.