Conclusion

This chapter has presented a mixture of general knowledge about the American Indian and Alaska Native population, weaving in specific suggestions more pointedly related to psychological assessment and treatment. As stated, possessing an understanding of the context in which Indians and Natives live will be invaluable in enabling clinicians to provide the empathy and respect essential for an Indian/Native client to trust and remain in treatment. The relative emphasis on more general factors also reflects the authors' belief that critical thinking and analysis are among the most useful tools for clinicians working with American Indian and Alaska Native clients to possess. The current state of knowledge as well as the diversity among Indians and Natives currently preclude a "standard" approach to assessment or treatment. Having read this chapter, hopefully clinicians will better appreciate that it can be challenging to work effectively and sensitively with Indians or Natives, but that such challenges offer exciting and potentially rewarding opportunities to enhance one's skills as a care provider.

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