Indigenous clinical psychology in Australia: A decolonising social-emotional well-being approach

Robert Brockman, Pat Dudgeon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


Significant inequities in the health outcomes of Indigenous Australians have for some time now been of concern to governments that are charged with providing positive and equable health outcomes to all Australians. Despite decades of government and scholarly research, investment and ‘interventions’ geared towards ‘closing the gap’, Indigenous Australians continue to experience large disparities in health outcomes, particularly in the domain of mental health and well-being. Concurrent with this challenge, many Indigenous people experience the current Western healthcare system through the gaze of colonisation, straining engagement with, and efficacy of healthcare services, including psychological therapy. This chapter outlines and contextualises an Indigenous model of social and emotional well-being within a decolonising framework. We use this framework to outline considerations for reimagining clinical psychology practice for use with Indigenous Australians. Here, the terms ‘Indigenous’, ‘Indigenous peoples’ or ‘Indigenous Australians’ will be used when referring to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBeyond the Psychology Industry
Subtitle of host publicationHow Else Might We Heal?
EditorsPaul Rhodes
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-33762-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-33761-2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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