Cultural Differences

Professional & cultural understanding

As an Aboriginal owned and operated practice, MAPS is in high demand due to the lack of Aboriginal psychologists available and the overwhelming demand for their services in both cities and communities.

Comparative Indigenous disadvantage

Aboriginal people continue to be over-represented in the rates of suicide, chronic disease, incarceration, unemployment, and other measures of poor socio-economic wellbeing when compared with non-Indigenous Australians.

A complex range of factors are believed to contribute to, and exacerbate, negative outcomes for Aboriginal people, such as psychosocial health problems, historical and current issues, inter-generational substance abuse, and poor physical health.

Indigenous mental health needs to consider the holistic nature of health and wellbeing. A paper by David A. Vickery and Tracy Westerman titled ‘That’s just the way he is’ (Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health (AeJAMH), Volume 3, Issue 3, 2004) includes the following reference:

“For Aboriginals, mental health must be considered in the wider context of health and well-being. This requires that health be approached in the social emotional context and that social emotional health and psychiatric disorders encompass oppression, racialism, environment, economical factors, stress, trauma, grief, cultural genocide, psychological processes and ill health.” (Cited in Swan & Raphael, 1995, p. 1*)

Why engage Shannon?

As a Registered Psychologist and Aboriginal woman, Shannon understands. In her own family, she has worked through many of the challenges facing Aboriginal people. She knows from experience that it is possible to overcome these challenges, and keep providing and helping families and communities.
Shannon’s work is grounded in attachment theory and systems theory, which she believes are the best fit for Aboriginal families. Shannon is bound by the APS professional code of ethics and is trustworthy, accessible, flexible and family friendly. She upholds the privacy and confidentiality of her clients and has excellent negotiation and communication skills.

*Swan, P. and B. Raphael (1995). National Consultancy Report on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health: “Ways Forward”, Part I & Part II. Canberra ACT, Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.