Thursday June 29, 2017   Last updated 12:09PM

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Maori healer enhances psychiatry

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The authors of a book on Maori healing and psychiatry are looking for a New Zealand publisher so it will be widely available for Maori whanau.

Tataihono: Stories of Maori Healing and Psychiatry by Wiremu NiaNia, Allister Bush and David Epston won the $10,000 prize for best unpublished manuscript at this year’s Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Awards.

Dr Bush says it came out of their experiences at Te Whare Marie, a kaupapa Maori mental health service in Porirua.

He noted the dramatic change in some of the families Mr Niania worked with, and started working with him to understand the different perspectives.

"As a psychiatrist I might meet with a young person who might be experiencing some depression and I might focus on the depression and some of the symptons and maybe some of the stresses in their life. Wiremu might be focussing on concepts such as mauri, mana and tapu. He is also looking at things quite deeply from a spiritual point of view. Those as you would imagine are very different ways from the traditional psychiatric way of thinking and families often like the fact they can have the whole package," she says.

Allister Bush says the families at Te Whare Marie were keen to share their stories.


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