Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Laura Boisen, Ph. D.

Second Advisor

Curt Paulsen, Ph. D.

Third Advisor

Emilia Godinez, LICSW


This qualitative study was undertaken to explore important concepts in the formation of a model for White Cultural Healing based on American Indian, African American and European American cultural healing traditions. Eight individuals selected based on their cultural awareness and understanding of the healing process. Two identify as African American, two as American Indian and the remaining four as European American. They were interviewed regarding their knowledge and experience of the cultural trauma in the background of their people and their traditional ways of healing. The content of the interviews was coded and analyzed thematically. The model for White Cultural Healing informed by the findings includes remembering ancestral trauma and lifetime trauma, mourning, reconnecting culturally and spiritually, connecting to those of other cultural backgrounds and working for justice. The findings are significant for anyone involved in intercultural and interracial exchanges. For European Americans, healing our own intergenerational and cultural wounds and gaining a stronger sense of ethnic/cultural identity can only serve to increase our cross-cultural understanding and decrease the fear behind racism and oppression.


SC 11.MSW.2002.Carlson.EC

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