Navigating the Boundaries of Two Cultural Worlds While Re-negotiating a Space for Myself: My Journey As a Samoan Woman in the AUT Psychotherapy Course
Tapu Tu'itahi, Athena
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Navigating the two cultural worlds of Psychotherapy and Fa’asamoa (Samoan culture/ Samoan way) is a continuous discovery of edges and boundaries. It is the intersection of two worlds, how they meet, collide or miss each other. This dissertation reflects on the personal experiences I encountered throughout my Psychotherapy training. Often, these were painful experiences that were thought about and discussed in many different forums before being written in my journal. This piece of research asks the question, ‘What were my experiences as a Samoan woman in the AUT Master of Psychotherapy programme?’ It is grounded within the Teu le vā methodology and Fa’afaletui-Tōfā sa’ili research framework as a reflection of my worldview that incorporated nurturing relationships, appropriate consultation and seeking wisdom. This lead to a shift of re-negotiating spaces within Psychotherapy and Fa’asamoa. Findings included the experiences of a ‘lack of cultural safety’ and ‘navigating the edge of two worlds’. This dissertation concludes with recommendations for the Psychotherapy programme and future research in this area.