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Emotional Expression Among The Cree Indians: The Role of Pictorial Repre

ISBN: 9781853026560

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This study examines cultural differences in styles of emotional expression and psychological mindedness by comparing two groups: Euro-Canadians and Cree-Amerindians. It investigates the ethnographic, historical and cultural context of the Cree People as well as their style of communication, narratives, beliefs and views of imagery, dreams and art. Workign with the Cree people, the author discovers that art therapy provides an effective channel of emotional communication for many of them: thus, inability to discuss feelings, imagery or fantasy may not indicate an underlying psychological deficit. The text argues that some cultures predispose individuals to use non-verbal modes of emotional expression, but that psychiatry does not take this into consideration in clinical assessment. This study challenges the assumption that the constructs and practices of psychiatry can always be appropriate cross-culturally.