Calleaghn B. Kinnamon, PsyD, is a 2024 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee

Jude Bergkamp, PsyD, Committee Chair

Michael Sakuma, PhD, Committee Member

Arthur Blume, PhD, Committee Member


indigenous psychology; Native American therapists; cultural adaptation; decolonizing methods and practice; critical constructivist grounded theory; critical psychology

Document Type


Publication Date



The legacy of colonialism has created a modern-day reality where Indigenous populations of the United States (US) experience mental, physical, and emotional distress at disproportionately higher rates than other cultural groups in the country. Increased distress translates to an increased need for supportive services. Because the field of Western Psychology is based in colonialistic EuroWestern worldviews which positions that worldview as superior, Indigenous clients and communities have often experienced further harm in their encounters with mental health services. In recent decades, there has been increasing attention to adapting research, training, academic and clinical work in ways that are culturally appropriate for diverse populations. Native American/Alaska Native groups are rarely accounted for in these efforts and cultural adaptation in general does not go far enough to account for culturally grounded worldviews and psychologies. Native American/Alaska Native therapists bring a unique and valuable insider point of view to formulation and application of culturally appropriate services for Indigenous clients that is grounded in Indigenous Psychology. Employing a Critical Constructivist Grounded Theory approach, semi-structured interviews were conducting with seven Indigenous clinicians who provide services and advocate for Native American/Alaska Native communities. They generously provided insight into the challenges of working within a EuroWestern based system of mental health and specific ways their expertise informs adaptation of their services. They v shared the ways they adapt their work with Indigenous clients and communities, providing protective and advocacy functions within all facets of the Western mental health field and society in general. This research conceptualizes their work as a method for restoring relationships and connections with Indigeneity, which have been disrupted by historical and ongoing genocide, discrimination, and marginalization. These findings provide relevant insights into cultural adaptation of clinical services and ways to increase support for Indigenous clinicians in the field. It offers general and specific guidance for engagement, retention and outcomes for Native American/Alaska Native clients and communities, as well as allyship for Indigenous clinicians.


Calleaghn B. Kinnamon, PsyD, 2024

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-9770-5650