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Pākehā counsellors consider their positioning: Towards postcolonial praxis

The challenges of achieving the potential, which the Treaty of Waitangi offers for a postcolonial present and future, have shaped life in Aotearoa New Zealand over the last four decades. This thesis draws on this history and challenge to consider the practice possibilities for Pākehā counsellors when they work with clients and colleagues of other cultures. It is strongly influenced by the Treaty of Waitangi but seeks not to be limited to a Māori/Pākehā binary. It has been undertaken in the hopes of informing developments in the practice of students seeking to qualify to work as counsellors and more experienced practitioners. The first theoretical foundation for this study is poststructuralism which is considered as a braided stream of theorizing where braids divide and unite. A Foucauldian social constructionism underlies this project, which extends to a consideration of subjectification, agency and positioning theory. This study is also intentionally postcolonial drawing on Said’s seminal works, Orientalism (1979) and Culture and Imperialism (1993) and North American and European writing about identity politics and intersectionality. It views the centring of the Treaty of Waitangi in this land as postcolonial work. These two emphases, poststructuralism and postcolonialism, provide the theoretical base for an exploration of the context of professional counselling practice in Aotearoa New Zealand. Five experienced counsellors constituted a research group who firstly discussed practising as a Pākehā counsellor and then acknowledged their hopes and fears for their practice with clients of other cultures. In later stages of the data generation the participants were invited to join in processes of discourse analysis and deconstruction which produced shifts in practice and practice identity. This study identifies two forms of praxis that might inform a counselling practice which seeks to achieve a postcolonial purpose: these are named as critical discursive praxis and critical Pākehā praxis.
Type of thesis
Crocket, A. R. (2010). Pākehā counsellors consider their positioning: Towards postcolonial praxis (Thesis, Doctor of Education (EdD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4803
University of Waikato
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