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Synergy, Healing, and Empowerment: Insights from Cultural Diversity

  
  
  
  
  
  

School of Human & Organizational Development Faculty Member, Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, EdD, Co-Authors a Book with His Graduate School Mentor

"I highly recommend Synergy, Healing, and Empowerment for all those interested in indigenous psychology and cross-cultural psychology. I believe that all professional psychologists and policy makers can benefit from the profound insights of the authors." American Psychological Association

Synergy Healing and Empowerment resized 600Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu’s recent book, Synergy, Healing, and Empowerment: Insights from Cultural Diversity, has a special meaning for him as the co-author is his mentor from graduate school, Richard Katz. “Professor Katz had an unforgettable impact on my life as a mentor and to be able to write and publish a book together is amazing.”  

They first met when Katz was a professor at Harvard and Murphy-Shigematsu was a young man searching for a way to integrate his experiences in Japan studying healers into a career path. “He became a mentor in the deepest sense of seeing in me what I could not yet see in myself and trusting me in ways that led me to take on challenges that I was hesitant to accept. Our personal and professional relationship is a wonderful testimony to the power of mentoring.”

Synergy, Healing, and Empowerment is a book that originated in discussion with Katz and his many dedicated graduate students. It went through many iterations but was never completed. Katz left Harvard to become professor at what is now First Nations University of Canada where his contributions included building the Masters of Aboriginal Social Work Program. He also lived and worked with Indigenous Elders and healers around the world. After receiving his doctorate in psychology, Murphy-Shigematsu returned to Japan to be a professor at the University of Tokyo. It was many years before their paths crossed again, and the book helped to bring them together over a labor of love.

“A few years ago we were talking and I realized that the book might reach fruition as a collaborative effort so I offered my help. It is the product of the work of so many people that it is humbling to be able to claim it in any way as mine. Some of the collaborators have contributed papers while others have generated the ideas represented in the book.”

Murphy-Shigematsu describes Synergy, Healing, and Empowerment as part of the legacy of Professor Katz, representing innovative ideas he introduced at the highest levels of academia at a time when it took great courage to venture beyond the borders of an institution like Harvard. Katz’s paradigm of synergy influenced a large group of students who have gone on to distinguished careers as scholar-practitioners.

In Synergy, Healing, and Empowerment, Katz, Murphy-Shigematsu, and some colleagues offer the paradigm of synergy to overcome the scarcity of valuable health and education resources. The authors explore alternative ways in the areas of counseling, education, and community health and development to enhance synergy, expanding formerly scarce resources that can become renewable and accessible to all. Drawing upon the diverse cultural experiences of Aboriginal groups in North America and around the world, the book provides practical insights into the emergence of synergy and obstacles to its existence.

Stanley Krippner calls Synergy, Healing, and Empowerment “an incredible book, “necessary and timely,” that makes a “compelling case for the paradigm of synergy, which releases an ever-expanding network of healing and empowerment.” Paul Pedersen, a pioneer scholar in multicultural counseling, claims that it pushes the envelope and “shows the direction counseling and psychotherapy must go.” And President Katrina Rogers describes it as “a treasure, whose narrative approach to transformational education has potential to lead Fielding in conversation that allows people to open up their hearts to new ways of thinking about the complexity in the world.”

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu is consulting professor, Stanford University School of Medicine, and a faculty member at Fielding Graduate University.

Richard Katz

Richard Katz, PhD, received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Harvard University and taught there for nearly 20 years. Over the past 45 years, he has also lived and worked with Indigenous Elders and healers around the world. Richard is currently a professor emeritus at the First Nations University of Canada and an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan.

For more information: http://www.brusheducation.ca/books/synergy-healing-and-empowerment

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