Healing the Body and the Soul through Visualization: A Technique used by the Community Healing Team of Cape Dorset, Nunavut

Novaliinga Kingwatsiaq and Kumaarjuk Pii

Abstract

Introduction. As Alice Kimiksana indicated, the Healing Circle or Healing Teams evolved to help First Nations people who attended residential schools deal with the aftermath of the abuse many of them suffered there. They use a variety of interventions, some traditional and some more Western in origin, for an innovative approach to a very serious problem.

One technique developed by Western psychology, but very useful and adaptable in other cultural settings, is guided imagery or visualization. Often used for performance enhancement in sports, it is also applicable to other situations from medical settings to mental health treatment. In this presentation, Novaliinga Kingwatsiaq of Kingnait (Cape Dorset) led the audience through a modified version of a visualization used by her Community Healing Team. (During visualization one assumes a relaxed state with one’s eyes closed and imagines oneself in the context of a story told by the person guiding the imagery.) The imagery she chose is both symbolically and culturally appropriate. Most audience members were unfamiliar with the process of visualization, and several indicated that they were intrigued by the experience. Kumaarjuk Pii introduced Novaliinga Kingwatsiaq and translated for her. WHA

  • Novaliinga Kingwatsiaq, P.O. Box 113, Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada X1A 0C0

  • Kumaarjuk Pii, P.O. Box 52, Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada X1A 0C0

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