Scholarship award after trying therapy to suit Maori women

Miriama Ketu-McKenzie
Miriama Ketu-McKenzie
A hunch Maori women could benefit from a non-Western therapy prompted a Dunedin psychologist to embark on an unusual study.

Dunedin Hospital psychologist Miriama Ketu-McKenzie has been awarded a New Zealand Psychological Society scholarship for her research into the effects of mindfulness on the stress hormone cortisol.

The eight women in the study had had a stressful childhood with adverse experiences.

In a couple of weeks, they will start a mindfulness programme with Dunedin practitioner Kovido Maddick. Their cortisol levels would be checked before, during, and after the eight-week programme.

It includes meditation and yoga, in addition to group activities, as well as individual practice.

Mrs Ketu-McKenzie said she believed mindfulness was more in keeping with the Maori world view than the likes of cognitive behavioural therapy.

"Mindfulness may be more attractive to Maori," Mrs Ketu-McKenzie said.

Maori lived in a more communal way with emphasis on relationships, she said.

Mrs Ketu-McKenzie, who moved to Dunedin from Tauranga a year ago, said recruiting enough women for the study was not easy. She believed Maori were likely to be under-counted as a demographic in the South.

Add a Comment



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter