Entering the void
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This dissertation explores the relationship between the experience of colonisation and the experience of self for Indigenous Peoples of Aotearoa. The study suggests that an indigenous experience of self exists within a discursive relationship to colonisation processes. Using a modified systematic literature review located within a kaupapa Māori research framework, the study considers colonisation and the resultant disruption to an experience of indigenous ‘selves’. The work examines the process of racialisation: the construction and resulting interiorisation of Indigenous Peoples as ‘Other’. The review contends that this process has the effect of disrupting indigenous ontologies creating a divided and alienated experience of self for Indigenous Peoples. Within Aotearoa, the phenomenon of whakama and mate Māori are hypothesised as the indigenous experience of this alienated and divided self. The study suggests that arguably all psychological issues for Indigenous Peoples of Aotearoa arise to some degree from these experiences. Implications for psychotherapy are considered. Psychotherapy and psychotherapists are challenged to re-evaluate both the underlying positivist conceptualisations of self, and ongoing processes of colonisation, in order that they may be more fully equipped to effectively work alongside Indigenous communities in Aotearoa.