What are the meanings of the Mātauranga Māori concept of mana and what might this concept contribute to the understanding and practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy?
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This dissertation explores the meanings of the Mātauranga Māori concept of mana and its relationship to psychodynamic psychotherapy. Using a critical review of the literature located within a Kaupapa Māori research framework it undertakes an analysis of the meaning of mana. This meaning is recognised through the Māori concept of self interconnecting with spiritual power, authority, self image, and group connection, all of which involve merging the person with the environment. Associations between mana and the self in psychodynamic literature were critically reviewed, revealing similarities and divergences between these two world views. A psychodynamically informed mana enhancing psychotherapy is explored placing mana at the centre. The review contends that psychodynamic psychotherapy can become more culturally embracing through utilising mana enhancing values and extending relationships to a wider group context and the physical as well as interpersonal environment.