#421 – Mental Health Issues in Native American Communities with Ethan Nebelkopf PhD

Ethan Nebelkopf

Ethan Nebelkopf, PhD, MFT, has worked in non-profits for 40 years and has been a licensed marriage and family therapist for 30 years. Ethan served as Director of Behavioral Health for the Family & Child Guidance Clinic of the Native American Health Center in Oakland and San Francisco from 1997-2012. In 2009, his program received the National Behavioral Health Achievement Award for Innovation from the Indian Health Service. In 2007 Ethan received the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Award of Excellence for development of integrated, substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, mental health services, and HIV/AIDS prevention programs for Native Americans. In 2006, Ethan received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Office of Multicultural Services of the California Department of Mental Health. Ethan is author of The Herbal Connection: Herbs, Drug Abuse and Holistic Health, published by BiWorld Press in 1981, and Healing and Mental Health for Native Americans: Speaking in Red, published by AltaMira Press in 2004. He edited Growing Roots: Native American Evidence-Based Practices, a special issue of the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs in 2011.

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A psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.

copyright 2014: David Van Nuys, Ph.D.



  1. Dr. Michael Ocana
    Posted September 23, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed hearing you and your long time friend enjoying each others company on this episode.
    The competance and humility you both embody is a real tonic for the soul.
    I think I would have enjoyed hanging out with you and your crowd back in your heyday. And probably would still enjoy it today!
    No doubt there was a very different energy back in those days. 😉

    I very much appreciated Ethan’s challenge to the prevailing orthodoxy of “evidence based” approaches, and while I concur with the identification of his inner trickster, I want to highlight the importance of this archetype. I know your identification of this element was no dismissal of what he has done. His challenge was every bit as authentic and real as the paradigm he is challenging.
    Evidence is critical to the scientific endeavour but it cannot alone produce meaningful change and progress. Nor can it grant authenticity to the human spirit. It must live in harmony with creativity, imagination, attunement and meaning if it is to contribute to the ecology of the human endeavour.

    I loved your own self attunement in your concluding segment, where you wrestled with the decision around the paywall. I would certainly not have dropped off as a listener if you chose a paywall, but I value your deep engagement with the process of this decision and have no doubt that your decision to resist this move will have positive ripple effects that will pay off spiritually in the long term.

    Bravo, Dave!

  2. Gerald Trumbule
    Posted September 24, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations on your decision rejecting paywall. However, I still think you should consider charging for the transcripts. The fact that they are created by volunteers is their way of contributing to the financial well being of the site.

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