Sacred Widsom: A Psychosocial Approach To Indigenous Health & Wellness

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Event Location: 

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

1 - 2 p.m.

BIO5, Rm 103

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"Sacred Wisdom: A Psychosocial Approach to Indigenous Health and Wellness"

Dr. Tommy K. Begay is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, UA College of Medicine - Tucson. He is a cultural psychologist by academic training, utilizing attributes of sociocultural theory and cultural-historical psychology. From this approach, human cognition and development – specifically, neurodevelopment and neuroplasticity – depend upon environmental stimulation provided through social interaction, context and culture. Basically, all activities and behaviors lend to physical and functional changes to the brain – and changes to the brain influence behavior. The results collectively contribute to the higher psychological processes of consciousness, identity and personality.

Dr. Begay’s research interests include Native American health, especially in relation to the impact of American Indian historical trauma, and the subsequent evolution of intergenerational maladaptive coping behaviors that contribute to the disproportionately high rates of stress-related chronic diseases, cancer, interpersonal violence, accidents, substance abuse and addiction – contributing factors to the contemporary health and wellness of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Dr. Begay also is interested in the impact of chronic stress, childhood trauma and early childhood adversity on later-life health, wellness and resilience. Of particular interest is the use of psychoneuroimmunology to assess the impact of chronic stress and psychological trauma on associated body systems