Coyote Accomplishments 2011-12

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Culture as Medicine and Healing.  Since 2010, Coyote Institute has been in a collaborative, consultative relationship with the Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Cooperative (GEGAC), to assist them in building culture into their programming.  3 or 4 Senior Consultants from the Coyote Institute have traveled to Australia each year to participate in a cross-cultural exchange and to build the concept of Culture Camp in which people from diverse cultures share ceremony, story, art, and traditions with each other.  In 2011, we began a second trip to consult to the Medical Staff, involving two of our senior consultants.  Funding for this project has come from the Australian government through GEGAC with Coyote as a sub-contractor to GEGAC.  We have been exploring the development of similar arrangements with indigenous peoples in North America.

Dr. Mehl-Madrona wrote a daily blog about the 2012 experience which is available here:

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Narrative Medicine and Psychology Certificate Training Program modeled after those of Psychoanalytic Training Institutes.  In 2011 we piloted this course with one on-line course done through Coyote and one course done in conjunction with the American Institute for Medical Education.  In 2012, we have implemented the full training and the first on-line course (Narrative Medicine and Psychology Overview) began in May 2012.  From that point on, we will offer at least one course every quarter, varying between on-line delivery and face-to-face.  The highlight of our program is that no one is turned away.  Through donations of time (from faculty) and money (from donors), we are able to accommodate all interested people, regardless of ability to pay.  Our goal is to attract people who are indigenous and/or are working in indigenous communities to continue to bridge the contemporary narrative movement with the indigenous world.




Coyote Institute staff have provided training in areas as diverse as The Netherlands (for the Royal Dutch Hypnosis Society), England (Cumbria Association of General Practitioners), Denmark (Danish Storytellers Society), and Hungary (Medical University at Debrecen).   In the Netherlands, our staff trained Dutch physicians and psychologists in how to use a narrative approach to hypnosis in which we work with the narratives produced by the client and alter those narratives through collaborative co-authorship during an altered state for increased susceptibility for learning.  In Denmark, staff focused upon the therapeutic use of storytelling and how to tell potentially healing stories.  In England, our staff focused upon the combining of osteopathic-style manipulation and energy medicine with guided imagery and hypnosis.  Particularly we are interested in indigenous forms of touch, and especially those coming from the Cherokee people of North America.  In Hungary, we focused on the neurobiology of narrative and the clinical implications of being “under-storied” or having memory which cannot be storied.  Training fees require costs of travel and lodging, but we have provided flexibility in other fees so that all can benefit.  Some organizations are able to be quite generous, while others have severe budget restrictions, and we have found that the two seem to merge into a reasonable average income stream, supporting a basic principle that we believe – that people want to support each other to do life- and world-enhancing work.


Trainings provided in 2011:

February:  Narrative Medicine and Psychology, Honolulu

                   Medical Writing and Medical Writers, American Institute of Medical Education, Santa Fe, NM

                    Aboriginal Concepts for Hearing Voices and Having Visions, Hearing Voices International Conference, Melbourne, Australia

Storytelling as Healing, Healing as Story, Life Is…Foundation, Warburton, Australia

Narrative Approaches to Engaging Youth at Risk, Mission Australia Youth Workers Conference, Sydney, Australia

Aboriginal Healing Concepts from North America, Life Is…Foundation, Sydney, Australia


March:      Indigenous and Narrative Approaches to Healing from North America, GRETT Annual Conference, Dourdain, France.


April:          Seven Directions of Healing, Kripalu Institute for Yoga and Health, Lenox, Massachusetts

                    Cherokee Bodywork, Kripalu Institute for Yoga and Health, Lenox Massachusetts

                   Narrative approaches to Storytelling and Telling Healing Stories, Danish Storytellers Association, Copenhagen, Denmark.


May:          Narrative Hypnosis with Special Emphasis on Pain, Course given at the American Psychiatric Association, San Francisco, California


Sept:          North American Aboriginal Cosmology and Thought: Relation to Quantum Physics and Consciousness Studies and Indigenous Sacred Drama, 28th Annual Conference on the Scientific Study of Shamanism, Dominican University, San Rafael, California

                   The Gift of Forgiveness with Olivier Clerc, Coyote event in Brattleboro, Vermont


Oct:            Narrative Approaches for Children with Life Threatening Illnesses, University of Texas at Houston Conference on Children and Pain, Houston.

                    Cross-Cultural Mental Health for Native American Populations and Mental Health Workers, Seminar at the Institute for Psychiatric Services, San Francisco, California

                    Combining Osteopathy and Narrative guided imagery to enhance effectiveness, Institute for Psychiatric Services, San Francisco

                    Non-pharmacological approaches to managing bipolar disorder, Institute for Psychiatric Services, San Francisco


Nov:          Changing Stories, Changing Lives, Kripalu Institute for Yoga and Health, Lenox, MA


Dec:          North American Aboriginal Healing Methods, Rowe Unitarian and Universalist Conference Center, Rowe, Massachusetts.




Research staff collaborated with Housing Works, Inc., in East New York, NY (Brooklyn area) to evaluate a program in which men without housing who were over 50 and HIV positive learned how to give and receive Reiki, a Japanese form of energy healing.  The experience turned out to be positive and beneficial in their lives and helped some eliminate drugs of abuse from their lives and to more effective engage in counseling for their mental health problems.  Some physical benefits were also reported by some participants.  The results were published in the Permanente Medical Journal.