Haere mai ki te kapu tī = Come have a cup of tea : developing therapeutic relationships : a research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the degree of Master of Arts, Psychology at Massey University, Albany, Aotearoa

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Massey University
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As New Zealander’s, when people come to visit, we often welcome them into our homes and offer them a cup of tea. This provides an opportunity to sit together and converse over a cup of tea and generally engage in an enjoyable experience of hospitality and friendship. However, within mental health and addiction clinical environments, this simple act of hospitality can be overlooked due to our clinical Western ideology which inadvertently deems acts of hospitality as unnecessary. This qualitative rangahau (research) explored the blended rivers approach (MacFarlane, Blampied, & MacFarlane, 2011) that suggests that Western and te ao Maori worldviews can be incorporated together like the flow of two merging streams. A narrative inquiry was used to investigate tea ceremonies (the offer of a cup of tea to service users and their whānau) within clinical environments and a thematic analysis was then applied to interpret the six practitioner and ten whānau narratives. The results suggest that introducing tea ceremonies into clinical practice provides a safe space for meaningful engagement. Tea ceremonies provide an opportunity to allow for quiet pauses and reduce anxiety in new, unfamiliar or often sterile clinical environments. When this practise is integrated with pōwhiri tikanga, manaakitanga (the care and protection of people, hospitality) and whakawhanaungatanga (the sharing of genealogy to create connections with others), practitioners are then able to prioritise the development of the therapeutic relationship instead of focusing on assessment, treatment and recovery plans. By engaging authentically with service users and their whānau, practitioners create an mutually supporting and trusting therapeutic relationship which could lead to better outcomes for service users and their whānau.
Māori Masters Thesis