This month at The Psychology Podcast we discussed the wisdom of Indigenous Peoplez with Richard Katz and how to take a mindful approach to nonviolent communication with Oren Jay Sofer. 

Honoring the Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples with Richard Katz

Today it’s an honor to have Richard Katz on the podcast. Dr. Katz received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and taught there for twenty years. The author of several books, he has spent time over the past 50 years living and working with Indigenous peoples in Africa, India, the Pacific, and the Americas. He is professor emeritus at the First Nations University of Canada and an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Saskatchewan. He lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. His latest book is Indigenous Healing Psychology: Honoring the Wisdom of the First Peoples. Author royalties will be given back to the Indigenous elders whose teachings made the book possible.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How being an outsider allows you to see the limitations of the world you are living in
  • Richard’s friendship with Abraham Maslow
  • Setting the record straight: The real influence of the Blackfeet Nation on Maslow’s theory of self-actualization
  • How modern day psychology has oppressed the verbal-experimental paradigm
  • The limitations of modern measurement
  • The tension between the scientific method and the narrative approach to psychology
  • Are all modes of the scientific process valid?
  • How indigenous people are misunderstood, under-respected, and under-appreciated
  • What the field of psychology could be if it incorporated indigenous ways of being


Kalahari People’s Fund

A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication with Oren Jay Sofer

“Finding your voice, learning how to say what you mean, and how to listen deeply: this is one of the most rewarding journeys you can take.” — Oren Jay Sofer

Today we have Oren Jay Sofer on the podcast. Sofer teaches meditation and communication nationally. He holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University, and is a member of the Spirit Rock Teacher’s Council. He is also a Certified Trainer of Nonviolent Communication, a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner for healing trauma, and he is the Senior Program Developer at Mindful Schools. Sofer is author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The importance of slowing down
  • Marshall Rosenberg’s system of nonviolent communication
  • How our behaviors can viewed as an attempt to meet a deeper need
  • Entering relationships from a sense of deprivation vs. a place of growth
  • The importance of relational awareness
  • The undervalued skill of healthy communication
  • Why intention is the single most important ingredient in dialogue
  • Martin Buber’s distinction between the I-Thou vs. I-It relationship
  • The importance of the “do over”
  • How to heal after a breakup
  • The importance of forgiveness and how it happens on its own time schedule