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  • Psychotherapy And Traditional Healing

    Psychotherapy And Traditional Healing


    Multicultural advocates within professional psychology routinely call for “culturally
    competent” counseling interventions. Such advocates frequently cite and celebrate
    traditional healing practices as an important resource for developing novel integrative forms
    of psychotherapy that are distinctively tailored for diverse populations. Despite this interest,
    substantive descriptions of specific forms of traditional healing vis-à-vis psychotherapy have
    appeared infrequently in the psychology literature. This article explores the prospects for
    therapeutic integration between traditional healing and contemporary psychotherapy. There
    is a growing trend to seek alternative, complementary and traditional healing not only as a
    reaction to Western biomedicine but also to the mindset of ‘‘talking heads’’ in
    psychotherapy. Traditional healing aims to restore harmony and balance within the
    individual through a symbiosis of the body, mind and spirit. Through this process traditional
    healing offers a holistic conceptualization of wellness and wellbeing, both within the
    individual, and between the individual and his or her environment. Comparative studies on
    alternative healing practices indicate that many patients/clients often see a mental health
    professional and a traditional healer concurrently. This paper considers the use of
    traditional healing alongside Western counselling psychology as a process of dual
    interventions for clients who engage traditional healing practices alongside psychotherapy.


    Francis Bala Aku Akwash