Brief Report

Bereavement care support in a traditionalist South African community setting

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 27, issue 4, 2017 , pages: 381–384
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2017.1347768
Author(s): Mpsanyana MakgahlelaDepartment of Psychology, South Africa, Tholene SodiDepartment of Psychology, South Africa


The present study investigated the bereavement care support as experienced by 14 Northern Sotho (n = 14, males = 50%; mean age = 59 years, SD = 13.7 years) community members. The study adopted the descriptive phenomenological approach. Data on participants’ lived experiences, related to the use of traditional herbs for bereavement care, were collected by employing semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using Hycner’s adapted phenomenological data explicitation method. The participants reported use of traditional herbs in the management of the pain of grief and bereavement alongside other care support expediencies. One particular herb’s psychological function is to ease the pain of grief by causing the affected individual to forget the painful memories associated with the deceased.

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