Original Articles

A Psychology of Indigenous Healing in Southern Africa


Converging lines of evidence from various scientific disciplines consistently point to humanity's African roots. In this context, the term “indigenous healing” is used to refer to universal forms of healing that began in Africa and were developed further both locally and internationally. This article examines the notion of a psychology of indigenous healing and suggests that investigations continually reveal essential structures and practices of a perennial psychology underlying modern scientific, academic and professional forms of this discipline. Examination of such structures and practices illuminates an original psychological theme in Southern African indigenous healing involving recognition of Spirit as Source of Self that extends into transpersonal realms. Related themes include ancestral consciousness, familial and communal spirituality, healers and specializations, illness prevention, health promotion and various forms of empathy. The need for future in depth research into such psychological themes and issues is identified and explicated.

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