Western Psychiatry and Traditional Healing: Postcolonial Perspectives
1Dr. Tony B. Benning
This review takes as its starting point the chasm separating Western psychiatry from the indigenous healing traditions−especially in the North American context. The principle arguments of this paper are twofold: that this state of affairs is unlikely to change unless there is a greater understanding of the sorts of factors that are underpinning and perpetuating this chasm and secondly, that indispensable to this understanding, is a perspective that takes into consideration the way in which Western psychiatry has historically related to and continues to relate to the indigenous world in a manner that reproduces and reinforces colonial values. A greater awareness of the enduring impact of colonialism and its legacies promises to illuminate the problematic nature of the relationship between Western psychiatry and indigenous or traditional systems of healing.
Western psychiatry, traditional healing, Psychiatry and traditional healing, Psychiatry and colonialism