Three perspectives on ukuthwasa : the view from traditional beliefs, western psychiatry and transpersonal psychology

by Booi, Beauty Ntombizanele

Abstract (Summary)
Among the Xhosas, the healing sickness called intwaso is interptreted as a call by the ancestors to become a healer. Transpersonalists also see these initiatory illnesses as spiritual crises, while according to the widely accepted Western psychiatric view, illness is purely perceived in physical and psychological terms.

A case study was conducted where a single participant who has undergone the process of ukuthwasa and is functioning as a traditional healer was interviewed. A series of interviews were done where information was gathered about significant experiences related to ukuthwasa process. Tapes were transcribed and a case narrative was written and interpreted using the traditional Xhosa beliefs, the western psychiatric and the transpersonal psychology perspectives. Strengths and weaknesses of each perspective were then examined.

Bibliographical Information:


School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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