Taile, the traditional healer: A psychologist’s view of healing in a Northern Sotho community
This article is based on a study that sought to explore and describe the institution of traditional healing as understood and practiced by one Northern Sotho speaking traditional healer. Using the case study method and purposive sampling approach, one traditional healer was approached and selected to participate in this study. The traditional healer was interviewed using the phenomenological interviewing. The subjective and experiential accounts given by the traditional healer during the interview were analyzed so as to identify central themes that have psychological insights. A further analysis of these central themes suggests that traditional healing is a logical process that can be divided into three phrases, namely: the initial phase, treatment phase and terminal phase. The article is concluded by calling for more studies to investigate this alternative form of health care in view of its great potential in the treatment of mental illness and other aliments in indigenous African communities.
Keywords: Traditional healer, psychologist, Northern Sotho, “ditaola”, divination bones, treatment.