African Traditional And Religious Faith Healing Practices And The Provision Of Psychological Wellbeing Among Amaxhosa People
The African Renaissance Movement has become one of the defining issues among African leaders in various fields including government, academic life and religion. This resurgence in investigating and celebrating African resources of meaning invites diversified expertise and this article contributes to this movement through an examination of the important dimension of psychotherapy. The paper explores the contribution of African traditional and religious faith healing practices in the provision of psychological wellbeing. The authors identify a strong relationship between African traditional and religious faith healing. Related practices among the amaXhosa people of the Eastern Cape, South Africa are used to exemplify both healing effects and psychological wellbeing outcomes. The religious component is addressed using Christian based methods of attending to psychological wellbeing. We argue that although generally viewed with suspicion, misrepresented, and even rejected in some circles, traditional and religious faith healing ceremonies enhance the release of misdirected energies and, as such, should be considered as a proper part of mainstream forms of therapeutic intervention. A strong call is thus made to regard the African traditional and religious faith healing methods as complementary to the current taken-as-mainstream provisions for people's wellbeing.
Keywords: Faith healing, psychological wellbeing, African traditional healing, traditional healers, amadlozi, psychotherapy, healing practices, herbal mixture
Indilinga Vol. 7 (2) 2008: pp. 119-131