William Sax – Healing and Rituals

“The logic of modern health care does not admit rituals into it and it cannot do so.”

William Sax, Head of the Department of Anthropology at Heidelberg University, discusses his field work on healing rituals in the Himalayas and the difficulty of finding a place for traditional healing within the institutionalized health system and evidence-based medicine. Dr. Sax voices his concern that rituals shown to be effective such as possession may be marginalized, diluted and excluded in the push for Global Mental Health.

2 responses to “William Sax – Healing and Rituals”

  1. Emily Drzymala MSW, Ph.D. says:

    Your podcast seems to be very male focused with respect to family relations, with male relations being at the core. Hmmm?

    • Emily Drzymala MSW, Ph.D. says:

      We have a long way to go with “pluralism” simply within the Western conventional mental health system. For example the psychiatric model “treats” diagnosed “perceived” psychopathology within an individual via two highly unsophisticated methods: pharmacology and institutionalization. As a social worker, I consistently find that the psychiatric model is both ethically and practically frustrating. The institutional mental health system affords psychiatry an omnipotence at the expense of ignoring factors that can ameliorate healing such as: processing historical grief; family dynamics and parenting styles; the impact of poverty and lack of both formal an informal education etc. etc. All of the latter, and more, are what social workers are trained to do in assessment and intervention.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.