Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 215–235 | Cite as

The Heresy of African-Centered Psychology

  • Naa Oyo A. Kwate


This paper contends that African-centered models of psychopathology represent a heretical challenge to orthodox North American Mental Health. Heresy is the defiant rejection of ideology from a smaller community within the orthodoxy. African-centered models of psychopathology use much of the same language and ideas about the diagnostic process as Western psychiatry and clinical psychology but explicitly reject the ideological foundations of illness definition. The nature of the heretical critique is discussed, and implications for the future of this school of thought are offered.


African Americans African-centered psychology cultural psychiatry heresy nosology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew York

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