From Denial to Collaboration: Reflections on Shamanism and Psychiatry Based on a Case Study in Chile

  • Ana Maria Oyarce


The validity of shamanism is generally denied in the politically dominant health system in Chile although for many people, such as the Mapuche, it is part of their belief system. This chapter describes a case study of the sufferings—and attempts to seek help—of a Mapuche woman under social pressures in a society undergoing cultural changes. The author, an anthropologist who works in the health field in Chilean society, analyzes how the woman’s sufferings are seen in Western psychiatric terms and through indigenous Mapuche psychological understanding. The author then argues for a need to move beyond these categories to a more holistic social-spiritual approach grounded in lived experiences to promote collaboration between Western psychiatry/psychology and traditional indigenous healing.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Maria Oyarce
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ChileSantiagoChile

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