Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


  • Angelina BaydalaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_130


There is historical and cultural context to the meaning of healers. Ancient understandings of health, promoted in the writings of Plato and Galen, indicate that healing requires the restoration of social political harmony, one’s right place in the natural course of the cosmos, and balance of the humors. With the rise of church power through the Latin era, healing was associated with religious notions of sin requiring restoration of one’s relationship with God through forgiveness, faith, hope, and counsel by way of encouragement, consolation, and empathy (Jackson, 1999).

Secular notions of what we would now consider psychological health and healing began to emerge in Europe with the Renaissance (Jackson, 1999). As the secular perspective developed, healing could be seen as needed without necessarily implying sinfulness. Psychological healing came to be understood as a kind of regeneration facilitated by fresh air, exercise, and controlled diet. It was considered an...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Psychologist, Independent PracticeEdmontonCanada