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Healing EEs/EHEs/Healing Process
Record Type: Review   ID: 524

The Shaman's Touch: Otomi Indian Symbolic Healing

Dow, James

 Proposes a general theory of symbolic healing that explains Don Antonio's work as one case. [Don Antonio is a respected Mexican shaman interviewed extensively by the author.] The stages of symbolic healing in the theory are as follows: A generalized, cultural, mythic world is established by universalizing the experiences of healers, experts, initiates, or prophets, or by otherwise generalizing emotional experiences; a symbolic healer persuades the patient that he can define the patient's relationship to a particularized part of the mythic world, and makes the definition; and the healer attaches the patient's emotions to transactional symbols in this particularized mythic world and manipulates the transactional symbols to assist the transaction of emotion. Several cultural and subcultural variations that occur are described. Dow proposes that symbolic healing becomes possible when a mythic world exists for both the therapist and the patient and when the patient accepts the power of the therapist to define the patient's relationship to it.
Publisher Information:Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1986. 180p. Bibl: 159-173; Bibl notes; 5 figs; 18 illus; Ind: 175-180; 1 map; 1 table
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