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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Voodoo Therapy

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Through its Transformative Global Health office, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Canada is partnering with voodoo “healers” to address depression and anxiety in Haiti, which it says have become major problems in the aftermath of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake.

The 27 qualified psychiatrists currently plying their trade in Haiti will now be aided and abetted in their efforts by some of its 60,000 voodoo priests, who treat illnesses of all sorts primarily with storytelling and dance.

No, I promise, this is real. You didn’t accidentally surf your way to The Babylon Bee.

The hope is that since 40 per cent of mental health recovery is deemed to be a function of the patient/caregiver relationship, the popular voodoo priests will be able to fill the yawning Haitian therapeutic void. The partnership plans to incorporate evidence-based therapy and contemporary techniques into traditional voodoo practice. With 25 years of priestly experience under his belt, voodoo practitioner Widner Dumay hopes the strategy will build trust with Haiti’s large Christian population, many of whom, as he says, “have been skeptical of the practice in the past”.

Difficult to imagine where the skepticism might arise among Christians ...

The money quote comes from program director Akwato Khenti:
“The voodoo community is often marginalized and dismissed as superstitious in Western societies, but it provides an important level of cultural comfort.”
Which is significantly more than most atheists will concede to Christianity.

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