The Unifying Aspects of Cultures


Culture, Psychosocial Disorders and Mental Health: an African Perspective

Erhabor Sunday Idemudia (International University of Bremen, Germany)
The Role of Culture in Mental Health and Psychotherapy: Lessons for African psychotherapy

Abstract: The impact of culture and society on personality and psychotherapy has been important investigations in psychology. Culture has been defined as the enduring behaviour, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next, (Myers 1993). This definition implies that culture is a way of life of a people with same given boundaries. According to Blue and gains, (1992) cultures develop treatment models that reflect their own values. The big question is "what model are we using in Africa in the treatment of psychological problems?" Unfortunately, most research literature originates in western cultures producing an ethnocentric view of psychopathology that can limit our understanding of disorders in general and can also limit and restrict the way we approach treatment. The result is that African psychologists are being distracted and diverted from questions of the moment in their native communities. This has explained several omissions in the quest for African psychotherapy. This paper therefore discusses the relevance of culture in psychotherapy with emphasis on the African mind-body relations, psychopathology in African concept and ways of bringing about a blend between African psychotherapy and western psychotherapy.