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DePauw University

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

Senegal: National Identity and the Arts


Animist beliefs and practices are deeply ingrained in Senegalese society, even in the metropolitan area of Dakar and have prevailed in Senegal despite the many influences of Islam and colonization. Animist mental health practices are especially interesting because of the influx of Western mental health practices in the wake of modernization. Merging traditional and Western mental health practices challenges the completely different worldviews from which each school of thought stems. For those seeking treatment, this duality makes it tricky to receive the help that they need. The purpose of this study is to explore animist Senegalese mental health treatments, traditional health practitioners, and spiritual practitioners associated with mental health in order to understand the Senegalese worldview in which these traditions play an important role. (Conwill 2010) (Franklin 1996) My research addresses the impact of understanding the culture and viewpoints in which traditional practitioners and methods of treating mental health are recognized as veritable and absolute. (Conwill 2010)


Community-Based Research | Mental and Social Health | Other Rehabilitation and Therapy | Personality and Social Contexts


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