chapter  1
16 Pages

Counselling and psychotherapy

If we told you that exorcism, shamanism, hypnotism, even witchcraft all have something in common with counselling and psychotherapy, you would probably be very surprised. Yet they all represent humanity’s response to the healing of emotional problems down through the ages. Long ago in Paleolithic times emotional distress was thought to occur when the soul left the body, either accidentally or when it was stolen by ghosts or sorcerers. The healer, or shaman, cured the individual by searching for this lost soul and restoring it to its owner. A later idea was that frustrated wishes led to disease; lovesickness and homesickness were considered prime causes. Therapy among the Iroquois Indians of North East America in the seventeenth century used dreams to access unfulfilled wishes. In a grand Festival of Dreams, the person would be given whatever it was they desired in the belief that this would effect a cure.