As a forensic psychologist you will spend the majority of your time evaluating clients. A cultural understanding will certainly aide in this task. Treatment providers have the same challenge. We recently had a young Hispanic man in custody who was psychotic. He believed he was the devil. The only way we could get him to comply and take medications prescribed was to bring in a Shaman (Witch Doctor) who encouraged him to take the medication.
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We are who we are in terms of our self-views, worldviews, personality, preferences, abilities, capacities and limitations due to our socialization as well as genetic make-up. We are a product of our environment and all that it entails. This includes the culture we grew up in, the beliefs that we have come to make a part of our basis to judge the world, what is wrong and what is right. Our morals, our traditions – they all contribute to our identity. In social psychology, there is the argument that we are a product of discourse. How human beings make meaning about the world is through communication, through talk. In talking, in interaction, we gain knowledge and skills. Among cultures, shamans and priests have always been central as these central figures become the doorkeepers to knowledge that their ancestors held to be true, about where they come from, about how the world is ordered. Because of this, they also are the source of solutions when problems abound, including problems that today through science are labelled as …