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Sano, sanas, sanamos

I read Dr. Arredondo's book chapter on religion in Culturally Responsive Counseling with Latinas/os. This allowed me to reflect on my thought about some types of cultural practices. Specifically, in the context of considering Brujeria, chamanes, espiritistas, curanderos and botanicas or other types of spirituality in connection to healing. If I see someone’s desire to use these and makes these practices a part of their healing, I would consider what their role could be in a therapeutic setting. I would think about how these practices could be adaptive and helpful and provide a sense of autonomy and control. I would be curious, have an open mind, and a supportive demeanor. If relevant, ethical, and appropriate, I would be open to discussing how the client could incorporate these into their mental health journey. These practices do not need to be mutually exclusive or separate from western talk therapy. These things can be in support and conjunction with one another. When considering a decolonial perspective on mental health, being able to incorporate these various beliefs or practices is something that may be useful in ensuring we are providing the most culturally humble and competent intervention. Santeria, chamanes, espiritistas, and botanicas give many Latine communities a center, a ground, and ancestral practices. It shows our clients our understanding of culture, and belief system and validates a desire to engage in healing work. It emphasizes that I am supportive and actively doing my part to listen to and understand.

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