Latina/o Healing Practices: Mestizo and Indigenous Perspectives

Latina/o Healing Practices: Mestizo and Indigenous Perspectives

360 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-415-95420-4

Edited by:

Brian McNeill, Professor and director of training for the Counseling Psychology Program
Washington State University

Joseph M. Cervantes, Professor in the Department of Counseling
California State University, Fullerton

This edited volume focuses on the role of traditional or indigenous healers, as well as the application of traditional healing practices in contemporary counseling and therapeutic modalities with Latina/o people. The book offers a broad coverage of important topics, such as traditional healer’s views of mental/psychological health and well-being, the use of traditional healing techniques in contemporary psychotherapy, and herbal remedies in psychiatric practice. It also discusses common factors across traditional healing methods and contemporary psychotherapies, the importance of spirituality in counseling and everyday life, the application of indigenous healing practices with Latina/o undergraduates, indigenous techniques in working with perpetrators of domestic violence, and religious healing systems and biomedical models. The book is an important reference for anyone working within the general field of mental health practice and those seeking to understand culturally relevant practice with Latina/o populations.


  • An Appreciation of Dr. Michael W. Smith (1960-2006) Lorraine Garcia-Teague
  • Contributors
  • Introduction: Counselors and Curanderas/os—Parallels in the Healing Process Brian W. McNeill and Joseph M. Cervantes
  • Part One: Mestiza/o and Indigenous Perspectives
    • Chapter 1: What Is Indigenous About Being Indigenous? The Mestiza/o Experience Joseph M. Cervantes
    • Chapter 2: Latina/o Folk Saints and Marian Devotions: Popular Religiosity and Healing Fernando A. Ortiz and Kenneth G. Davis
    • Chapter 3: Santeria and the Healing Process in Cuba and the United States Brian W. McNeill, Eileen Esquivel, Arlene Carkasco, and Rosalilia Mendoza
  • Part Two: Indigenous and Mestiza/o Healing Practices
    • Chapter 4: The Use of Psychotropic Herbal and Natural Medicines in Latina/o and Mestiza/o Populations German Ascani and Michael W. Smith
    • Chapter 5: Brazil’s Ultimate Healing Resource: The Power of Spirit Sandra Nuñez
    • Chapter 6: La Limpia de San Lazaro as Individual and Collective Cleansing Rite Karen V. Holliday
    • Chapter 7: Resé un Ave María y Encendí una Velita: The Use of Spirituality and Religion as a Means of Coping with Educational Experiences for Latina/o College Students Jeanett Castellanos and Alberta M. Gloria
  • Part Three: Contemporary Aspects of Mestiza/o and Indigenous Healing Practices: Reclamation and Integration
    • Chapter 8: Los Espiritus Siguen Hablando: Chicana Spiritualities Lara Medina
    • Chapter 9: Religious Healing and Biomedicine in Comparative Context Karen V. Holliday
    • Chapter 10: Curanderismo: Religious and Spiritual Worldviews and Indigenous Healing Traditions Fernando A. Ortiz, Kenneth G. Davis, and Brian W. McNeill
  • Part Four: Epilogue
    • Epilogue: Summary and Future Research and Practice Agendas Joseph M. Cervantes and Brian W. McNeill
  • Index
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