Psychiatry Section

Yachactaita, Inca Healer Shaman's Ride by Ojibway artist Norval Morisseau South Africa Healer by ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES Kallawaya healer Performing a diagnosis through the detection of Qi, Chinese traditional medicine

Runajambi - Institute for the Study of Quichua Culture & Health

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Transcultural Psychiatry Section, WPA Symposium 2005


A Challenge for Transcultural Psychiatry in Times of Globalization


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MAY 18-21, 2005, QUITO, ECUADOR

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Welcome to the Heart of the Andes


Psychiatry in general and transcultural psychiatry in particular are facing a serious challenge in these times of globalization.  Western treatment and preventive strategies need to be proposed for the betterment of mental health in less-developed countries. According to the WHO, 75% to 85% of the world population relies on local healers when in need of medical care.  At the same time, only a fraction of the world population has access to Western psychological and psychiatric services.  For example, Indigenous Peoples of Central and South America have no access to psychiatric care, while suffering from the world’s highest rates of psychiatric disorders (e.g. suicide, alcoholism, family violence, etc).  In those countries and non-Western cultural communities, traditional healers are providing most of the needed psychological services.  At the same time, psychiatrists continue to help with their valuable knowledge and technology only a fraction of the above-mentioned population.

The Transcultural Psychiatric Section, World Psychiatric Association 2005 Symposium will encourage scholarly discussions about the unsuspecting partnership of psychiatrists and traditional healers from around the world.  Also covered will be the worldwide increase of a new culture of “psychospirituality," and the a priori assumption of spirituality as a practice of therapeutic value. Concomitantly, the meeting in Quito shall facilitate a friendly and unique encounter of transcultural psychiatrists with Yachactaitas (Quichua-Inca traditional healers) of the Andes.

The Transcultural Psychiatry Section Meeting in Quito will address these issues and explore ways to better understand their unwitting partners in global mental health, namely the traditional healers of the world.

Welcome to the Transcultural Psychiatry Section Symposium in Quito!
Shamupaichi Jambitaita tantanacuiman Quitupi!

Mario Incayawar, M.D., M.Sc., D.E.S.S.
Chair, WPA-TPS/Runajambi Meeting 2005
Director, Runajambi - Institute for the Study of Quichua Culture & Health



Many thanks to our collaborators for their hard work and unconditional dedication.

Lise Bouchard, Ph.D. Conference Coordinator
Sioui Maldonado Bouchard, English Reviewer and Introducer
Gina Maldonado Ruiz, Public Relations

  Hosted by Runajambi - Institute for the Study of Quichua Culture & Health