In order to become an Ethnopsychologist, one has to have a basic understanding of how the mind works, and how we function as a soul in a physical human body. We have to start with the basics, and learn in Basic Trance State Therapy, how the conscious-, subconscious- and superconscious minds work, where it is, and how it stores and retrieves information.
We have to understand how to easily find events that cause emotional and physical problems, by bypassing the critical faculty, in order to get to the original event that is causing the problem today. Once we know how to get into the subconscious- and superconscious mind, we can assist our patient to re-live the experience, understand why and forgive all involved. There is value in giving positive suggestions; they have a cumulative effect, but will have very little value unless we can find the ISE (Initial Sensitizing Event), which is the cause of the problem.
The cause of a problem could be easy to find, but may be very complex, and require further tools and knowledge to relieve the patient’s problem. The western psychologist has a set of rules that are often tested and documented and with skills, can achieve a positive outcome, though it takes much longer that regression therapy.
In Ethnopsychology training, the student has to understand the origin of the human spirit and soul, as well as its place in the solar system and universe, but also its place in the journey of consciousness in all other forms of life.
Most people who are interested in Ethnopsychology or Trance State Therapy (generally called Hypnotherapy), have the need to develop some form of psychic ability or clairvoyance. This can be achieved by learning from a ‘Gobela’ and undergoing ‘Thwasa’ training, but it is limited, as the field of knowledge has so much more potential for human souls who have already been on the spiritual path for a long time.
Some spiritually advanced people have the ability to function in their higher minds, and are often close to developing their higher psychic abilities and intuition. The challenge for each step is different and becomes more complicated as the consciousness is expanding; thus the responsibilities also become more complicated and the working of karma (cause and effect) more intricate.
Ethnopsychology has many paths, depending on the interest of the practitioner, his/her ‘calling’, and choice of tools to diagnose or divine. Typical traditional healers/sangomas may use the bones to diagnose/divine, while others may use Iridology, Signs & Symptoms, Live Blood Analysis or other methods to find the cause of the physical or emotional problem.
Iridology Course Divination Course Herbs/Ethnobotany Course
In iridology a photo is taken of both eyes, where we see a definite line in the area close to the pupil. The line resembles what we would see on an ECG or Heart rate monitor. Every trauma or stressful event since conception can be seen, with a specific shape for specific types of traumas. The left eye gives us a ‘time-line’ from the ages 0-60, while the right eye shows stressful events from ages 60-120.
We can thus make an assessment of exactly what happened to the person in this life since conception, and can also look further and identify similar events coming in the future. The signs and shapes are the same for certain events that happened in the past, and as the patient is usually focusing his mind on the picture, they achieve a light trance state, and instinctively know what is going to happen in future. These are only ‘potholes’, and when aware of the opportunity that is again presented to overcome a certain weakness, the patient can be prepared to take better care of the body, make different decisions, financial planning, and thus survive such future event, experiencing much less physical and emotional trauma.
Hypnoanalysis gives us the tools to verify the events in the past, as we use Clinical Hypnoanalysis tools, consisting of a comprehensive Intake Form and a Word Association Test (WAT). The WAT test shows various events and where we store the emotion in the body; we can form a pattern of events, and make a short list of issues to deal with. From all the analysis, we often find that we only need to address 4-5 events in the past, as they are linked to other things happening in our life.
We use regression therapy to take the person back to the first time that something happened that caused the symptom; this event is usually not recallable by the conscious mind. It may go back as far as a time before conception, and it is possible to go back in time and relive the time in spirit form when we made the agreement with our parents for this life. It is possible to go back in time to various other events in current or past lives, to find the cause of an emotion, physical illness, fears and phobias.
The first part of the Ethnopsychology Course consists of the following 20 days classroom training:
Basic Hypnosis/Trance State Therapy
Advanced Hypnosis/Trance State Therapy
Hypnoanalysis 1/Analytical Trance State
After completion of the above modules, the person can be registered with EPASA as an Ethnomedicine Health Advisor, EHA. Only after completion of additional upgrade modules in conjunction with recognition of prior learning and experience, will the practitioner be eligible for registration as Ethnopsychology Practitioner, EPP.
Additional training includes 30 days classroom training:
Advanced Soul Consciousness and Past Life Regression
Hypnoanesthesia and Pain Management
In South Africa, we have many different cultures, and thus can’t discriminate or choose who we would accept as patients. It is important to have a basic understanding of different religions, and treat people without prejudice based on race, colour, gender and religion.
Ethnopsychology covers the basics of comparative religion, with its main focus on the African Philosophy of Healing plus a comprehensive knowledge of herbal medicines, e.g. making of medicines and identification of Indigenous medicinal plants, as well as other important herbs, trees and edible or poisonous plants & insects.
Students can only start studying the Ethnopsychology four days classroom course, once they have completed the first 16 days of Trance State Therapy/Hypnosis training, as this is the basis on being able to use their psychic faculties, meaning they can ‘see’, ‘hear’ or ‘feel’ things and beings in other worlds. The basic 16 days classroom training covers student practical and many demonstrations of dealing with all aspects of regression and other related issues.
During the basic training, students develop respect for God, nature, all souls (carnate or discarnate), and in particular what is known in African Healing Philosophy, as the Ancestors.
Some practitioners choose to become Diviners/Spiritual healers, and it is important to establish whether they actually have a ‘calling’, before commencing this specialized field of training, called ‘Divination’. Ethnopsychology Practitioners have respect for the vows and agreements with ancestral spirits, as well as other teachers, guides and beings from other higher worlds.
Only students who are serious in their objectives to use the knowledge to serve humanity, will be accepted; those only seeking a certificate or have the need to satisfy their curiosity, will not be allowed to embark on this sacred path.
There are many questions about the role of the Ancestors in African Traditional Medicine, as people think that African people worship the ancestors. This is not true, as the ancestors are seen as mediators between people and God, based on respect for the creator; much in the same way that people pray to God through Jesus, mother Mary and other prophets. There is of course no reason why we cannot speak to God directly; these ways of worship are based on cultural beliefs and respect.
As in any religion, we have people with different ideas, motives and level of spiritual development. Sangomas are not necessarily all honest with pure motives, and the negative ones cause a lot of danger for themselves and the people who seek advice and healing from them.
They open up to unseen dark forces and make it worse by living in unclean conditions, as unwanted beings are attracted to filth, negativity and other negative emotions. This in return connects them with entities giving them false information, and sadly they do not have to knowledge of discernment of spirits. If not trained in this field, they accept every spirit connecting to them as an ‘ancestor’.
Ethnopsychology practitioners have a thorough knowledge of all aspects and areas of the spiritual dimensions that are within reach of their ability to comprehend; the more pure the person is, the higher he can travel to worlds that so refined, that only very pure essence can penetrate. It can be seen as a film of fine cloth; the lower we are on the ladder of spirituality, the less dense the cloth. As we move higher, the holes are so fine, that we must be almost as fine as steam to enter those worlds.
During this training, the practitioner loses all fear of things that he can’t observe with the physical eyes, and trust more and more the images being sent to his mind to translate. The same applies to hearing or feeling, and once he finds a way to recognize truth and trust the signs, it is combined with a harmless and fearless life. Only then can he be trusted by the higher beings to work on any level in the spirit world, without fear of beings in the lower astral planes that live on people’s fears. Thus he will be able to talk to benevolent spirits, and beings sent by negative healers and witchdoctors, thereby helping the client, and also release the being from the hold that the negative healer has on him.
Ethnopsychology practitioners are not afraid to allow the beings to use their voice, as the brain can translate the meaning of the words; we do not allow anyone to ‘possess’ a person as is often the case in being trained during “thwasa”. The practitioner is always in control, facilitating the communication between the being causing the harm, the patient, and any other ancestors, guides, angels, teachers or other deities.
In a typical session, the client is in a trance state, but not asleep, and aware of everything around him; he remembers everything that happened after awakening.
A very important part of Ethnopsychology is Spirit Release Therapy, where souls are directed to leave the lower parts of the darker worlds, or those who are earthbound, to understand where they are, and guide them to higher dimensions where spiritual beings can help them. These helping beings may be family who passed on, guides, angels, ancestors, according the belief system of the soul dealt with.
Another very important aspect of Ethnopsychology is “Parts Therapy”, where we deal with parts of ourselves, also called “Ego States” that started existing within us to help us cope with life. It is also called “soul fragmentation”, and could go back a very long time in past lives. During therapy these fragmented parts of ourselves are re-connected, and must not be confused with “spirit possession”.
The Traditional Health Practitioners Act, 2007, makes provision for four categories of registration:
Diviner / Spiritual Healer
Traditional Birth Attendant.
Ethnopsychology Practitioners are Traditional Health Practitioners who will be able to register under the category of Diviner, and to our knowledge must know African Medicinal Plants, be able to identify medicinal plants and make medicines in addition to their specific training as diviner and healer.
Ethnopsychology Practitioners who wish to register with EPASA (Ethnomedicine Practitioners Association of South Africa) are subject to very intense and specialized training, and required to do many hours of practice as well as an additional 50 hours mentoring during future classes.
EPASA has strict policies regarding uniformity of education and practice, and members are required to do 30hours annually of ongoing CPD (Continued Professional Development) training in order to renew membership for each year.
Students who complete the basic 20 days Ethnopsychology Course may register with the
IMDHA (International Medical & Dental Hypnotherapy Association: USA)
HEPASA (Hypnotherapy & Ethnopsychology Association of South Africa)
The history of African Traditional Medicine goes back as far as the emergence of mankind’s intellect on the African Continent. The science of traditional healing in Africa has been passed on through the generations. This method of healing has always been entrusted to the Sangoma and is regarded as secret “intellectual property.” Elders of this science and art painstakingly teach those members of the community that have a “calling” in the use of the art.