Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Psychotherapy and Outrage in J.p Clark's Song of a Goat

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Psychotherapy and Outrage in J.p Clark's Song of a Goat

Article excerpt

Doyin Aguoru Ph.D

Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye

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Traditional medicine, in its real context, is the totality of the ancient manner and means of restoring, preserving and protecting health. At its core is the desire to sustain practices that promote the well being of peoples in communities, particularly, before the advent of modern medicine.

The approaches to the sustenance of health as a social welfare package of peoples are adapted from and to traditional beliefs and values of each community, which are generationally transferred. Traditional medicine offers diverse areas of specialisation which include herbal medicine, midwifeiy, treatment of infertility and mental healing.

J.P Clark's Song of a Goat portrays the roles a traditional psychotherapist plays among the Urhobo and Izon peoples of Niger Delta, Nigeria. These roles and the responses of the clients portrayed is the focus of this critical study which examines psychotherapy vis-a-vis therapeutic interaction between: the professional (psychotherapist) and the client and the professional (psychotherapist) and couples. This pattern highlights and identifies existing psychotherapeutic forms, peculiarly the systemic: counselling psychology, marriage and family therapy and body psychotherapy: exercise, massage and sexuality.

The symptoms portrayed in the cases examined in this study further reinforce the reality of diagnosis of disorders; defences and outrage in particular and the rippling effect of living with such conditions to the individuals and the society. This affirms the need for the continuance of psychotherapy as vital aspect of social security of nations.


Psychotherapy is a term that generally refers to therapeutic consultation and\ or treatment taken by a client or patient from a professional. The psychotherapist's clientele is often made up of individual patients, couples, families, and groups. Psychotherapists, like other practitioners in the health industry, do specialise. However, several of the cases they handle are psychological and often depends on the areas of specialty. The essence of psychotherapy is to promote the well being of the humans. Psychotherapists practise a range of 'relation building' techniques targeted at specific results, among these are communicative skills, dialogue and specified behavioural change activities cultivated to ameliorate the mental health and wellbeing of the various clientele.

Psychotherapy and psychotherapies are also practised by practitioners with a range of specialities, these includes amongst others :

psychiatry, clinical, counselling psychology, clinical or psychiatric social work, mental health counselling, marriage and family therapy, rehabilitation counselling, school counselling, play therapy, music therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, dance/movement therapy, occupational therapy, psychiatric nursing, {and} psychoanalysis .

Despite the diversity of forms of psychotherapy a distinct commonality of the practice is that it takes place as a structured meeting between a client and a trained therapist. Worthy of note is the fact that the theoretical foundation of psychotherapy started in the 19th Century with psychoanalysis existing a thought, transcending into medical science and growing into a movement that gave rise to psychoanalysis as a literary and critical movement. Consequently other diverse thoughts and critical theories emerged notable amongst which are phenomenology, archetypal criticism and anthropological criticism.

For the purpose of this study, there is need to examine the role of the trained Psychotherapists and the client as well as the variety of approaches used in diagnosing clinical and existentialist crises. According to Carl Rogers, treatment applied to day to day challenges people face is counselling while other severe or special cases are referred to interchangeably as psychotherapy. …

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