Notq Arrives at the Clinic: How Druze therapists deal with the phenomenon of remembering and talking about the previous incarnation among the Druze in Israel

Mon May 1st 2023, 12:30 - 1:20pm
Event Sponsor
Department of Anthropology
Anthropology Colloquium Room
Building 50, Room 50-51A

This talk is based on a study which addresses the question: What characterizes the therapeutic encounter between Druze therapists and Druze clients who raise the cultural idiom Notq - remembering and talking about the previous incarnation - as an explanation of emotional and behavioral difficulties? The findings reveal how therapists perceive reincarnation and Notq; therapists’ accounts when Notq arrives at the clinic; and therapeutic practices when dealing with Notq. Furthermore, the research shows that while all therapists understand and respect Notq as a cultural idiom, they typically suspend it, with only a few incorporating it in the clinic. The findings also reveal that the Druze therapists are confronted with a complex conflict: They have no internal religious-cultural legitimacy to reject Notq, and they have no external professional basis for accepting it. The discussion joins recent claims regarding the relation between Western knowledge and local ethno-psychological knowledge and considers the unique position of the Druze therapists as minority therapists.