Universal Aspects of Symbolic Healing: A Theoretical Synthesis



In this article I propose that symbolic healing has a universal structure in which the healer helps the patient particularize a general cultural mythic world and manipulate healing symbols in it. Problems currently existing in the explanation of symbolic healing are examined. The relationship between Western psychotherapy and magical healing is explained, the Junction qfshamanic ecstasy is discussed, and symbolic healing is explained in terms of a theory of living systems.