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September 2022

Am J Psychiatry. 1983 May; 140(5): 568-72.

The significance of ritual in a church-based healing model.

Griffith EE.

Four major ritual patterns are exhibited in a church-based clinic in Jamaica that represents a model of collaborative clinical care catering to spiritual, psychological, and orthodox medical needs. Three of the ritual patterns correspond to the three sectors of care, with their different beliefs and values, and this creates tension. The fourth pattern has the potential to be a superordinate ritual that could bring the clinic together in a cohesive approach to the task of health care, but this does not occur, as staff and patients remain bound in their unique sociocultural traditions and heritage.


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