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Observations placeholder

Raves, psychoses and spirit healing



Type of Spiritual Experience


There was also a big difference in that one involved drugs and a 'separation' culture and the other did not involve any drugs and took place under an 'inclusion' culture - love/no love; suppression versus overload.

A description of the experience

Transcult Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;47(3):491-501. doi: 10.1177/1363461510378469.

Raves, psychosis, and spirit healing.

Seeman MV.  Department ofPsychiatry, University of Toronto, 250 College St., Toronto,ON, M5T 1R8, Canada. mary.seeman@utoronto.ca


This paper reflects the intersection of three cultures: the rave (all night dance party and use of the drug, Ecstasy) culture; the ward culture of an inpatient psychiatric program for First Episode Psychosis; the spirit healing culture of the Philippines.

All three intersected in Toronto, Canada in the mid 1990s, as illustrated by the clinical case of a 19-year-old university student who was hospitalized with symptoms of drug-induced psychosis.

Her initial treatment was not successful and presented dilemmas for the treating staff.

Transfer to a second psychiatric facility that permitted attendance at a traditional Filipino healing ceremony resulted in a cure, with no recurrence 10 years later. According to James Dow's 1986 formulation, the components of the key spiritual healing session paralleled the very elements the young woman had sought by participating in raves, an activity that was problematic because it led to family displeasure. Whereas attendance at a rave triggered illness, the healing session, sanctioned by her family and taking place in their midst, resulted in healing.

PMID:  20688801

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps