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Cult Med Psychiatry. 2010 Sep;34(3):468-99. doi: 10.1007/s11013-010-9184-9.

Women as healers; women as clients: the encounter between traditional arab women healers and their clients.

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The Open University, Raanana, Israel.


Interviews conducted with Arab women in Israel who sought treatment from traditional women healers show that such women undergo a change of both a personal and a social nature after the visit. This study enumerates and analyzes the aspects of this change and concludes that visiting traditional Arab women healers constitutes a coping path that empowers clients. Such empowerment, achieved primarily by clients who maintain regular, extended contact with healers, is not social but personal and follows traditional norms without challenging them. This is a model of practical empowerment that derives from the accepted norms of its culture, implying the existence of an empowering agent and an individual who are involved in a process of growth in a social context that embodies numerous restrictions.

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