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Int Rev Psychiatry. 2014 Jun;26(3):265-78. doi: 10.3109/09540261.2013.866076.

'I still believe...' Reconstructing spirituality, culture and mental health across cultural divides.

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Department of Industrial and Organizational Psychology , Unisa, Pretoria , South Africa.


Whilst striving to create a balanced and healthy life, individuals experience challenges across their life span. Spirituality can contribute to mental health and well-being, as can cultural constructs. In South Africa, apartheid categories are still vivid, which affect spiritual, cultural and racial mental constructs and impact on the mental health of individuals across cultural groups. This article focuses on the long-term development of spiritual and cultural concepts within a selected individual in Cape Town, South Africa, during 11 years of field work. It also explores the impact of spirituality and culture on the researcher-researched relationship. A mixed-method approach was used, including various qualitative methods of data collection as well as content analysis to analyse the data and intersubjective validation to interpret them. Findings show a strong intrapersonal interlinkage of spirituality, culture and mental health and the researcher-researched relationship having a strong impact on spiritual, cultural and mental health constructions. We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 1976).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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