n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - Traditional psychotherapy : Ifá divination orientation : religious psychotherapy




The art of divination is presumed to be universally practiced. Divination proffers solutions to knotty problems. Although the various Òrìsà are, according to the myths and tradition surrounding them, concerned with one aspect of nature or another (Fadipe, 1970: 268). Ifá, the palm-nut divination, occupies a unique position in the family of Òrìsà. Ifá is saddled with the role of ordering and regulating the social and moral order (Olupona, 2011: 177). Thus, as an Òrìsà and oracle vis-a-viz its reputation, its devotees have the belief in its direction on matters relating to their consultation.

This paper therefore interrogates the traditional psychotherapists, looking at Ifá divination orientation especially with in-depth analysis of performance praxis and participant observer approach, do compare Ifá diagnosis with orthodox medicines, and further reveals the seemingly similarities in approach/practice of spiritual consultations between Ifá, Islam and Christianity. The study raises questions of who, why, how and where in traditional Yorùbá cosmology, is Ifá divination relevant especially in the area of psychotherapy? And how appropriate can we describe Ifá divination?


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