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June 1972

Psychiatric Study of Shamanism in Taiwan

Author Affiliations

Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China
From the Department of Neuro-Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;26(6):561-565. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750240073011

The general picture of Shamanism in Taiwan-how a shaman is chosen, trained, and how he functions in his environment-is reviewed. A person with the ability to dissociate can be trained to utilize his talent as a shaman. Becoming a shaman always fulfills the individual's psychological needs and solves his own personal problems such as feelings of insecurity, inferiority, etc. From the sociopsychological point of view, a successful shaman always gratifies a client's need for an "explanation" of the misfortune he meets and to be given "advice" on what he should do in order to cope with such a disaster.