Original Research

Redefining trauma in an African context: A challenge to pastoral care

Ray G. Motsi, Maake J. Masango
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 68, No 1 | a955 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v68i1.955 | © 2012 Ray G. Motsi, Maake J. Masango | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 September 2010 | Published: 09 May 2012

About the author(s)

Ray G. Motsi, Department of Practical Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Maake J. Masango, Department of Practical Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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The article attempted to analyse critically the definition of trauma as it is used in the Western medical and psychiatry contexts in order to come up with an appropriate African definition. This was undertaken with the view to demonstrate that the Western worldview is different from the African worldview. Superimposing solutions or providing pre-packed answers to unique African problems will lead only to re-traumatisation, whereas cultural sensitivity and the right diagnosis will lead to the correct treatment. The driving force behind this article was therefore to aim to be relevant, effective and contextual in all African-based pastoral care.


culture; egocentric; trauma; mental health; psychosocial PTSD; socio-centric; torture; worldview


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