"Western mental health workers" and depression
I'll skip the build-up and the ritual (it's Senegalese) and go straight to the conclusion:
He said, “You know, we had a lot of trouble with Western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide, and we had to ask some of them to leave.”
I said, “What was the problem?”
And he said, “Their practice did not involve being outside in the sun, like you’re describing, which is, after all, where you begin to feel better. There was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again when you’re depressed, and you’re low, and you need to have your blood flowing. There was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy. There was no acknowledgment that the depression is something invasive and external that could actually be cast out of you again.
“Instead, they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to get them to leave the country.”
That makes a lot of sense!
I've never been affected with clinical depression, thanks to The God(ess)(es)(s) Of Your Choice, If Any, but I've been close enough to it, through SAD, that I know how overwhelmingly grateful I would be to have it "cast out," as in the story.