Cultural Perspectives on Mental Wellbeing: Spiritual Interpretations of Symptoms in Medical Practice. TALK AND BOOK LAUNCH
Dr Natalie Tobert will give a talk on her new
book. Cultural Perspectives on Mental Wellbeing: Spiritual
Interpretations of Symptoms in Medical Practice
The talk is open to members of the Scientific and Medical Network
and to members of the public.
Today there is a gap between some physicians and some patients concerning
their beliefs about consciousness. Our beliefs about mental health appear to be
culturally determined, however, truth about human experience appears to be as
ephemeral as knowledge. Many people are questioning the pathologising of
intense experiences, and asking if it is time to call a halt to the Eurocentric
disease model of human suffering, and to raise awareness of consciousness ways
of interpreting ‘symptoms’.
The first part of this talk explores systematic cultural U-turns which occur in every
country. In the past we (society) accepted certain kinds of knowledge as ‘truth’.
Our governments made laws, certain groups of people were criminalised, but then
decades later they changed their minds about what was correct, and apologised
for their earlier actions.
In the second part Natalie gives many explanations for unusual human
experiences ranging from ‘psychosis’ through to clairvoyance, and spiritual
awakening. She examines new paradigm knowledge, whereby anomalous,
extreme, clairvoyant, shamanic, and spiritual experiences are embraced.
Natalie wrote this book to suggest we re-evaluate our ways of understanding and
interpreting unusual experiences, and our treatment of mental distress. Her aim
is to address a gap in understanding, and explore ancient cultural wisdoms.
The book is available on Amazon at
Or direct from Jessica Kingsley Publishers
About the Author: Dr Natalie Tobert is a British medical anthropologist, who conducted original
fieldwork research in India, Sudan and UK. She facilitates participatory courses on
Spiritual and Cultural Equalities for staff and students in hospitals, medical
schools and universities. These innovative seminars create a bridge between
mainstream and new paradigm education. She has run workshops in UK, USA,
India, Switzerland, and Sweden. Natalie lives in London.
Her most recent books are: Spiritual Psychiatries (2014) based on fieldwork
around Sri Aurobindo’s Ashram in India; and Cultural Perceptions on Mental
Wellbeing (2016), which explores spiritual interpretations of experiences for
medical and health care practitioners.
Venue: The Westpoint Academy, Monastery Road, Dublin, 22 Tel 089-462 0681 for directions for one hour prior to the meeting which is at 8pm.
“This is an important study highlighting the human and philosophical inadequacy of
scientific and medical materialism, which is taken for granted when educating
young scientists and doctors. This consensus leads to the categorisation of many
human experiences as anomalous in terms of this limited if powerful
understanding. When one questions and puts aside the assumption that
consciousness is produced by the brain, many of the experiences discussed by
Natalie become explicable and point towards a wider and deeper scientific and
medical outlook, which has been the mission of the Scientific and Medical Network
for over 40 years. I would encourage all health professionals to read this book with
an open mind”. David Lorimer, Programme Director, Scientific & Medical Network
‘Western medical science is in the midst of a massive re-evaluation of the nature of
consciousness and how it manifests in the lives of humans. A key aspect of this
movement is the role of spirituality in mental and physical health, and how these effects
vary in different cultures. Natalie Tobert’s Cultural Perspectives on Mental Wellbeing is a
brilliant foray into this domain. This excellent treatise will be talked about for years to
come by professionals and laypersons alike.’ Larry Dossey, MD, author of ONE MIND:
How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters
Cost of Admission: Fully paid up members of the Scientific and Medical Network enjoy free admission.
There is a charge of 10 euro for those who are not members of the Network.