Clash of Beliefs: Culture, Spirituality and Health

Natalie Torbet

Clash of Beliefs: 

Culture, Spirituality and Health

Presented by Dr Natalie Tobert this comprehensive course Clash of Beliefs: Culture, Spirituality and Health offers seminars that explore new spiritual and cultural frameworks for understanding ourselves and unusual experiences. It explores what it means to be human in today’s world.  The case studies provided in the training hint at radical challenges to common consensus in our society.

This exciting course lies within the discipline of medical anthropology. That is, it considers what people like us really do to benefit our health, alongside biomedicine.  It explores various meanings given to the term ‘spirituality’ and discusses their relevance for our understanding of medicine and healthcare.

The course offers an overview of what it means to be human. Throughout we encourage participants to develop a positive awareness of cross-cultural understandings of the human body and its core experiences (which may include altered states of consciousness).  The seminars raise awareness of cultural, religious, or spiritual beliefs which may influence our access to health care.


This course is suitable for front line practitioners in medicine and health care, and for other front line staff including social workers, housing officers, police, ambulance, maternity and teachers. It is also for people like us, anyone who would benefit from gaining a deeper understanding of our fellow humans.  The course was developed to enhance social well being and spiritual understandings, at a global level.

The aim of seminars is to empower us to work with spiritual and religious beliefs; to raise awareness of cultural expressions of physical and mental distress; and to explore communication strategies that can be used during consultation. A long term aim is to improve quality of life for practitioners, clients, and us.


This course is made up of fifteen sessions, offered weekly, which include introduction and reading weeks.  It is divided into four parts: The Human Body and the Self; Mental Wellbeing and Altered States; Consciousness Beyond Death; and Cultural U-Turns and Paradigm Change.   The text book ‘Cultural Perspectives on Mental Wellbeing’ accompanies this module. The topics include those mentioned below.

Part One: The Human Body and the Self

  • Spirituality and Cultural Meanings
  • Conception and Identity
  • Women and Human Behaviour
  • Human Body and the Self

Part Two: Mental Wellbeing and Altered States

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Religious and Spiritual Experiences

Part Three: Consciousness Beyond Death

  • Death Dying and Beyond
  • Survival Beyond Death

Part Four: Cultural U-Turns and Paradigm Change

  • Cultural U-Turns
  • Turning Point for Paradigm Change
  • Communication and Working with Peers

A fuller course synopsis can be found here

 Start and End Dates

Thursdays at 2.30pm – 11th January 2018 to 3rd May 2018

Testimonials from previous courses

 “overall an amazing and interesting course”

“Very balanced and thought provoking, excellent.”

“opened my eyes to things you would not expect to discuss”

“we covered a wide variety of topics otherwise not discussed in the degree”

“Excellent, worth going to, makes you think more about your roles as a health care professional.”

“The whole series of workshops have already proved thought provoking and relevant to my practice. Thank you.”

“Very professional, well paced.”


Course Ticket Purchasable Through Eventbrite

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