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Religions 2011, 2(4), 566-589; doi:10.3390/rel2040566
Article

Sacred Psychotherapy in the “Age of Authenticity”: Healing and Cultural Revivalism in Contemporary Finland

Department of Anthropology, Northern Arizona University, PO Box 15200, Flagstaff, Arizona, 86011-5200, USA
Received: 26 July 2011 / Revised: 6 September 2011 / Accepted: 8 October 2011 / Published: 11 October 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies)
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Abstract

Like other European countries, contemporary Finland has witnessed an explosion of healing modalities designatable as “New Age” (though not without profound controversy, [1]). This paper focuses on Finnish courses in lament (wept song, tuneful weeping with words) that combine healing conceived along psychotherapeutic lines and lessons from the lament tradition of rural Karelia, a region some Finns regard as their cultural heartland. A primary goal of the paper is to explicate a concept of “authenticity” emerging in lament courses, in which disclosing the depths of one’s feelings is supported not only by invoking “psy-“ discourses of self-help, but also by construing the genuine emotional self-disclosure that characterizes neolamentation as a sacred activity and a vital contribution to the welfare of the Finnish people.
Keywords: authenticity and the “age of authenticity”; healing groups; lament; Finland; cultural revivalism authenticity and the “age of authenticity”; healing groups; lament; Finland; cultural revivalism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Wilce, J.M. Sacred Psychotherapy in the “Age of Authenticity”: Healing and Cultural Revivalism in Contemporary Finland. Religions 2011, 2, 566-589.

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