Combining Psychiatry and Spiritism: Therapies Employed in a Brazilian Sanatorium (1934–1948)


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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to present an historical account of an intersection that occurred in Brazil between popular healing treatments and conventional psychiatric practices during the first half of the 20th century. To illustrate our argument, we analyzed data retrieved from the medical records of patients admitted to the Spiritist Sanatorium of Uberaba, Brazil, between 1934 and 1948. Although the Uberaba Spiritist movement founded the institution, it was directed by a physician educated in the biomedical tradition at the Rio de Janeiro School of Medicine. Based on the theory of the circulation and appropriation of knowledge, we elucidated the adaptations and negotiations that were necessary for the reception and dissemination of the practice of the two different therapeutic methodologies on Brazilian psychiatric soil.

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