Applying Nepali Ethnopsychology to Psychotherapy

A new article:Applying Nepali ethnopsychology to psychotherapy for the treatment of mental illness and prevention of suicide among Bhutanese refugeesby Kohrt et al. has been published in Annals of Anthropological Practice.


Addressing mental health needs of 100,000 ethnic Nepali Bhutanese refugees relocated from Nepal is a new challenge for mental health clinicians in the receiving countries. A limitation of current services is the lack of knowledge about cultural understandings of mental health. Ethnopsychology is the study of emotions, suffering, the self, and social relationships from a cultural perspective. Nepali ethnopsychology can be used to develop and adapt mental health interventions for refugees. We discuss applying ethnopsychology to provide safe and effective mental healthcare for Bhutanese refugees, including cultural adaptation of cognitive behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. Psychological interventions are proposed for the high rates of suicide among Bhutanese refugees. The contribution of ethnopsychology to applied anthropology and the growing field of neuroanthropology are discussed.

Key words: ethnopsychology, Bhutanese refugees, culture, psychotherapy, suicide, somatization, Nepal

Suggested citation: Kohrt, B.A., Maharjan, S.M., Timsina, D. & Griffith, J. L. (2012). Applying Nepali ethnopsychology to psychotherapy for the treatment og mental illness and prevention of suicide among Bhutanese refugees. Annals Of Anthropological Practice, 36 (1), 88–112.

For more articles on Nepali Ethnopsychology, please, see:

Kohrt, B. A., and Harper, I. (2008). Navigating Diagnoses: Understanding Mind-Body Relations, Mental Health, and Stigma in Nepal. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 32(4):462–491.

Kohrt, B. A., and Maharjan, S.M. (2009). When a Child Is No Longer a Child: Nepali Ethnopsychology of Child Development and Violence. Studies in Nepali History and Society 14(1):107–142.

Kohrt, B. A., and Hruschka, D. J. (2010). Nepali Concepts of Psychological Trauma: The Role of Idioms of Distress, Ethnopsychology and Ethnophysiology in Alleviating Suffering and Preventing Stigma. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 34(2):322–352.

Interested readers can download the full-text of the articles here:!topic/psychology-network/KT7q8QnKQvI



2 thoughts on “Applying Nepali Ethnopsychology to Psychotherapy

  1. Thanks for sharing this useful information with us. I found it so much interesting and helpful .Keep writing article like this. Your writing skills contributing an important part to changing the trends.

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