Review: Some Latinos don’t trust Western mental health. That’s where curanderos come in

The man, 47, is talking fast—about the nice view of the area from Sesma’s backyard, his connection to the San Diego area, and how he got the supplies at the last minute that Sesma told him they would need: roses, an egg and tobacco.

A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, he has used binge drinking as a coping mechanism. He’s been seeing a therapist and was recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Therapy has helped him identify his behavior and triggering environments, but he still hasn’t come to terms with the sexual abuse he suffered, he said; he wants to be at peace with himself.

That’s why he has traveled to Alpine, a small mountain community northeast of San Diego, to see Sesma. A therapist can teach him coping skills, but Sesma is here to help him repair his spirit.

Sesma, 65, is a Mexican and Yaqui curandera, or traditional healer. Clients come to her home office, in Alpine or Colorado, for a range of needs, including PTSD, nervios […]


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