In Iraq, when people got a psychiatric disorder, they usually will not visit the psychiatrist first. They visit the traditional healer first usually. I know some docotrs in medicine who took their relatives to traditional healers and not to psychiatrist for the first time. They even sometimes come to the psychiatrist telling him that the traditional healer want you to see this patient, and actually I sometimes feel good that the traditional healer believes in our benefit and existence. I remember a patient sent by a traditional healer with the request of doing electrical shock to the shoulders of the patient!!!
Traditional healers are respected and valued from the society because the reflect and reinforce the culture of the community. They share the same value system, norms, and symbol systems. There is cultural congruence between the healer and the patient, producing a close healer-patinet relationship, which is rare in western scientific medecine.
Some traditional healers believes that every psychiatric illness is due to a Genie (a spiritual being looking like human and not visible always to them) entering inside the body, and they treat that by hitting the patient's body with a stick or something else, and shout out for the Genie to made him go out of the body of the patient.
Lately I heard a strange story about a traditional healer who likes to abuse women sexually while intending that he is trying to heal them, and it was really a strange way, he put an old pig panty (I don't know if female's or male's one), connected by a piece of clothes up to the cieling above his head, in case you are not sure what I mean, look, he sits at the floor, and above his head you can see a piece of underwear (a panty) connected to the cieling by a thread or piece of clothes....the patient comes and sits infront of him, after some conversation he told the patient (if she is a woman) PULL THE PANTY DOWN, he do that as a test, if the woman understand what he really wants and seems to agree, you know what will happen, if the woman sounds angry and not what he thinks he can do with her, he will clarify, "clarify", I MEANT THAT PANTY ABOVE MY HEAD IT CONTAINS A GENNIE.....