Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Degges-White, Suzanne

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


This qualitative study explored the lived experiences of individuals who practice a religion based on Yorùbá traditions and have formally engaged in professional counseling. There are a variety of indigenous religious systems that have derived from Yorùbá which are often viewed as people who are unlikely to discuss their engagement in a formal counseling relationship. This study considered the nature of how many individuals who practice a religion based on Yorùbá traditions approach counseling from a different perspective. The philosophy of Carl Rogers’ person-centered theory was used as the framework for defining the counseling relationship and the counseling process. An interpretative phenomenological analysis research design was used to explore the lived experiences of participants who practice a religion based on Yorùbá traditions and formally engaged in professional counseling to hopefully gain an enriching level of understanding.Six participants engaged in one interview and confirmed the validity of the findings by approving a summary of their interview transcripts. as part of this study. Participants identified as being practitioners of Ifá, Lukumí, and Santería. Hycer’s coding analysis was used to summarize the data. The findings revealed a total of eight themes. Themes were based on cluster meanings that were found among four out six of the participants interviewed. The themes were the difference in ideology compared to other religions, indigenous healing methods advice for counseling, use of indigenous healing methods of mental health, views of counseling and preferences, concerns with spiritual and religious practices, and view of counselors and/or counseling relationship, understanding the counseling process, and social and community factors. Information related to such factors created topics of discussion for practitioners of religions based on Yorùbá traditions, researchers, counselors, and health care professionals to consider when providing services.


143 pages




Northern Illinois University

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