Impact of Psychoanalysis in Nigeria: A Case Study


  • Ebigbo Peter Onyekwere
  • Elekwachi Chimezie Lekwas
  • Nweze Felix Chukwunenyem
  • Nwogwugwu Amara Onyinye
  • Okeke Nneka



psychoanalysis, Harmony Restoration Therapy, wawa technique, indigenization, psychotherapy, somatization


The authors set out to examine the impact of Psychoanalysis in Nigeria. In doing this they selected a significant stakeholder, who trained in Germany and returned to Nigeria as a case study. Examining the activities as he set out to indigenize psychotherapy in Nigeria, it was found that psychoanalytic thinking helped in the psychodynamic observations on the frequent somatic complaints of psychological origin which helped to make treatment possible. Family therapy based on psychoanalysis was modeled to treat patients classified as traditional, mixed and westernized. Dream analysis and hypnosis were also used for treatment in Nigeria with good results. Finally the harmony restoration theory was put forward whereby the African is healthy when he is at peace with his world of relationship (cosmos) comprising endocosmos – mind body relationship, mesocosmos relationship with significant others and exocosmos relationship with spirits, ancestors, deities, gods, God. He/she is sick when there is a distortion in the person’s world of relationship. Treatment is restoration of harmony. In every one there is a yearning to reach out to others (cosmic expansion drive) and an inclination to be interested in the self (cosmic reduction drive) at the various levels of the cosmos. Eight personality types were worked out of the combination of expansion and reduction drives. The conclusion was that psychoanalysis has come to stay in Nigeria.


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Onyekwere, E. P., Lekwas, E. C., Chukwunenyem, N. F., Onyinye, N. A., & Nneka, O. (2015). Impact of Psychoanalysis in Nigeria: A Case Study. Journal für Psychoanalyse, (56).