Social Science


Sleeping on the Enemy's Couch: Psychotherapy Across Ethnic Boundaries in Israel

Authors: Ramzi Suleiman, Yifat Agat-Galili

This paper discusses the impact of the Jewish-Arab conflict on overt and covert layers of therapeutic encounters that take place across boundaries between the two nationalities. We refer mainly to the prevalent case of Arab patients treated by Jewish therapists. We discuss the implications of intergroup tension, cultural differences, and status disparities on the therapeutic dynamics. Our focus is on the effect of these variables on the processes of transference and counter-transference, on perceptions and interpretations of behaviors, on sources of resistance, and on the inability of therapists to take the patients’ perspective. Side by side with the psychoanalytical approach, the article utilizes various social-psychological theories, mainly social identity theory, in deriving insights regarding tensions between the interpersonal/therapeutic dimension and the intergroup dimension. Recommendations for improving therapies in the discussed case are suggested.

Comments: 23 Pages. The paper is forthcoming in Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology

Download: PDF

Submission history

[v1] 2014-09-30 18:12:36

Unique-IP document downloads: 151 times is a pre-print repository rather than a journal. Articles hosted may not yet have been verified by peer-review and should be treated as preliminary. In particular, anything that appears to include financial or legal advice or proposed medical treatments should be treated with due caution. will not be responsible for any consequences of actions that result from any form of use of any documents on this website.

Add your own feedback and questions here:
You are equally welcome to be positive or negative about any paper but please be polite. If you are being critical you must mention at least one specific error, otherwise your comment will be deleted as unhelpful.

comments powered by Disqus