Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno: Group work in a community mental health Clinic in a bi-national town
Jennia Vilensky-Garber, M. S. W , Tsvi E. Gil, B. Sc., M. A., and Juan Bar-El, M. D.
Community Mental Health Clinic, Fligelman ('Mazra') Psychiatric center, Acre, Israel
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We present therapeutic group work in a community mental health clinic. Acre is a small town in the north of Israel, populated by a small majority of Jews and large minority of Arabs, and is surrounded by rural catchment area which comprises mostly by Arabs. Consequently the clinic's profile of referrals affects the nature of interventions taken, amongst is group therapy. Beside its universally accepted principles (Based on Bion, Foulkes, Yalom, and McKenzie, among others), we focus on some more unique characteristics of our clinic's work, which are: (1) Heterogeneity in patient's diagnoses lead to either homogenous groups (e.g., DBT group for Borderline, dynamic group for anxiety disorders) or heterogeneous groups (e.g., group for mixed personality disorders). (2) Heterogeneity in patient's demographic properties leads to either heterogeneous groups (e.g., women and men together, Arabs and Jews together) or to homogeneous groups (e.g., Arabic speaking group for spouses or mothers of Arabic mentally-ill men). (3) Heterogeneity of professionals working together as a team (psychiatrists, psychologist, social workers etc), each brings upon its unique knowledge and professional heritage. and (4) Heterogeneity of treatments (individual, group, psychopharmacologic, psychotherapeutic, dynamic, CBT, and so on) strive to integrate, not without difficulties. Our discussion will try to give special attention to the unique encounter of people of two nationalities having being treated by therapists who themselves belong to two nationalities. The team processes may reflect patients' processes in the therapeutic groups, and probably vice versa…