Bulletin: Psychology and Psychiatry in Israel

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Asher Tlalim, “A History of Israeli Cinema: From National to Personal Films”; SOAS, March 20, 2017

 

New Article: Lavie-Ajayi, Resilience among Asylum Seekers from Darfur in Israel

Lavie-Ajayi, Maya. “A Qualitative Study of Resilience among Asylum Seekers from Darfur in Israel.” Qualitative Social Work (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1473325016649256

 
Abstract

We know more about the experiences of trauma, despair, and abuse of asylum seekers and refugees than we do of their resilience, strength, and active struggle to survive and succeed. This article explores stories narrated by asylum seekers from Darfur, Sudan, currently residing in Israel, to learn about their forms and sources of strength, resilience, and coping mechanisms. In-depth, semi-structured group interviews were conducted in Hebrew and in English with eight single men, aged between the ages 27 and 38, who had lived in Israel for between four and seven years. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and the data analyzed by analytic induction and constant comparison strategies. Six factors were identified, from the interviewees’ perspective, as contributing to their resilience: cognitive coping strategies, behavioral coping strategies, the ability to work, the ability to study and educate oneself, the support of family and friends, and social and political activism. This study corroborates existing literature by identifying personal strategies and social support as important to resilience of refugees; however, and unlike other studies, we did not find religion as an important factor from our interviewees’ perspective. We have thus expanded the existing literature by identifying the ability to work and the ability to study as important factors contributing to the resilience of refugees.

 

 

New Article: Siman-Tov et al, The Social Impact of Terrorism on Civilian Populations

Siman-Tov, Maya, Moran Bodas, and Kobi Peleg. “The Social Impact of Terrorism on Civilian Populations: Lessons Learned from Decades of Terrorism in Israel and Abroad.” Social Science Quarterly 97.1 (2016): 75-85.
 
URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1111/ssqu.12254
 
Abstract

Objective: This article considers the sociopsychological implications of terrorism, which are sometimes neglected in preparedness plans. Methods: Using Israeli experiences as a case study, this article briefly reviews four points of connection between terrorism and its psychological and social legacies: the sociopolitical aspects of terrorism, the unexpected nature of terrorism, normalization of terrorism and public resilience, and social aspects of medical care for terror-related injuries. Results: The Israeli experience suggests preparedness plans should include planning for the sociopsychological effects of terrorism on targeted populations and may, in certain contexts, use Israeli approaches as a model. Conclusions: Experience gained in Israel and elsewhere can set the stage for an appropriate response plan striving not only for preparedness but also resilience. Efforts should be made to advance local capabilities, response plans, and resilience by drawing on the experience of others in coping with the terror threat.

 

 

 

New Article: Meiri, Sexual Violence as Represented in Israeli Holocaust-Related Cinema

Meiri, Sandra. “Visual Responses: Women’s Experience of Sexual Violence as Represented in Israeli Holocaust-Related Cinema.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22.4 (2015): 443-56.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1350506815606439

 

Abstract

This article explores the function of Israeli narrative films’ persistent, albeit marginal, portrayal of women as victims of sexual violence during the Holocaust. While the marginalization of such characters may be attributed to the difficulty of representing sexually-related trauma/post-trauma, their portrayal attests both to the ubiquity of sexually-related crimes in the Holocaust and to its aftermath: namely, the persistence of women’s trauma. The first of the two waves of ‘retro films’ examined here evinces the importance of the visual, cinematic representation of women’s trauma. Its main function is to legitimize its disclosure through cinematic aesthetic/artistic mediation, for sexual violence was a crime committed against helpless victims. The second wave includes films made from the point of view of ‘the second generation’, and explores the topic further by dealing with the transmission of post-traumatic symptoms of women’s trauma to the second generation.

 

 

New Article: Berger and Paul, Teaching Cultural Aspects of Trauma Practice in a Study Abroad Immersion Course

Berger, Roni, and Marilyn S. Paul. “Teaching Cultural Aspects of Trauma Practice in a Study Abroad Immersion Course: Challenges and Strategies.” International Social Work (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020872815611198
 
Abstract

Advantages, phases, challenges, and strategies related to the process and procedures involved in planning, implementing, and evaluating study abroad programs, and addressing emergencies have been discussed as being issues in teaching trauma and diversity content. However, very little has been written about study abroad programs dedicated to specific topics and no studies address teaching trauma content by means of international immersion courses. This article discusses pedagogical and logistic aspects of teaching about trauma in diverse cultural contexts using a recent intensive immersion study abroad course in Israel to illustrate the issues under discussion.

 

 

 

New Article: Nasie et al, Young Children in Intractable Conflicts

Nasie, Meytal, Aurel Harrison Diamond, and Daniel Bar-Tal. “Young Children in Intractable Conflicts: The Israeli Case.” Personality and Social Psychology Review (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1088868315607800

 

Abstract

The article examines the political socialization of young Jewish-Israeli children who live under the Israeli–Palestinian intractable conflict. It proposes arguments and presents empirical evidence to suggest that the way in which political socialization of young children happens in this context contributes to the development of conflict-supporting narratives of ethos of conflict and collective memory by the youngest generation. As a result, the conflict solidifies adherence to these narratives in adulthood, thereby serving as a major obstacle to the processes of peace-making and peace-building. Specifically, as evidence for showing how the political socialization works in Israel, a series of studies conducted in Israeli kindergartens and elementary schools are presented. These studies recount the contents acquired by young children, as well as contents delivered by teachers, related to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. This indicates the serious consequences of acquiring conflict-supporting narratives at an early age in societies involved in intractable conflict.

 

 

New Article: Schreiber, Building an Emergency Mental Health System for Israel

Schreiber, Merritt D. “Toward the Way Forward: Building an Emergency Mental Health System for Israel.” Israel Journal of Health Policy Research (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13584-015-0038-3

 

Abstract

A number of related changes have evolved over the past 25 years: the development of a truly national disaster mental health service in Israel; progress in the science of risk, resilience and evidence base care for those suffering from traumatic stress related disorders; and the development of conceptual models of population level disaster mental health response in the context of emergency management systems such as the Incident Command System.
In a recent IJHPR article, Bodas, et al. report on the dynamic history of disaster mental health response in Israel, which informed by the all too numerous real world events affecting the region. What is most striking is that the system now in place reflects true “lessons learned” in that problems and issues identified in incidents informed deliberative planning, and the current system reflects many iterations of “lessons observed and learned”. There appears to be commitment across sectors of government in Israel that the mental health consequences of disasters and terrorism are important and a priority. This is advanced thinking and sound policy.
As the system in Israel continues to evolve, additional possibilities are offered for further consideration, based on the author’s US-centric experience, to advance emergency response systems in Israel, the Middle East and around the world.

 

 

ToC: Israel Studies 21.1 (2016; Narratives of the 1948 war)

Volume 21, Number 1, Spring 2016

Table of Contents

Representations of Israeli-Jewish — Israeli-Palestinian Memory and Historical Narratives of the 1948 War

Edited by Avraham Sela and Alon Kadish

New Article: Zerach et al, The Role of Fathers’ Psychopathology in the Intergenerational Transmission of Captivity Trauma

Zerach, Gadi, Yaniv Kanat-Maymon, Roy Aloni, and Zahava Solomon. “The Role of Fathers’ Psychopathology in the Intergenerational Transmission of Captivity Trauma: A Twenty Three-Year Longitudinal Study.” Journal of Affective Disorders 190 (2016): 84-92.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2015.09.072

 

Abstract

Background

The aversive impact of combat and parents’ combat-induced posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on young children has been examined in a few studies. However, the long-term toll of war captivity on the secondary traumatization (ST) of adult offspring remains unknown. This study aimed to assess the longitudinal associations between former prisoners of war (ex-POWs), PTSD, depressive symptoms and their adult offsprings ST.

Method

A sample of 134 Israeli father-child dyads (80 ex-POWs dyads and a comparison group of 44 veterans’dyads) completed self-report measures. The fathers participated in three waves of measurements following the Yom Kippur War (T1: 1991, T2: 2003, and T3: 2008), while the offspring took part in T4 (2013).

Results

Offspring of ex-POWs with PTSD at T3 reported more ST symptoms than offspring of ex-POWs without PTSD and controls. Ex-POWs’ PTSD hyper-arousal symptom cluster at T3 was positively related to offsprings ST avoidance symptom cluster. Offspring of ex-POWs with chronic and delayed PTSD trajectories reported more ST symptoms than offspring of ex-POWS and controls with resilient trajectories. Ex-POWs’ PTSD and depression symptoms at T1, T2 and T3 mediated the link between war captivity (groups) and offsprings ST in T4.

Limitations

The use of self-report measures that did not cover the entire span of 40 years since the war, might may bias the results.

Conclusions

The intergenerational transmission of captivity related trauma following the Yom Kippur War was exemplified. ST symptoms among ex-POWs’ adult offspring are closely related to their father’ PTSD and related depressive symptom comorbidity.

 

 

 

New Article: Zakai, Literature, Ideology and Sexual Violence in the Writing of Rivka Alper

Zakai, Orian. “A Uniform of a Writer: Literature, Ideology and Sexual Violence in the Writing of Rivka Alper.” Prooftexts 34.2 (2015): 232-70.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/prooftexts/v034/34.2.zakai.html

 

Abstract

This essay explores the politics of women’s writing in the Zionist yishuv by examining the literary career of Rivka Alper, whose work features a difficult clash between a “feminine” narrative of sexual trauma and Zionist ideology. I discuss Alper’s literary trajectory from her first novel, Pirpurey mahapekha, a coming-of-age story of a young woman, which foregrounds themes of sexual trauma and gendered violence, to her second project, Ha-mitnaḥalim ba-har, a biography of a Zionist role model, one of the women founders of the colony of Motza. Alper’s transition from “personal” fiction to ideological literature is part of a process of an arduous self-fashioning toward carving a place for herself, albeit marginal, in the Zionist republic of letters. Her process demonstrates the predicament of writing as a woman in a Zionist cultural space that marks writing as an emasculating practice, but exclusively assigns male writers the role of national subjects. In such a space, I argue, transitioning to marginal genres in order to write for the collective emerges as a privileged alternative for an aspiring woman writer. And yet, as contents from Alper’s fictional writing infiltrate her biographic writing, the literariness of her “less literary” text exposes the exclusions that lie at the heart of the Zionist ideological project, and, in turn, reinscribes “the feminine” as a composite marker of these exclusions back into the Zionist text.

 

 

New Article: Kraemer, Waltz with Bashir: Trauma and Representation in the Animated Documentary

Kraemer, Joseph A. “Waltz with Bashir (2008): Trauma and Representation in the Animated Documentary.” Journal of Film and Video 67.3-4 (2015): 57-68.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_film_and_video/v067/67.3-4.kraemer.html

 

Excerpt

Waltz with Bashir, in its final minutes, seems to fall within this trap of showing the modern condition of the world at its worst, the trauma of human suffering, as something that can be contained and distilled down to the most dramatic, visceral document of the massacre possible—the archival video clip—which somehow can satisfactorily sum up the truth of that calamity. In this way, the film betrays the momentum toward a truly authentic representation of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, where the film was headed before its final, non-animated sequence. Folman’s assertion that his remembrance and rediscovered ability to know and take possession of the traumatic event would set him free from the amnesia he suffered, to say nothing of the trauma of those families left behind to mourn their dead, seems inaccurate and misguided.

 

 

New Article: Katz, On Yoram Kaniuk’s Peripatetic Palmaḥnik

Katz, Stephen. “After the Shooting: On Yoram Kaniuk’s Peripatetic Palmaḥnik.” Shofar 34.1 (2015): 27-56.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/shofar/v034/34.1.katz.html

 

Abstract

Wounded in body and spirit following his participation in Israel’s War of Independence, Yoram Kaniuk’s (1930–2013) protagonist of several key and stylistically sophisticated America-centered novels escapes to the New World. There, seeking a haven for recuperation and finding his identity, he exhibits some of the unheroic qualities that are a manifestation of his upbringing, of the mythological and unsavory sabra, or are the mirror of the fragmented social circle of acquaintances he makes in New York. Seeking an identity, he attempts to own the New World, doing so by attempts at conquest—of women, financial stability, or climbing the ladder of social hierarchy. In terms of women, he fails at exhibiting a lasting commitment with any. He fails at maintaining a successful career, while the “aristocracy” with which he affiliates turns out to be flawed and decaying. So while he meets some of New York’s rich and famous, he finds no model whom to emulate among them. None of these avenues bring any succor to him emotionally, spiritually, or physically from the trauma of the war memories that continue to haunt him and as he continues to search for a place to call home. Realizing the futility of it all, the protagonist escapes to other realms, mostly by returning to Israel in the expectation of finding a modus vivendi there with his memories and the reality of the new society.

 

 

New Article: Shehadeh, The 2014 War on Gaza: Engineering Trauma

Shehadeh, Said. “The 2014 War on Gaza: Engineering Trauma and Mass Torture to Break Palestinian Resilience.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 12.3 (2015): 278-94.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aps.1457

 

Abstract

This paper discusses the psychological sequelae of the recent Israeli war on Gaza, codenamed Operation Protective Edge, and its detrimental impact on the mental health of its Palestinian population. The author contends that deliberate measures by the Israeli military to induce feelings of helplessness, uncontrollability, horror, persistent life-threatening fear, and sleep deprivation against an entire besieged population for 50-days, constitutes mass torture. This policy of engineering mass trauma and torture through war to achieve political subjugation is framed as a paradigm shift in the Israeli colonial occupation of Palestine. Ramifications of this policy are discussed with regard to its potentially caustic effects on Palestinian resilience, and the serious mental health risks it poses, including complex traumatic reactions, identity distortions, severe psychopathology, and multigenerational transmission of trauma. Recommendations emphasize the need to fortify Palestinian resilience to protect individuals and communities from political violence and further mass trauma.

 

 

 

New Article: Plotkin-Amrami & Brunner, Making Up ‘National Trauma’ in Israel

Plotkin-Amrami, Galia, and José Brunner. “Making Up ‘National Trauma’ in Israel: From Collective Identity to Collective Vulnerability.” Media, Culture & Society (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312715589846

 

Abstract

We sketch a variety of institutional, discursive, professional, and personal ‘vectors’, dating back to the 1980s, in order to explain how ‘national trauma’ was able to go from a cultural into a professional category in Israeli mental health during the Al-Aqsa Intifada (2000–2005). Our genealogy follows Ian Hacking’s approach to transient mental illnesses, both illustrating its fertility and expanding its horizon. Thus, we also explore the dynamics that developed in the Israeli mental health community with the advent of ‘national trauma’: while the vast majority of Israeli psychologists and psychiatrists did not adopt the category, they embraced much of its underlying logic, establishing a link between Israeli identity and the mental harm said to be caused by Palestinian terror. Remarkably, the nexus of national identity and collective psychic vulnerability also prompted the cooperation of Jewish and Palestinian-Israeli mental health scholars seeking to explore the psychological effect that the minority status of Israeli Palestinians had on them during the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

 

 

New Article: David and Schiff, Trauma Intervention for Infants and Young Children

David, Paula and Miriam Schiff. “Learning from Bottom-Up Dissemination: Importing an Evidence-Based Trauma Intervention for Infants and Young Children to Israel.” Evaluation and Program Planning 53 (2015): 18-24.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2015.07.012

 

Abstract

This article describes a pilot study of a “bottom up” dissemination process of a new evidence based intervention for treating early childhood trauma. Clinicians applied to learn Child–Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), imported to Israel from the U.S. A focus group of six graduates of a CPP training program responded to questions concerning their experiences learning and using CPP. All 39 CPP graduates from two cohorts also completed a cross sectional survey related to their use of CPP. Within the focus group, the openness of the workplace and the intervention’s characteristics were considered major factors impacting CPP use; the training program was perceived to promote CPP implementation, and lack of supervision and secondary traumatic stress were the major inhibiting factors. Using CPP-informed therapy, as opposed to CPP with fidelity, was perceived to be one of the main outcomes of the training. Survey results showed that 53% of graduates were using CPP in over three cases, and almost all intended to use CPP within the next year. Ninety-five percent were using CPP principles in their therapeutic work. The implications of importing a new evidence based intervention to a foreign country that utilizes a different dissemination system within a different professional culture are discussed.

 
 
 
 

New Article: Lurie and Nakash, Mental Health and Acculturation Patterns Among Asylum Seekers in Israel

Lurie, Ido, and Ora Nakash. “Exposure to Trauma and Forced Migration: Mental Health and Acculturation Patterns Among Asylum Seekers in Israel.” In Trauma and Migration. Cultural Factors in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Traumatised Immigrants (ed. Meryam Schouler-Ocak; New York: Amsterdam; 2015), 139-56.

 
 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007%2F978-3-319-17335-1_10

 

Abstract
Immigration is a process of loss and change which entails significant sociopsychological stress and possible effects on the mental health of immigrants. Over the last few decades, the State of Israel has become a target for forced migration. Since 2006 specifically, asylum seekers from East Africa (mainly Eritrea and Sudan) have been arriving in Israel.

In the current chapter, we first outline the phenomenon of forced migration to Israel and the living conditions of migrants once they arrive in Israel. We then describe the relationship between forced migration and mental health, both in adults and adolescents, as well as the connection between acculturation and mental health. Following this, we describe studies conducted with forced migrants in Israel, mainly Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers. We carried out three studies; within the population of service users at the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)-Israel’s Open Clinic, we documented the exposure of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to traumatic events during their journey to Israel. Our findings indicate that among a sample of adult African asylum seekers who arrived at the Open Clinic, a considerable percentage of men and women reported having witnessed violence and/or having been a victim of violence during migration to Israel.

Next, we examined the relationship between acculturation patterns and mental health symptoms among asylum seekers who arrived at the Open Clinic (N = 118). Assimilated asylum seekers reported higher (or more) depressive symptoms compared to integrated asylum seekers. Acculturation predicted depressive symptoms among adult asylum seekers beyond reports of experiences of traumatic events and the effect of history of detention.

Then, also describe the results of a study examining the role of acculturation, perceived discrimination and self-esteem in predicting mental health symptoms and risk behaviours among 1.5 and second-generation non-Jewish adolescents born to migrant families compared to native-born Jewish Israeli adolescents in Israel. Migrant adolescents across generations reported more severe mental health symptoms compared to native-born Jewish Israelis. However, only the 1.5 generation migrants reported higher engagement in risk behaviours compared to second-generation migrants and native-born Jewish Israelis. Similar to the adult sample, adolescents also showed that acculturation plays an important role in predicting the mental health status of migrant youths; adolescents showing integrated acculturative patterns reported fewer mental health symptoms than those with assimilated acculturation patterns.

The findings regarding the exposure of East African asylum seekers to traumatic events highlight the need to gather information regarding all phases of forced migration, from experiences in the home country through the journey to the host country. Our findings on acculturation draw attention to the paradox of assimilation and the mental health risks it poses for adult asylum seekers and adolescent immigrants wishing to integrate into the new culture at the expense of their original culture. Mental health professionals should be culturally aware of this vulnerability in therapeutic interventions with forced migrants. Policy makers may consider the benefits of the restrictive policies that have characterised many industrial countries in recent years.

 
 
 
 

New Article: Barzilai et al, Characteristics of Trauma Casualties in the Gaza Strip and Other Combat Regions

Barzilai, L., M. Harats, I. Wiser, O. Weissman, N. Domniz, E. Glassberg, D. Stavrou, I. Zilinsky, E. Winkler, J. Hiak. “Characteristics of Improvised Explosive Device Trauma Casualties in the Gaza Strip and Other Combat Regions: The Israeli Experience.” Wounds 27.8 (2015): 209-14.

 
URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26284374

 
Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Low-intensity conflict is characterized in asymmetrical conventional and nonconventional warfare. The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has evolved over the past few decades to include the addition of diesel, biological agents, shrapnel, and nitroglycerin to the explosive content. Due to its nature and mechanism, an IED injury might present as a multidimensional injury, impairing numerous systems and organs.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The authors present a case series of 5 Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers wounded by an IED presenting a typical and similar pattern of burns to their faces, trunks, and limbs, in addition to ocular, ear/nose/throat, and orthopedic injuries. An analysis of the experience in treating the aforementioned injuries is included.

RESULTS: Improvement in casualties’ burns and traumatic tattoos was observed following debridement, aggressive scrubbing with or without dermabrasion, and conservative local dressing treatment protocol. The authors found a positive correlation between improvement degree and treatment timing. Injury pattern was correlative to the protective gear worn by the soldiers. Wearing protective eye gear and wearing ceramic vests can diminish the extent of IED injuries, while creating typical patterns of injuries to be treated.

CONCLUSION: Based on these experiences, such injuries should be brought to a trauma center as soon as possible. Treating multidimensional trauma should be done in a facility with abilities to treat head injuries, eye injuries, penetrating injuries, blast injuries, and burns. Such specialized disciplines and facilities that have past experience with IEDs and war injuries are able to assess and treat these injuries in a more dedicated manner, resulting in better long-term rehabilitation.
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New Article: Harris, Through the Lens of Israeli Cinema: A Review

Harris, Rachel. “Through the Lens of Israeli Cinema: A Review.” Jewish Film & New Media 3.2 (2015): 220-31.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/jewish_film_new_media_an_international_journal/v003/3.2.harris.html

 

Abstract
This review essay examines three recently published books on Israeli cinema. Raz Yosef’s The Politics of Loss and Trauma in Contemporary Israeli Cinema; Anat Y. Zanger’s Place, Memory and Myth in Contemporary Israeli Cinema; and Miri Talmon and Yaron Peleg’s edited volume, Israeli Cinema: Identities in Motion. It considers the ways in which Israeli cinema is inextricably linked to the history of Israeli nationalism and reflects on the treatment of this issue within these three texts. Examining major issues in the field and considering theoretical models relevant to the individual essays, chapters, and books, this essay offers a context from which to explore Israeli cinematic scholarship.