Interpersonal Processes in Homogeneous Group Therapy with Orthodox Jewish Men in Israel: Case Example and Clinical Application

Mendel Horowitz, Avidan Milevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article addresses some of the group psychotherapy process issues involved in treating an ethno-religiously homogeneous population of Orthodox Jewish men using a case-study approach. The single-gender group, which consisted of two coleaders from the same community, occurred in a mental health clinic in Jerusalem, Israel. Eight community members attended the weekly 1.5-hour psychodynamic group meetings for a period of 5 years. Examples from those encounters illustrate three important concerns when working with a homogeneous religious group: (a) contagion and amplification of resistance to discussing taboo subjects based on religious principles; (b) indirect communication and the use of first-person plural pronouns and cliches; and (c) the shame and loneliness associated with nonconformity to religious and cultural expectations. Suggestions for clinical practice are provided based on the case study and existing literature about homogeneous groups in group psychotherapy and the treatment of Orthodox Jews.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-539
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Group Psychotherapy
Volume70
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020

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