The University as a Catalyst for Social Change: A Case Study
Within the framework of a master degree program in educational counselling, a year-long course (The Helping Interview graduate workshop), employing active and proactive teaching, was shared by Arab and Jewish Israelis. The courses took place during two years of violent strife in Israel (the so-called 2nd intifada, in which many Jewish and Arab Israelis lost their lives). Hostility between Arab and Jewish citizens was evident in the daily demonstrations and protests in the streets as well as on every campus in Israel. Through the consistent application of principles drawn from Rogers humanistic approach, (such as empathy, self-knowledge, teamwork, tolerance, mutual respect), the interpersonal dynamics within this group drastically changed throughout the year; these changes have been evaluated by pre-post attitude scales (also administered to a control group), the continuous observation of both verbal and non-verbal behaviours, and the content analysis of the diaries of the multi-culture group members. The two ethnic subgroups, distant and frequently hostile at the beginning of this course of study, merged into a cohesive unit by the end of the year.
||Multi-cultural, Group Facilitation, Conflict Resolution, Proactive Teaching, Israel
Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp.43-52.
Article: Print (Spiral Bound).
Article: Electronic (PDF File; 643.952KB).
Visiting Faculty, Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
I’m a visiting faculty member at the University of Warwick, and a family therapist heading the Masters’ program in Educational Counselling at an Israeli college. My B.A. and M.A. in Counselling and Special Education are from Haifa University; M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology from Temple University; D.Sc on physician/patient relationships from Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. I’ve worked with families of adolescents with suicidal tendencies, eating disorders, schizophrenia and depression; developed and conducted workshops for physicians, social workers, psychologists and counsellors. Responding to recent events, I’ve added multi-cultural conflict resolution workshops; underlying theory and practice are described in my book on Positive Conflict Resolution. My approach in clinical and group work combines contemporary family therapy with humanistic psychology; this is the topic of another book I’ve published. I’m interested in developing and using curricula for mental health professionals to provide them with profound academic knowledge, psychological understanding, and interpersonal skills essential for working with troubled children, youth, and their parents. I plan to develop curricula and teaching methods for training counsellors and psychotherapists in crisis management, in identifying risk factors and preventing their clients’ dysfunctional behaviours. This includes preparing them to better cope with ever-present multi-cultural conflicts.
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