Wednesday, September 8, 2010

American Jew teaches Gazans stress management

New York Times

Tough-looking ambulance drivers in this central Gazan city are drawing images of their fears with crayons. In the northwestern village of El Atatra, in an overheated hall without electricity, 10-year-olds are closing their eyes and imagining a reassuring place. In Gaza City, women who have lost children to political violence are dancing away their tensions, their black abayas shaking and flowing.

Gaza, the Palestinian coastal strip filled with refugees and hardship, is not generally thought of as a center of New Age sensibilities. But through the intervention of a classically trained but alternative-seeking American psychiatrist, nearly 10,000 people here have been taught techniques to reduce anger, ease family tensions and give them a sense of control in an environment known for helplessness. [...]

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