The reader of this book will find within it ideas and models based on my 25
years of experience in clinical, educational, developmental, and medical psychology
among Arabs, Muslims, Jews, and Americans, but mainly among Palestinian
Arabs. I studied for my master’s degree in clinical psychology at Haifa
University in Israel, during which time I received some practical training at
Jewish psychological centers in Israel. Thus both my theoretical study and practical
training were based on the Western-oriented theories of psychology.
It was Bertha Pappenheim — the famous “Anna O.” of Josef Breuer’s first
experiments with psychoanalysis, and a pioneer social worker in her own
right — who first named psychotherapy “the talking cure.” And so it is, as
a legion of well-controlled studies documents. Across a surprising variety
of psychotherapeutic approaches, verbal exchanges between client and
therapist can be powerfully curative — except when they aren’t.
Every clinician knows that the human relationship with the person diagnosed with a psychotic
disorder and particularly schizophrenia is the cornerstone of effective therapy and
the foundation for recovery. This was one of the major tenets of an earlier generation of
psychotherapeutic effort in schizophrenia and related psychoses but had drifted out of focus
during the 1980s with the rise of an excessively narrowbiological psychiatry and the decline
of the traditional psychoanalytic approach.
One of the main tasks in the psychological individuation process is the reconciliation of opposites, especially the opposition between consciousness and the unconscious. Dreams create a bridge between these two worlds. Jung sees the dream as the steady endeavor of the unconscious to create the best possible equilibrium in the psyche. Dreams are a means to establish a homeostatic balance, or at least to show the dreamer what would be necessary to achieve this balance. Psychotherapists of many different schools use dreams in individual therapy, but very few use them in counseling couples.