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A Culturally Sensitive Approach to Therapy with Immigrant Families: The Case of Jewish Emigrants from the Former Soviet Union

Authors

  • VERED SLONIM-NEVO D.S.W.,

    1. The authors are affiliated with the Spitzer Department of Social Work, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, PO Box 151, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel — the first author as a Senior Lecturer, and the two co-authors as Lecturers. The authors are in direct contact with emigrants from the former Soviet Union, Dr. Slonim-Nevo as a family therapist, Dr. Yanna Sharaga as an educational psychologist, and Dr. Mirsky as a clinical psychologist and psychotherapy supervisor. Send correspondence to the first author at the above address or by e-mail: slonim@bgumail.bgu.ac.il. Send reprint requests to Dr. Julia Mirsky.
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  • YANNA SHARAGA Ph.D.,

    1. The authors are affiliated with the Spitzer Department of Social Work, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, PO Box 151, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel — the first author as a Senior Lecturer, and the two co-authors as Lecturers. The authors are in direct contact with emigrants from the former Soviet Union, Dr. Slonim-Nevo as a family therapist, Dr. Yanna Sharaga as an educational psychologist, and Dr. Mirsky as a clinical psychologist and psychotherapy supervisor. Send correspondence to the first author at the above address or by e-mail: slonim@bgumail.bgu.ac.il. Send reprint requests to Dr. Julia Mirsky.
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  • JULIA MIRSKY Ph.D.

    1. The authors are affiliated with the Spitzer Department of Social Work, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, PO Box 151, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel — the first author as a Senior Lecturer, and the two co-authors as Lecturers. The authors are in direct contact with emigrants from the former Soviet Union, Dr. Slonim-Nevo as a family therapist, Dr. Yanna Sharaga as an educational psychologist, and Dr. Mirsky as a clinical psychologist and psychotherapy supervisor. Send correspondence to the first author at the above address or by e-mail: slonim@bgumail.bgu.ac.il. Send reprint requests to Dr. Julia Mirsky.
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Abstract

This article is based on accumulated clinical experience in Israel with families that emigrated from the former Soviet Union. It describes a culturally sensitive systemic intervention with two such families: a single-parent family, and a family that exhibited physical violence. Relevant cultural characteristics of family patterns and parent-child relationships in Jewish-Soviet families are reviewed. It is demonstrated how a cross-cultural perspective may affect the interpretation of presented problems and result in a less pathological perspective. It is further illustrated how universal intervention techniques combined with culturally sensitive approaches may produce positive effects in therapy.

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