Psychoactive – Mental Health Professionals for Human Rights
Who are we?
We are a group of practicing and academic mental health professionals who have set ourselves the goal of being active in areas of social-political concern, especially the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The group developed out of the members’ need to expand therapeutic discourse and practice to include the social and political contexts of our lives. These contexts are relevant to all aspects of therapeutic theory and practice; it is our goal to shed light on them and to draw attention to their manifold influences on the therapeutic space. In addition, we wish to examine the significance of our position as health professionals within public services and institutions, with the aim of promoting social activity extending beyond the cloistered clinic, for the benefit of individuals and groups whose voice is presently absent from both the public domain and the professional discourse.
We use our professional skills in mental health to deepen the understanding of the influence of conflicts—national, gender, social, economic, and ethnic—on the practice of psychotherapy and on the participants in individual and group psychotherapy. Through increased understanding of these influences, we hope to generate forms of professional intervention that contribute to social and political change. Much of our activity relates to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the ongoing conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, and the psychological consequences of this situation for occupied and occupier. We wish to facilitate processes of change within the Israeli-Jewish public so as to further a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our membership includes Palestinian and Israeli therapists, and we believe that joint action is a significant means to advance change.
Our group serves as an arena for individual initiatives which develop into work- and action- groups involving various members. A wide range of activity options is available to members: participation in our internet forum, participation in group meetings and activities, and taking initiative in organizing additional activities. The group consists of over 300 members to date.