Conventional Therapy and Psychotherapy (The Case of the Arab-Bedouin Society, the Healer Sheikh and the Psychologist)

Badeea El-kashalla


The research points to a very important issue in the traditional Arab society - the possibility of providing mental health care. It is customary in the traditional Arab-Bedouin community to receive treatment from a sheikh and a traditional healer, rather than from a specialist (psychiatrist). This study deals with the factors affecting the choice of therapist - the factors attributed in Bedouin society to mental illnesses and other factors affecting the choice of treatment method (psychological, traditional). The research was conducted in the Bedouin community in southern Palestine. The researcher used two types of research tools - questionnaires and interviews. As for the questionnaires, two types of questionnaires were distributed - in one of them it was distributed to 84 people (whose generations were determined over 18 years old, which is a random category of society, educated and non-educated, and their gender or the extent of their education was not specified), and the prevailing perception of these was examined The category of the population in relation to psychotherapy. The other questionnaire was passed to 204 people (whose generations were determined over 18 years, which is a random category of society, educated and non-educated and did not specify their gender or the extent of their education), and examined the prevailing perception regarding treatment by traditional healers - the Sheikh and the traditional healer. As for open interviews, I interviewed fifty Bedouin students from the College of Education to check how learners perceive the role of a psychologist.

The results of the current study show that four obstacles prevent the individual in the Arab-Bedouin community from obtaining psychological treatment:

1. Lack of awareness of the role of the psychologist.

2. Social pressure.

3. A traditional view of the world.

4. Self-interpretation of religion.

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