|Historical Values versus Emotional Values - Art Therapy as an Mediator|
|During August 2005, Israel evacuated the Gaza strip from its settlements. About 0.3% of the population of Israel were evacuated. Despite the relatively small number of the evacuees, their political lobby and the general appreciation for their virtues and potential made the evacuation a hard decision to make.
Still, that evacuation was considered necessary by most Israelis, and was termed "disengagement", or more positively "convergence" and "repatriation", which is a central and fundamental ideal in Israeli discourse.
The evacuees, however, felt deported and torn from their roots by their own people. They feel they are alienated by the general public, and their opinions and feelings ignored by the consensus.
The inner discourse of the group of evacuees changed dramatically. New terms and concepts emerged to describe the experience.
Due to the ambiguous and subjective nature of emotion, this alienated group felt betrayed and deceived by the government and the general public. All the same, they feel committed to fulfilling social and national ideals, e.g. building a better community, defending the general public and developing the homeland.
The disintegration of the evacuees' social structure after the disengagement intensified their feelings of isolation, detachment, disorientation and helplessness.
While the men found social support in religious activities in synagogues (prayers and mitzvahs), many women lost their supporting groups.
As a result, the women undergo emotional stress, which manifests itself in daily life, for example in changes in body language, diurnal conduct and self-esteem.
The current study focuses on the therapeutic process of a group of evacuated women from Neve-Dekalim. The group used art therapy for self expression. Art provided a substitute language since the spoken language failed to reconcile the gaps between the surrounding views and the inner perception.
The paper will describe the processing of their mourning and confrontation with personal crisis and personal loss. The therapeutic group deals with gap between the public reminiscence (which leads to the historical "truth") and the personal narrative.
The purpose of the group is to lead into a new discourse between the internal and the consensually proclaimed interpretation of the events.