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Transcult Psychiatry. 2010 Sep;47(4):629-46. doi: 10.1177/1363461510383745.

Value-sensitive psychiatric rehabilitation.

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  • 1Herzog Hospital and Hadassah Medical School, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.


Psychiatric rehabilitation contains value-laden concepts that may be unacceptable to certain cultures and many individuals. The concepts of independence and work are examined in a clash between mental health professionals in charge of national policies in psychiatric rehabilitation in Israel and a rehabilitation center for the severely mentally ill within the ultra-orthodox Jewish community. The government professionals considered that having the living quarters and work site in the same building deemed it unsuitable for rehabilitation, and too few progressed to independent living and working. As such, they ordered the center to be closed. Clients' families turned to the Supreme Court and the claims and counter claims reveal value-laden positions. The bases for misunderstanding and lack of cooperation between the government professionals and the rehabilitation center are explained in the context of everyday life and values in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community and attitudes in the general population. Fruitful cooperation is based on appreciating core values, identifying and working with the community's figures of authority, and accepting that the role of the mental health professional is to advise the community, within which the professional has no status.

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