Bedouin-Arab clients' use of proverbs in the therapeutic setting Academic Article uri icon


  • The following paper is based on my experience as aBedouin-Arab psychiatric social worker. I have workedwith the Bedouin-Arab population of the Negev, Israel,in two settings: psychiatric and primary health caresystems. Early in my career, I faced difficulties incommunicating with those who sought psychologicalhelp. One of the communication styles of theBedouin-Arab is to use proverbs to convey personal,interpersonal, and family problems. This paperdemonstrates that proverbs provide the opportunity forintimates to offer psychologically sensitive insightsinto a person manifesting problems. Proverbs containpowerful messages and help individuals to expresstheir distress indirectly and concisely. From atherapeutic standpoint, proverbs are an invitation toenter the patients' internal and secret world. Thesignificance of proverbs in therapy is discussed.

publication date

  • January 1, 2000