1.First of all, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce you to my work and mainly to make the voices of the children of Sderot heard. On this slide, we see the sign that welcomes people to the city. The number is not up to date. The current number is about 6,000 Qassam rockets. This sign has been there in its current form since November 2009
2. You don't need to add anything.
The sign at the entrance to the city and the sign to the cemetary are right next to each other.
3. This picture is no media scoop, but is a common scene for the children of Sderot in general and specifically of my work there. The announcement is heard throughout the day and is "unplanned." When it is heard, it is not exactly the way to "warm up" for group work, but an ongoing and undermining experience that penetrates the therapeutic space.
4. The transition from "routine" to "emergency" is not completely clear. The children are frequently afraid to come out from under the tables because they are afraid of another barrage. Clearly, sitting under the table also serves the need for play.
6. Please excuse the schmaltzy dose of Zionism I will be giving you now. But I need to share the feelings, thoughts and concerns I had at the beginning of the Qassam era, when my sons attended Sha'ar HaNegev School - across from Sderot, on the front lines. Friends from the center of the country asked me, and mainly I asked myself as I was working in central Israel at the time, "How can I send my children to the front lines and drive to work in the bubble in central Israel?" As a mother, I didn't have an answer that satisfied me or allayed my concerns. Like in other cases, we talked to the children about whether they wanted to switch to a "safer" school. The oldest, who was then in 11th grade, responded with the cynicism so typical of teens: "Maybe we should leave the country too?" With that kind of confirmation, we continued to send our children into the thick of things, with a heavy heart and with the knowledge that they were part of the decision. And then again the question: What are you doing driving to Sderot? Are you mad?! The first answer I could give others and myself was, "I still have one son who's in school there - I can be there too!"
Like in any intervention in a time of emergency or crisis, as a therapist I must define the limits that will allow me to maintain a level of professionalism and work that will advance the therapeutic intervention. This year, I'm only at 4 schools, but at each school for more hours - a kind of compromise that lets me connect to the school community as well, to the teaching staff, parents and give them more appropriate and professional treatment.
7. “Heder Shalva“ [Serenity Room] - Beth Reis, founder and manager of the project, initially connected me to 8 elementary schools - 4 religious and 4 secular. At first I felt something between professional bulimia and megalomania - 8 schools, 10 therapy groups of 6 children in each group. Just terrible! The number of groups and clearly the number of children in each of them. I thought I was coming to "save" the children - if not to stop the attacks, at least to provide a therapeutic response to as many as possible. On the other hand, there were the principals and guidance counselors, who by definition had to provide a therapeutic response to "children with behavioral changes due to the security situation."
8. By chance, or as we generally say - nothing is by chance - I met a clinical psychologist in Ashkelon who at the time was just starting to develop a project in Sderot called Heder Shalva in one of the schools. Then she would see. The principal said to me, "Iafi, here 100% of the kids meet the criteria for the project. I need to address the needs of all the children, how can I choose? Those who scream? Those who say nothing? Those who don't stop running when the sirens sound? Those who haven't slept alone in their own beds for three years now?" And so she continued to list all of the behaviors that indicate distress and difficulty.
10. The program was developed by JDC-Israel/Education and Youth Department, Ashalim and the Ministry of Education. In-service training will be provided on the subject and will be done in cooperation with the Sderot Educational Psychology Service, school counselors and other city groups.
• 22 elementary and high schools in Sderot and Gaza Periphery settlements.
•Between 50 to 70 children in each school participate in one of the therapy groups.
•Between 4 - 5 therapists at each school.
•12 children in each preschool.
11. Psychodrama in Sderot
Last year, about 60 children participated in my groups. They quickly became my ambassadors in the city. The word "psychodrama" was something people started talking about. The therapy sessions included psychodrama techniques with play therapy, drama therapy, somatic experience and other methods for coping with ongoing stress. It is important to note that the pace and style of work was dictated by the intensity and continuity of the rocket attacks. For weeks on end, I would come to schools that were virtually empty and work in the room with children or teachers individually. Sometimes, I would conduct stress alleviation activities for anyone who came to school - 20 out of 200 children. Many sessions were stopped due to the repeated sound of sirens. The Heder Shalva was not located in a safe room in all of the schools. Over time, they reinforced all of the classrooms - so we could remain in the room, wait to hear the missile hit, calm anyone who suffered an anxiety or panic attack and try to gather the children so that we could simply be with them and calm them down.
13. As is standard in any process of building group spirit, and particularly in a therapy group, we initially began creating a "safe place" for the children. In this case, a "safe place" is not only an emotional, but also a tangible space. In almost all of the schools, the room selected as the Heder Shalva is reinforced. But when it wasn't, I made sure to show the children the routes to the reinforced space closest to the room. In the first few weeks, it was very important to work with them to define behaviors that would allow us to work. It is important to remember that at the end of the last school year, the schools were suddenly closed due to escalation in the rocket attacks. This year, the children returned to school with much internal confusion, with behaviors such as no limits, lack of self-containment and, of course, containment of others in all possible manners.
Case descriptions - description of the various projects:
•Qassam missiles also strike during summer vacation
•Why do you come here, if you don't live here;
In the picture, we see the creation of a safe group space.
•Madaim Alon: Shachar with her father:
S: Why aren’t you coming with us on vacation?
(S playing the role) Father: You know, I have to go to the site of the event to evacuate the injured.
S: I worry about you. When there's a siren, I go to the safe room and you leave, and I start to worry about you!
(S playing the role) Father: I have to, it's my job and I have to get to the injured people and save them! Everything will be alright. Don't worry about me!
S: You always tell me not to worry, but I worry. All of the kids are with the fathers and mothers when there's an attacj, and I'm only with mom, and you leave and I'm afraid! You go out to care for others and aren't protecting me!
What is a Qassam meter?
A Qassam meter is a tool taken from the CSPC work model of fear meter. The Qassam meter is a barometer or sociometric tool used to check the emotional state of the group. Each child marks their position on the axis and their feelings at that moment. Here and now. The children frequently also related to how they felt during the strikes before the meeting, and we naturally also discussed what helped them alleviate the anxiety/concern/stress, etc.
H says: Now the weather is good, and I really want to go out onto the playground or into our backyard, but I can't because there have been a few times when the siren sounded when I was outside and I had nowhere to run to hide, so now I just can't go out at all. Inside the classroom, my Qassam meter is 0, because the room is reinforced, but outside - when I leave, it shoots up to 7 or 8.
20. After several heavy attacks - there is the need to mark the places the missiles hit - the experience of feeling like a sitting duck
•As close to home or as close to where I was
Religious Science School - Or
A: I miss our field trips, I want to go on trips like we used to - a long time ago, when I was little.
Iafi: Who are you saying this to?
A: To my parents, because they won't let me go out like I used to. In fact, I can't even remember the last time we took a walk on Saturday...
Iafi: Do you miss anything else?
A: Yes. I know that I've had a new bike in the storeroom for two years, and I still haven't ridden it once. I'm afraid I won't remember how to ride without training wheels.