I was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1964 and grew up in Bat Yam, a working-class satellite suburb of Tel Aviv. I went to high school at Ort Yad Singalowsky near Tel Aviv. After finishing high school in 1982 I served my compulsory two years in the Israeli army. My service was during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. I completed my military service in 1984 with the rank of Staff Sergeant.

In 1989 I started my Bachelor of Arts at Bar-Ilan University in the Combined Program in the Social Sciences. This excellent and innovative program included majors in Sociology, Political Science and Economics. In 1991 I migrated to Australia where I completed my BA with a major in politics at Macquarie University in Sydney. I then went on to complete an Honours degree in Comparative Genocide Studies. I wrote my thesis on the reactions of the Australian press to the Reichskristallnacht (the ‘night of broken glass’ in November 1938). My research taught me a lot about racism and genocide and the politics and psychology behind them.

In 1997 I changed direction and started a Postgraduate Diploma in Individual Psychotherapy and Relationship Therapy at the Jansen-Newman Institute (JNI) in Sydney. After graduating from JNI I went on to complete an extra year in Gestalt Therapy at the Illawarra Gestalt Centre.

In my second year at JNI I completed a major project called ‘Differentiation of Self’ based on Murray Bowen’s theory of self-differentiation, under the supervision of Dr David Jansen, the co-founder of the Jansen Newman Institute. David believed that therapists must be committed to their own personal work and must achieve considerable emotional maturity (differentiation) before they can work with clients. This project was a major turning point on my personal journey and a difficult emotional challenge. In many ways it was this project that led to my awareness that I also needed to differentiate from the complex Jewish-Israeli identity that my upbringing in Israel has cultivated in me. I wrote about this both in my ‘Differentiating from Israel’ paper that you can find on this site and also in my contribution to a book I edited, Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012).

In 1999 I opened my psychotherapy practice Fully Human Psychotherapy & Counselling in Canberra, that I ran for ten years.

In 2000-2001 I was the Secretary of the then Australian National Network of Counsellors Inc. (ANNC — now CAPACAR), and in 2002 I was the President. In 2002 I was also a member of the Liaison and Management Committees of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).

I am a student of the humanistic school in psychotherapy and have drawn inspiration from many authors inside and outside my field of work. My favourite author is Ursula Le Guin.

I am passionate about my profession, about educating the public about what we do in therapy and about effective, good quality therapy. I am also passionate and concerned about the situation in Palestine-Israel. I am interested in human potential and the possibilities that exist within our brain to allow us to live a more enlightened, mature and compassionate existence. I have been greatly influenced and inspired personally and professionally by the work of Dr Daniel Siegel, the pioneer who founded the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB). IPNB provides a scientific foundation for the field of psychotherapy but it is not limited to psychotherapy. Drawing on new developments in neuroscience, IPNB allows us to think about what makes us human in new ways. It is therefore not only relevant to the field of psychotherapy but to any area of life including politics and the way we behave as groups and societies.

I am deeply concerned about the way politics is practiced everywhere in the world, and the fact that the people who rise to power seem so often to be narcissistic and immature. I would like to see world politics transform into something more humble and down to earth that is focused on service and not on ego, power, privilege or status. I don’t think we can hope to fix any of our problems as long as the people who govern us and our societies are so emotionally inadequate for the level of responsibility they hold.

I am worried about the treatment of refugees in Australia and elsewhere, and often wonder about the role that my profession has to play in world politics and in social issues. I have become increasingly interested over the past few years also in environmental issues like deforestation, sustainable living and energy production and the way we treat non-human animals. In March 2013 I stopped eating meat completely. This has been an easy transition for me to make that has had a positive effect on my overall health and energy levels.

Since I gave up my Israeli citizenship in 2001, I have gradually become an activist for Palestinian rights. Among other things I support a one-state solution in Palestine-Israel and a full right of return for the Palestinian refugees and their descendants. To state it clearly, I no longer believe that Israel has a right to exist as an exclusively Jewish state at the expense of the Palestinian people.

I support the BDS campaign (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) as a non-violent way to try to pressure Israel to abandon the occupation and transform itself into a free and democratic state for all its people, whatever their religion or ethnicity. I support the BDS because given Israel’s psychology and philosophy of life, I do not see any hope that it will ever change its ways of its own accord.

In January 2010 I moved to the Scottish Highlands and in July that year I re-established my psychotherapy practice. My work website is at http://www.fullyhuman.co.uk/. In addition to my client and clinical supervision work, I write, give talks about Israel and Palestine and run training workshops in psychotherapy.

Page content last modified: 10 April 2014