My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: IX Friendship

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: IX Friendship


I will discuss some of the variables affecting friendships, giving special attention to the issues of challenges and opportunities in friendship, intimacy and attachment, and friendships between men.


Challenges and opportunities in friendship

Friendship may be described by their quality as well as by their conflict (Demir et al., 2007). Thus, maintenance behaviors of positivity, supportiveness, openness, and interaction were identified as key factors in maintaining friendship (Oswald et al., 2004). Nevertheless, many people maintain not only supportive, but also conflictual or ambivalent friendships. While supportive friendships are primarily maintained because of their positive aspects, ambivalent relationships were found to be primarily compelled by one’s own internal demands, such as a feeling of commitment (Bushman & Holt-Lunstad, 2009).


Friendships are essential to human development and resilience and may have both positive and negative effects on mental and physical health (Bushman & Holt-Lunstad, 2009; Furman et al., 2009; Guroglu et al., 2008; Sias & Bartoo, 2007). Friendships were found to be an important source of happiness (Demir et al., 2007) and inversely related to the sense of loneliness (Akhtar, 2009). Kernes & Kinnier (2008) studied psychologists and found that intimate relationships, family, and friendships brought the most personal meaning to their lives. Furthermore, friendships were found to diminish inter-group anxiety (Page-Gould et al., 2008).


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About the Author

Daniel WeishutDaniel J.N. Weishut, born in the Netherlands but living in Jerusalem, is a professional with a diverse background. He holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and an MBA in Integrative Business Administration, both from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a PsyD in Clinical and Organizational Psychology from the Professional School of Psychology (Sacramento). He has about thirty years of experience in consultation and therapy with a wide variety of clients and issues, more than twenty years of practice in group facilitation, and over fifteen years of know-how in governance and management in various organizations.Daniel Weishut offers his services as a "Partner on the Way", while taking a world-view that people are diverse but equal. He works with a variety of clients, but his special interest is in work with those who have found themselves persecuted or otherwise in conflict with their social environment, because of their culture, identity or belief system. For example: migrants, expats, refugees, Holocaust survivors, soldiers, pacifists, and individuals from religious, cultural or sexual minorities. Daniel Weishut is a social activist and in this capacity he volunteers as Chairperson of the Israeli Association of Group Psychotherapy, as Member of the Membership Appeals Committee of Amnesty International and as forensic expert for the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel. He also is involved in raising awareness about the situation of Bedouins around Jerusalem; awareness which led among others to the writing of his dissertation "My friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: Challenges and opportunities in intercultural friendship".

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