Call for Care Professionals to Participate in a German-Israeli Project Aimed at Improving the Therapeutic Approach to Intersex
Intersex individuals are born with soma-sexual characteristics that are neither typically male nor female. The complexity of intersex bodies and the medical policy that advocates their rapid normalization create many conflicts and misunderstandings between parents of intersex babies, intersex children and adults, and the professionals involved in their care and treatment.
Psychologists and social workers in Israel and other countries typically have little previous knowledge of intersex bodies and the complexity of intersex people’s living experience and frequently suffer from numerous fears and anxieties regarding intersex individuals. In Germany, there are psychologists and peer group counselors who have developed methods and skills to support intersex individuals and their families.
In contrast, in Israel, there is a great deal of secrecy surrounding intersex individuals and a lack of psychological support for them and their families. Secrecy, shame, and a discourse of pathology dominate medical treatment and attitudes towards intersex individuals in Israel. In order to work towards remedying this situation, we established a collaborative German-Israeli project to raise the awareness and improve treatment.
We, Dr. Limor Meoded Danon and Dr. Katinka Schweizer, applied for a grant from the Zukunft Fund, which that supports different German-Israeli projects (https://www.dizf.de/ivrit/start/start.html). The Zukunft fund chose to support our project and the participants’ flying tickets and accommodations. Our project’s goals are as follows:
• To change negative attitudes towards intersex individuals
• To broaden knowledge about intersex bodies and the conflicts that exist in intersex individuals’ lives
• To create collaborative projects for establishing psychosocial treatment tools that will be used by Israeli and German psychologists, peer counselors, and social workers who treat and support intersex children, adults, and their parents.
• To follow and analyze the learning experiences of the participants and the projects’ outcomes.
The course of the project:
The project will last 18 months and include two meetings, one in Germany (July 2018) and one in Israel (November 2018). During the sessions, the participants will meet with various caregivers, intersex adults, and parents of intersex children from Germany and Israel, who will share their personal knowledge and experiences. Between the two sessions, participants will work in small groups through digital media to promote collaborations to create psychosocial tools for intersex people and their families. The final products of the project will be presented at a joint conference.
Criteria for participating in the project:
Candidates must meet be:
A. Social workers and Psychologists from Germany and Israel
B. Able to speak English well
C. Committed to the project and its goals
The candidates are invited to submit the following materials:
• Curriculum vitae in English
• Statement of intent to participate in the project – one page that includes a general description of the candidate, the reasons why the candidate wants to participate in this project, how the candidate’s work is relevant to the project, what the candidate wants to achieve in the project, and the candidate’s unique contribution to the project.
The materials must be sent to Dr. Limor Meoded Danon firstname.lastname@example.org or to Katinka Schweizer email@example.com by April 30, 2018.
*The final details about the workshops schedule will be given to the project’s participants