The therapeutic-rehabilitative approach of Kishorit is based on a combination of two social work and psychotherapy approaches, namely, the Narrative Approach and the Strengths Perspective.
The Narrative Approach
The underlying assumption of the Narrative Approach is that each one of us has a life story that we tell ourselves, and stories that others tell us. These stories have a huge impact on our behavior and choices. Through Narrative therapy, a person can, at any time, change the existing narrative of his life, re-evaluate the “life story” that he is telling, edit in changes and create a new life story that will enable him to grow, develop and deal more successfully with the challenges that he faces.
The Strengths Perspective
The strengths perspective focuses on a person’s strengths and the internal resources that enable him to cope with obstacles and difficulties. Underlying this approach is the assumption that when one focuses on the strong, healthy parts of a person, rather than on his weaknesses or illnesses, he is more likely to flourish and minimize the influence of his weaker qualities. The strengths approach emphasizes what is in a person’s control to change, gives meaning to his desires and aspirations and gives him the freedom to choose to improve his situation. The therapist relinquishes his role as an authoritative expert and the client is considered a full partner, or even the leader, of the therapeutic process. The role of the therapist is to recognize the strengths and resources of the client in their shared process of research and discovery, while the individual client’s personal story guides the process and not the story that is told about him in therapeutic language/jargon.
The framework of life at Kishorit combines these two approaches. Kishorit makes it possible for the members to achieve as much independence as possible while accepting the limitations that they can’t change. The members build a better “life story” for themselves, through therapy as a means of discovery and empowering themselves.
The Kishorit approach is that the therapeutic goals must be clearly defined and achievable, specific to the member and his/her goals and aspirations, and not to external standards. When a person joins Kishorit and begins the therapeutic-rehabilitative process, he himself defines the goals that he wants to achieve and the system tries to make it possible for him to do so.
Integrating the member into the community and workplace, and solving problems that arise, is a process that is done with the full involvement and cooperation of the member in question. “Therapy” is not done in typical therapeutic sessions that are disconnected from other aspects of life, but rather, are a part of ongoing life in the village and are done by the entire staff. A social worker coordinates the “therapy,” but he isn’t the only address for the member. Other community members and staff members in the employment centers are also involved in the process. We see the therapeutic-rehabilitative process holistically, enveloping all aspects of life. Therefore, in every arena – involvement in the community, work, living arrangements, health, leisure time activities and enrichment – we strive to create a continuity of possibilities for the members so that every member can find what is most appropriate to him.