How the Trauma Takes Its Toll on Us

Two therapists tell how Israelis are trapped between vigilance and numbness

When Francisco de Goya created his series, "The Black Paintings," he was expressing his despair over human nature and war in 19th century Europe. But his "Duel with Cudgels" might as well have been painted to capture the craziness of the situation in the Middle East today. It depicts two figures inflicting blows on each other while they sink in quicksand.

Life in quicksand has altered the Israeli experience in profound ways. Those directly exposed to violence have suffered physical and emotional injuries that will scar them for life. As mental-health workers, we have treated many victims who have been injured...

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