Community Therapy As a Tool for Social Inclusion
Today, we hear much talk about social inclusion. For someone like me, who has studied social marginality from a sociological point of view, the concept of social inclusion refers to an integration of marginalized sectors in the context of the current social structure.
Within the brief comments I share with you today, social inclusion is an aspect of personality integration and integration into society.
In the wheels of community therapy, which is called the integrative and systemic, people start to perceive the unity in their lives, the thread stitching, unifying the first and final facts of their lives. This occurs in many ways.
The personal history of each one transpires and blends in with the life histories of the others present. Leaving the farm or the small town for the big city, to the urban periphery, with the consequent sensation of loss of identity, sounds like a common feeling among the migrants in Brazil or anywhere else in the world.
They change the customs, let go of someone being inserted into a web of habitual relations, to being something strange, rootless, a lost soul, as Adalberto Barreto says in "The pain of the soul of the excluded in Brazil." When I go to be part of the wheel of therapy, it begins to be sewn to my own story, it gains coherence and consistency. I am no longer a nobody.
Others pronounce my name once a week, at least. They are remembered on anniversaries, we sing and dance together. Many housewives who do not leave home, they see other people, smile, find more meaning in their life than merely see their husband and children and often have their own lives independent of them.
The retired, who used to live just waiting for death, recuperate their joy of living. They play, they tell jokes, they dance in circles and they say prayers with children, youths, students and University doctors, healthcare professionals, community workers and so on. Integration works for all, for those at the bottom and those in the middle, in fact - they generate a revolving kaleidoscope in which the identities of all merge (and it doesn't matter).
Barely an equal, someone who like me was lost or is lost yet, is reunited again. Thus, inclusion works in and outside the person. I include myself in that I am included in a common history, a common speech which I recognize. In this respect, inclusion and integration, function almost as synonyms.
The students and professors and doctors, in turn, break the barrier of isolation which higher education often produces and rediscover people, just people. In these circles, moments are processed in which people meet themselves, and this is the reason why one can say in conclusion to these thoughts, that community therapy is a tool which creates social inclusion.
Translated from the Portuguese version by: