Obituary: Jafar Kareem

Jafar Kareem, psychotherapist and innovator in mental-health care, born Calcutta 1930, died London 12 September 1992.

JAFAR KAREEM was a psychotherapist, founder and clinical director of Nafsiyat, the only intercultural therapy centre offering psychotherapy to ethnic communities in London.

Jafar Kareem was born in Calcutta in 1930, and worked in India, Austria and Israel before coming to Britain 25 years ago. In Britain he worked as a psychotherapist for the NHS and was an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at University College Hospital, London.

Jafar Kareem argued for a long time that there were many causes for the high rate of mental distress among ethnic minorities in Britain and that prejudice was not the only problem. He believed that the most important factor in successfully working with ethnic minority clients was to establish a holding contact. Language difficulties were not so important as emotional barriers. That is why he encouraged all people to describe their problems in their own words, while he was trying to understand the nature of them. He recognised that many individuals from the ethnic minorities were aware of their socio-economic position in their adopted country and the particular difficulties they were experiencing being immigrants. He also realised that the host society's attitude could create uncertainty and insecurity for minority communities, which on many occasions were presented as mental- health problems.

Jafar Kareem put his ideas into practice by creating the Nafsiyat Inter-Cultural Therapy Centre, in north London, in 1983. There he worked together with other mental-health professionals in a multidisciplinary setting, adopting an innovative approach. Some of the centre's key elements were the choice of therapies and therapist by the clients and their being allowed to bring with them, if they wished, someone they trusted, to advocate their perception of their illness. Another important contribution was its training for professionals and support staff in the Health Service, local authorities, education and various community agencies. The book he edited with Roland Littlewood on Inter-Cultural Therapy: Themes, Interpretations and Practice, published this year, epitomises his transcultural ideology and practice on mental health issues.

Jafar Kareem was an intellectual as well as an affectionate man with a personal charisma and an ability to communicate with others. He will be remembered for his pioneering work in helping people from ethnic minorities with mental-health problems.

(Photograph omitted)

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London