opposite gender therapists

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  • #606153

    What do the users of the CR think about a girl seeing a male therapist or vice versa?

    #912248

    farrocks
    Member

    Bad idea. Certainly not alone (which is how therapy typically is done.)

    #912249

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    We are talking about mental health therapy? Physical therapy? Speech therapy? Eating therapy?

    #912250

    mental health

    #912251

    2scents
    Participant

    I think that a Daas Tora should be consulted.

    However my personal opinion (if it matters) is that it’s wrong.

    I am aware of a case in which a (chasidshe) rav arranged a Bachur to see a female therapist.

    Again, I think that it depends on a lot of details in which a competent das torah should be consulted.

    #912252

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I’m a bit ambivalent about it.

    My intuition is that it should be avoided if there is an equal alternative, but not if it seems necessary.

    #912253

    WIY
    Member

    I think that in general therapists and patients can understand each other better when they are of the same gender. There are certain issues that plague each gender that it is just very difficult for the opposite gender to relate to.

    #912254

    yaakov doe
    Participant

    It should be avoided since many patients develop a strong attachment to the therapist. If there’s a huge age difference it’s probably less of a problem.

    There are well qualified frum therapists of both genders available in NYC, maybe no so out of town.

    #912255

    The little I know
    Participant

    If saichel is being used, gender matching the client to the therapist is a must. As with any rule, there are exceptions. It is virtually impossible to avoid the issue altogether, but it is certainly beyond recognized morals for anyone to “specialize” in working davka with the opposite gender. It creates continual shailos of yichud. There is a known record of some of those who claim such “specialty” of working with opposite gender clients, whether doing kiruv, counseling, therapy, etc. of becoming involved in non-professional ways. Only a select few of these situations make it to public knowledge, and get attention in the media and the blogs. One should wonder why anyone would put themselves at such risk.

    #912257

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Most of the therapists at ohel are female

    #912258

    shlishi
    Member

    So are most of the patients.

    (Hmm, I wonder why.)

    #912259

    myownopinion
    Participant

    Dear zahavasdad,

    So how are you going to decide what to do? Take a tally of all the responses who have posted here? Why don’t you simply ask a your Rav.

    #912260

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    zahavasdad wasn’t the OP

    #912261

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    So, when couples want to/need to go for joint therapy, are they automatically sinning (since one of them must be of the opposite gender)?

    The Wolf

    #912262

    farrocks
    Member

    Don’t be such a wiseguy. Obviously this is referring to one-on-one sessions not involving a married couple.

    #912263

    frumnotyeshivish
    Participant

    Occasionally, and I know this may be out there, I think an opposite gender therapist may be preferred.

    There are many issues out there…

    Bottom line – as with all extensive opposite gender interaction – a cost/benefit analysis is in order.

    #912264

    2scents
    Participant

    Wolf,

    You always manage to sneak in a sinning comment!

    Since its a couple, a lot of problems fall away.

    #912265

    Loyal Jew
    Member

    Totally assur. A male can not even talk to a non-male receptionist.

    #912268

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    You always manage to sneak in a sinning comment!

    That’s not true. There are any number of threads where I don’t mention sin at all.

    The Wolf

    #912269

    2scents
    Participant

    Your right, sorry about that. I should have written often instead of always.

    #912270

    Ringless – Unfortunately you have strayed into an alternative dimension where the word ‘female’ must never be used (even to say that the word ‘female’ must never be used…). It’s known as the CR and is the home of some very strange and unusual lifeforms.

    #912271

    farrocks
    Member

    Too many “problems” have occurred.

    #912274

    Health
    Participant

    It’s commonplace that even Frum therapists see opposite gender clients and I’m sure they do this with Rabbonim’s okay.

    Many therapists specialize and the help that individuals need is sometimes special. So it ends up that most therapists have opposite gender clients.

    I sometimes wonder about some posters here -Do you just sit in front of your computers all day on your thrones and decide e/o out there is doing something wrong? How about going out once in awhile and seeing the world? Yes, Professionals deal with e/o even if they are Not the same gender.

    #912275

    iced
    Member

    These are one on one private sessions behind closed doors that last for about an hour without anyone but the two of them together alone.

    You can only imagine what can occur when a man and a girl are in that situation. Often what actually happens behind those closed doors are worse than what you can imagine.

    Which is why rabbonim prohibit or frown on such “sessions”.

    #912277

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I guess its also assur to see an opposite gender doctor or be helped by an opposite gender nurse

    #912279

    frumnotyeshivish
    Participant

    Health – you are getting defensive but missing the point. The question was about a client – not a professional. When a client is choosing a therapist, should the gender of the therapist be a factor in the decision? I think even The Wolf would agree it should be (no guarantees though). The real question is to what extent?

    Whether professionals must generally treat both genders equally, and whether there are specialists who see opposite gender clients, is addressing the question from the wrong perspective.

    #912280

    The little I know
    Participant

    There are many ways to cope with the problems of yichud. One is not considered a “machmir” if steps are taken to prevent yichud, one is just following basic halacha. Whether or not a surveillance camera qualifies to block yichud is a shailoh addressed by contemporary poskim. Having an open door with the possibility that one may enter the premises without prior notification is clearly a better choice.

    It is also poor judgment to conduct individual sessions at odd hours of the night when interruption is all but impossible. Even an open door is probably useless at such times, and halacha would prohibit the relationship altogether. Now, Cough Weberman Cough.

    #912281

    SaysMe
    Member

    opinion: it’s always better to have same-gender, as with a doctor. But if someone specializes or if someone is more beneficial, or there is no equal therapist of the same-gender, then opposite gender would be muttar. I’m sure the frum therapists have steps they are told by their rav to take, such as leaving the door slightly ajar, or the secretary popping in at any time, etc.

    But please posters, can we disagree b’nachas, and not b’insult? Its thoughts and opinions and experiences, it doesnt have to get personal or include onaas dvorim. Thanks so much 🙂

    #912283

    Health
    Participant

    frumnotyeshivish -“Health – you are getting defensive but missing the point. The question was about a client – not a professional. When a client is choosing a therapist, should the gender of the therapist be a factor in the decision?”

    No, I didn’t “Miss the point”. I don’t think anyone has to start a post saying – should I go to an opposite gender professional instead of a same gender one. This is commonsense. If all things are equal -why wouldn’t the person stay with their own gender? The answer is, at least I think people here have commonsense, that the OP and others have an agenda. They want to look down on others – so they come here supposedly asking innocent questions like -“What do the users of the CR think about a girl seeing a male therapist or vice versa?”

    The answer that I gave was that in the real world most therapists or other professionals specialize in different areas -this is why you see Many Frum professionals seeing opposite genders. No people – they are not Goyim.

    To illustrate -they have had topics here whether women will only see female OB’s or male ones. A lot of Frum women said they prefer the male ones and obviously they feel not e/o who practices medicine are always equal and that’s why they go to the male OB’s. This is what happens in mental health too. This is why Frum people go to opposite gender therapists and this is why Frum therapists will take opposite gender clients.

    #912284

    2scents
    Participant

    Health,

    I do not know why you are assuming that this was the intent of the OP. In fact I did and still do view it as an innocent question.

    I do not think that you can compare therapy to a doctors visit. A Doctors exam is objective, its not in any way similar to a therapy session.

    With therapy, the therapist will discuss the clients emotions and feelings, there is a lot of room for personal relationship.

    #912285

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Its considered bad form for a therapist to get involved with a patient, no different than a doctor or nurse getting involved with a patient.

    #912286

    pink vaultz
    Member

    I am a 35 year old married female who has tried 4 different female therapists and could not connect to any of them. I am thinking I should try a male therapist now.

    #912287

    batseven
    Participant

    To SaysMe- well said.

    Thats exactly what I was going 2 write

    #912288

    SaysMe
    Member

    thx batseven

    #912289

    2scents
    Participant

    ZDAD,

    are you talking from experience?

    With my experience, a therapist plays with ones emotions, talks about the clients personal experience, a lot of room to establish a personal connection.

    is it right or professional? probably not, however there is the risk of establishing a personal relationship.

    A regular health care professional does not have this risk.

    #912290

    Health
    Participant

    2scents –

    “Health,

    I do not think that you can compare therapy to a doctors visit. A Doctors exam is objective, its not in any way similar to a therapy session.

    With therapy, the therapist will discuss the clients emotions and feelings, there is a lot of room for personal relationship.”

    I understand your point. (This may be a first.)

    Anyways I’ve had to do with a lot of therapists – Medicine & mental health get intertwined a lot. I’ll explain what I meant about specializing. I know this female therapist who deals with certain types of Taavos, not going to mention what they are in a public forum. Anyways she’s Frum & she gets a lot of referrals from Rabbonim for Frum males. Why? Because in the NY area there are no Frum males, at least that people know about, that deal with these issues. In other words, these people need to have a Frum therapist who understands the Halacha as opposed to a Goyishe therapist. So she gets stuck with these males, but she is able to help them. The same with many Frum therapists I know – they deal with certain types of illness that opposite genders need help in and they can’t find elsewhere.

    #912291

    Health
    Participant

    pink vaultz -“I am a 35 year old married female who has tried 4 different female therapists and could not connect to any of them. I am thinking I should try a male therapist now.”

    Let me tell you something. Therapy is like a Shidduch – you need a good Shadchan. An org. called Relief does a great job of matching people to therapy. They will ask you about your illness and/or problems and they will try to match you to an appropiate therapist. The therapist can be either male or female.

    #912292

    “Let me tell you something. Therapy is like a Shidduch – you need a good Shadchan.”

    Exactly, The fact that we are even having this conversation is absolutely ludicrous! Seek the therapist that will be able to help you in the most constructive manner,gender should not make a difference.

    #912293

    iced
    Member

    Gender should make a major difference.

    At least if you are a Jew, that is.

    #912294

    Loyal Jew
    Member

    A person going to a therapist is obviously having tzures and that’s precisely the wrong time to be meikel about mingling, tznius and yichud.

    #912295

    frumnotyeshivish
    Participant

    NOMTW – “Seek the therapist that will be able to help you in the most constructive manner…” That is precisely the point. Gender is one of the most defining factors about a person. Who a person is defines how they can help. Unlike other “Health” industry workers, there is much subjectivity and variety within every aspect of mental health care. Additionally, there must be a personal, deep, trusting relationship, for many types of therapy to work. Saying gender doesn’t matter, may be just as shallow a view as saying one may never go to an opposite-gender therapist.

    What is very clear to me, is that there is no one answer.

    The universally agreed upon concept here, is to get as much objective help as is possible toward the “right” goal. To do that one must identify the goals desired. Being that everyone’s goals are very different, the disagreement here seems to be more about what the “right” goal is, than which gender gets you there.

    #912296

    jmj613
    Participant

    from my experience: i am a male, married with kids bh. i have tried therapy with both genders and just couldnt connect to men. Id say it depends on each case.

    #912297

    farrocks
    Member

    When someone says they’ve tried it both ways and can only connect with the opposite gender, all sorts of red flags should be raised. That is exactly why they should not be seeing the opposite gender.

    #912298

    yichusdik
    Participant

    Health, you and I don’t see eye to eye on things like Zionism, but I agree with you on this 100%. And I would like to see from those who are telling us it leads to problems, evidence of more than one or two (i.e. a “problem” rather than an aberration that could happen same gender as well) licensed, professional therapist in the frum community who has taken advantage of the situation.

    #912299

    OnlyTheTruth
    Member

    I am just wondering how many of you have actually had the opportunity to see a therapist. I started reading some of your posts and I stopped. Not all of them, some of you are so irresponsible. I don’t think the person asking the question asked an halachic question. And even if yes, the answer should always be. “Ask a Rav, A Rabbi, or Dean, Rosh Yeshivah, etc.. some one you would ask other shailos. Its not so simple, as a yes or no answer. Sometimes their might be reasons to permit and sometimes not. And to answer the question like it is. Only someone that was/is in the situation should and could answer this.

    Now if I may I will try to answer the question,

    Again Personally please find a Rav to talk to as well. But don’t assume its enough they are busy and they are not therapists. Make a kesher with one to ask all your question, if you don’t know one we can try to help you find one.

    Now about the therapy, I think it all depends on why you need to go, and if your going for your self or for your self because of some one else. Sometimes you can feel more comfortable with a person of the opposite gender that will have more understanding to your concerns and you will speak more. Example: Josh go’s to a man therapist, he feels very funny talking to a man about how his wife dresses or treats him or doesn’t bathe or things that are worse. He feels that a women will understand better, he might open up and talk more. Not that I’m saying that the man doesn’t understand its just that some might feel that way. Same with a women, She might feel uncomfortable talking to someone in the same gender about issues Example: my husband dose this wierd thing or that, etc… That’s why it really depends on the situation and why you need to go.

    #912301

    iced
    Member

    99+% of the times you’ll never hear about the problem that occured. That is the nature of this beast.

    #912302

    Health
    Participant

    iced -“99+% of the times you’ll never hear about the problem that occured. That is the nature of this beast.”

    This post IMHO has to be Denounced. Your insinuations are beyond the pale. Most forbidden relationships never make the 8 O’clock news but to insinuate that this is a common problem amongst therapists is ludicrous. It’s not even a common problem in general amongst Frum people. Let alone s/o who’s license would be on the line. Stop looking for the few cases to say that it’s Ossur to see a therapist from the opposite gender. As a matter of fact, there are cases of bad things occuring with therapists from the same gender. There is this one guy who fled to Israel and has been fighting extradition the last 20 years.

    You sound like s/o who doesn’t even believe in therapy in the first place.

    #912303

    computer777
    Member

    Since this thread talks about therapists, I would like to mention that there are tons of self books out there that are excellent. Many are better than a real life therapist, and they are certainly cheaper.

    (Sure there are those that need real live therapists for their issues, but there are a great many people who got the help they needed from a self help book.)

    #912304

    Chulent
    Member

    Hilchos Yichud are still in force when seeing a therapist.

    Perhaps, even, especially so.

    #912305

    Health
    Participant

    Chulent -“Hilchos Yichud are still in force when seeing a therapist.”

    I don’t know if they are or not -I’m not a Poisek. And I doubt you are either.

    But this would only be a problem if the client (woman) wasn’t married.

    If the client or the therapist are women & are married and the husband is in the town – then there is no problem of Yichud.

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