December 29, 2021 9:03 am at 9:03 am #2045977
Why would a religous person become a licensed, certified mental health professional? The potential for יחוד and inappropriate relationships should suggest that it isnt a “frum” profession.
I intend this as a starting point for a discussion. There is a real need for religous therapists whi understand the Torah perspective on relationships, sexuality, and individual meaning. I’m concerned that recent events will produce a “chilling effect”.
editedDecember 29, 2021 10:22 am at 10:22 am #2046014user176Participant
With any profession comes the potential to transgress Halacha in some way. Every individual is responsible to conduct themselves in accordance with Halacha and set their own personal safeguards in whatever they choose to do.December 29, 2021 10:33 am at 10:33 am #2046025theroshyeshivaParticipant
The halacha is uman lo mareh umnasso. Applies to physicians and rabbanim as well.December 29, 2021 10:33 am at 10:33 am #2046018
I will be dan lekaf zechus, that this question is asked out of curiosity and innocence. If that were not the case, I find it incredibly ignorant.
There is not a career without its nisyonos. Yes, kollel yungerleit who invest themselves in their learning are challenged with many things. Many are pressured to provide their homes and fmailies with more, and their ability to be mistapek bemu’at is limited. They can easily follow temptation to get involved in various ruses to claim entitlements that they should not get. Such gezel can become chilul Hashem. One would think that being machmir on kashrus and shiurim would accompany uncompromising honesty in money matters. I am not accusing anyone. These infractions do occur, and I am drawing attention to the reality of the nisayon.
The entire business world, retail and wholesale is full of huge challenges. Genaivoh, gezailoh, genaivas daas, ono’as mamon, ribis, etc. are immense challenges.
Chinuch is not simple either. Embarrassing a talmid is a huge aveiroh. Even the talmid who requires a disciplinary word must not trash the dignity of the child. Malbin pnei chaveiroh is serious enough to block a person from his otherwise destined olan haboh. The Rambam specifies that this includes a victim who is a child.
Rabbonim can pasken wrongly, they can neglect a congregant, they can address a conflict situation while violating shemo’ah bein acheichem, etc.
Every aspect of our world is frought with nisyonos. Now let’s consider the positives:
There is a desperate need in Klal Yisroel to have professionals able and willing to address personal problems. Having such professionals who can perform these needed services without compromising on Torah value is critical.
The mitzvah of restoring, or helping to restore, the simchas hachaim for an individual or couple is huge. Gedolei Yisroel have addressed this subject in numerous ways. Some refer to a mitzvah of hashovas aveidoh. Others to being a shaliach of Hashem to bring about refuah. The Rambam addresses the matter of cholei nefesh and cholei ruach, and equiates it to cholei haguf.
Every barrel has its rotten apples, including the few fields mentioned above. I sincerely hope the question posed was out of ignorance or curiosity.December 29, 2021 11:02 am at 11:02 am #2046036YeshivishrockstarParticipant
The individual who inspired this post and others was not a licensed therapist!!!December 29, 2021 11:51 am at 11:51 am #2046041besalelParticipant
the little i know: i loved your response.December 29, 2021 11:52 am at 11:52 am #2046042MosheFromMidwoodParticipant
I had a frum therapist one point in my life and he was considered a top person in his field but I did not feel he really helped me deal with my issues without inserting halacha. For example, I had problems with my father and he would respond that he cannot tell me to go contrary kibud av, and when I had dating issues he advised me to grow a beard to look more manly. Really, I did not find this very helpful and I left himDecember 29, 2021 11:53 am at 11:53 am #2046043GadolhadorahParticipant
I agree with note above that this post is more likely posted out of ignorance than any stupid effort to troll. Every activity a yid engages in during the course of a day, whether in his/her professional life or personal life, carries with it some degree of moral and spiritual risk. We have rabbonim who have used their positions of authority to engage in abusive and predatory behavior. We have recent episodes of a highly respected frum rav placing cameras in a mikvah to photograph women he was assisting in conversion. We have had frum medical professionals engaged in sexual assault. Hopefully, the OP will reflect on the underlying contradiction of his question. Now, more than ever, we need MORE not fewer frum men and women entering the mental health field and offering greater access to mental health services.December 29, 2021 11:58 am at 11:58 am #2046047HaLeiViParticipant
There is no need, or excuse, for Yichud.
If meetings are kept professional there is no inappropriate relationship.
In the real world men deal with women all the time. There are Halachos on how to do so.December 29, 2021 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #2046045
My response would get me permanently banned.
No kidding. The reason for deletions of comments sometimes has a lot more to do with the expected responses than the post itself. Good catch – appreciated.December 29, 2021 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm #2046044
@ little I know.
Ignorance is fostered by questioning motives instead of engaging in dialogue.
Furthermore, you haven’t addressed the issue I raised, so I wonder why you bothered to respond.
You dont find alot of Orthodox veterinarians, because sterilizing animals is problematic. Similarly, there are few examples of religous film or television stars. Or airplane pilots. While it would be possible to navigate the נסיונות involved in הלכה a d צניעות, few choose to do so.December 29, 2021 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm #2046067
I agree with you on that one hundred percent. It seems like the OP does not. People are people. Let them ask what halachah is.December 29, 2021 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm #2046069
You would rather patients be alone with non-Jews?!?December 29, 2021 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm #2046070
A patient and therapist in a private office in an office building during normal business hours, is generally not Yichud.
You could make the same argument in revere. Many Non-Jews are therapists without having these problems.December 29, 2021 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm #2046072
Moshe – it sounds like you did the right thing for you. But why generalize this? Personally I wouldn’t want a therapist who encourages me to do something against halacha. And out of context I have no idea if his “advice” was actually good or not. But who cares really because it needs to be therapeutic for you. If someone does not feel safe, trusting and understood by a therapist then they will not be able to grow from them.
My friend was married to a ger who converted to escape from himself. After his second child he started to have a relationship with a male coworker. He was distraught and went to a therapist who told him he needed to be true to himself and not forfeit himself for his wife and kids. With adequate convincing he decided to leave his wife, and life and the therapist offered to have the wife come in to break the news together. Even putting religion aside this is not the way to go. If he was frum or had regard for religion and tried to work on repairing the marriage, who is to say it would not have worked?
I am unfortunately very wary of mental health professionals and do a lot of vetting before referring, but on the other side of the coin there are a lot of people who don’t want to accept some things they are told and spin it around to others as bad advice in order to get (mis)validated and refrain from the pain of change and growth.December 29, 2021 1:00 pm at 1:00 pm #2046091dbrimParticipant
It is a dirty job but someone has to do it. We need educated, trained, qualified psychologists in the frum community desperately. Veteranarians less so. Being treated by someone not frum is fraught with pitfalls and very bidieved.December 29, 2021 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm #2046103
I answered your question quite well. You made a glaring insinuation that the field of mental health providers is not a “frum” field because of its nisyonos. I’m sorry, but that message is patently absurd. And I explained my points quite clearly. The nisyonos you mentioned are known, and are addressed daily by all therapists of all the involved disciplines. And I also implied that every barrel will have its rotten apple, which does not suggest that apples be banned. On the positive side, the needs for these services are immense, and we are witness to growing numbers of frum men and women stepping up to the challenge to help Klal Yisroel. You did acknowledge the need. Well, some people are taking that call and directing their lives and careers to provide desperately needed help. Therapists I know can all point to individuals and families that are functioning far better, and able to fill their roles in their communities and Klal Yisroel. Had you asked this question 50 years ago, I might have wondered. But today, there is a great amount of alliance between the professionals, Gedolei Yisroel, Roshei Yeshivos, Rabbonim, Dayanim, Poskim, etc. Again, you might be able to point to some bad apples. But the field today is in its prime and constantly improving. Your labeling it as certainly being “not a frum” profession is either ignorant or malicious.December 29, 2021 2:20 pm at 2:20 pm #2046110
Get yourself books by R Twersky to understand a Jewish psychologist.
Furthermore, R Feinstein at some point paskened that it is ok to use a non-observant psychiatrist – who is prescribving drugs, but not a psychologist, who “fixes” your mind and may propose non-kosher attitudes. This means it is so important to have learned psychologists to address the needs of the community. I don’t know whether a combination of psychology/halakha/hashkafa is taught anywhere, though.
EditedDecember 29, 2021 2:22 pm at 2:22 pm #2046112
My question was “Why”. Your answer is “because they want to help people”. How trite.
I didnt ask about bad apples or how your best freinds sister in law is allowed to have a Dear Rochi column in Mishpocha magazine.
If the moderator allows, Ill rephrase the question (or hell do it for me).
In the wake of Defund the Police, officers are retiring in droves a d academies are having trouble recruiting.
Given the perception of licenced and accredited clinical psychology as not being a “frum” profession, for whatever reason rocks your boat, how can we encourage qualified frum people to go into this field.
By the way, Ik neither malicious nor ignorant, but you are quite Ill mannered.December 29, 2021 2:23 pm at 2:23 pm #2046113
ym> You dont find alot of Orthodox veterinarians
A good point. You want to select a profession that is helping the world in some way. With all due respect to animals, being a psychologist is way more important.
Syag> who told him he needed to be true to himself
yes, this is type of advice that we need to be careful about. R Feinstein says that non-Torah psychiatrists are preferred to psychologists – they just give you pills and do not mess with the values.December 29, 2021 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #2046145
It maybe your take, but it is not a popular one. There are more Jewish therapists now. As well as more ‘qualified frum people’ going into the profession. You sure insinuated a lot of awfulness in your first post, maybe you were trying to mind your own manners.December 29, 2021 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #2046164
We need a frum psychologist who understands the problems frum people face.December 29, 2021 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #2046194Just Another YidParticipant
insert another irrelevantly long comment hereDecember 29, 2021 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #2046225
Please move in to the Baba Sali post, they are missing your thoughtful insights.December 29, 2021 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #2046249
Dear Reb Eliezer,
Do you mean ‘we’ as in coffee room posters? I could hardly agree with you more……December 29, 2021 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #2046255
AAQ – “R Feinstein says that non-Torah psychiatrists are preferred to psychologists – they just give you pills and do not mess with the values.”
that doesn’t mean a non frum psychiatrist as opposed to a psychologist, they have two different roles and cannot be interchanged. He meant you should go with a frum psychologist as opposed to not but that a non frum psychiatrist is okay.December 29, 2021 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #2046267
@ שתיקה Since you are familiar with what was a totally said, please provide מראה מקום.December 29, 2021 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #2046276
According to your (Syag) explanation I don’t understand Rav Moshe’s ztz’l pesak as I indicated above.December 29, 2021 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #2046303
Syag, > should go with a frum psychologist as opposed to not but that a non frum psychiatrist is okay.
Thanks, this is what I was trying to say, but maybe did not phrase accurately. Now, I am looking further, I am not sure this is the full picture.
The source is Igros Moshe YD 2:57. Can someone with full text access look it up please. It seems that the question was about doctor who is a “min” or “kofer”. He says it is incumbent to go to someone who is “shomer Torah”, but if not available, negotiate with the doctor not to discuss beliefs.December 29, 2021 7:33 pm at 7:33 pm #2046306
I am somewhat familiar with the psak from Reb Moshe ZT”L. We should take note of the date. For quite a few decades, schools of psychology and social work, and I presume other mental health fields) were adamant that the beliefs of the clients/patients be left alone. These school teach that delving into them is a violation of one’s personal rights, and that this would constitute a violation of professional ethics. At the time of the shailoh and teshuvah with Reb Moshe, this was not the accepted position. Reb Moshe was correct in directing that one should not allow a professional to tinker with one’s emunoh. The fear of the “min” or “kofer” was the tendency they have of seeking to push their agenda, and there would be a need to create boundaries to prevent that.December 29, 2021 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #2046311
This is the Igros Moshe YD 2,57:
שו”ת אגרות משה יורה דעה חלק ב סימן נז
בענין להתרפא חולי מחשבות מרופאים סארקאיעטיסטן שהם מינים וכופרים כ”א מנ”א
תש”כ. מע”כ ידידי הנכבד מו”ה ר’ מיכאל קאסטעל שליט”א.
בדבר חולי רוח ומחשבות שצריכים לילך לרופאים פסיכאלאגיסטן סארקאיעטיסטן אם רשאים לילך לאלו שהן מינים וכופרים, לע”ד אין לילך אל רופאים כאלו להתרפאות, כי מכיון שאין הרפואות מסמים המרפאים אלא מרוב הדבורים שלהם עם החולה נודעים מאיזה מחשבות הוא סובל, ומיעצים לו איך להתנהג שודאי יש לחוש שמיעצים לפעמים נגד דיני התורה ואף נגד עיקרי הדת ונגד עניני פרישות וצניעות. ול”ד למה שנוהגין להתרפאות ממינים וכופרים שאר מחלות, שכיון שמרפאין במיני סמים אין לו שייכות עם המינים שלהם, והאיסור להתרפאות מן המינים הוא דוקא ברפאות ולחשים שמזכירין שם ע”ז, עיין בתוס’ ע”ז דף כ”ז ובש”ע יו”ד ר”ס קנ”ה, אבל הפסיכאלאגן והסארקאיעטיסטן שכל רפואתן הוא בדבוריהם יש ודאי לחוש שידברו דברי מינות ונבול פה. ואם הם רופאים מומחים ויבטיחו לההורים שלא ידברו דברים שהם נגד דעות האמונה ומצות התורה יש אולי לסמוך שכיון שהם מומחים לא ישקרו. ולכן יש לחפש אחר רופא סארקאיעטיסט שומר תורה ובאם ליכא יתנו עמו ויבטיח שלא ידבר עם החולה
בעניני אמונה ותורה. ידידו, משה פיינשטיין
My question above still applies. We need a frum person who understands his problems.December 29, 2021 8:31 pm at 8:31 pm #2046318
The פסק doesn’t differentiate between a psychiatrist or a psychologist in stating that a מין or כופר (atheist or non religious) should not be consulted. Interestingly, he states that possibly, if they are a respected professional, the parents of the patient can rely on his word that he wont discuss matters related to religion or faith with the child. But if possibly, a “frum” psychiatrist should be found.
I’m not a huge fan of being מדייק in the אגרות משה; its widely accepted that they were heavily edited by his grandchildren.
However, it appears that the situation that ר’ משה זצ”ל was referring to was a parent seeking care for their child. In that situation, the parent is able to advocate for the child and hopefully moniter the care they are receiving. Less meaningfully, while in the body of the תשובה he refers to both psychiatrists and psychologists, but in the actual ruling that allows treatment by a non religous practitioner who will respect parental boundaries, he only mentions psychiatrists, and states that a שומר תירה would be preferable if s suitable one can be found.
I would be curious as to what his opinion would have been of adults seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist independently, and whether he would have insisted on using a “frum” therapist with limited training instead of a board certified psychiatrist.December 29, 2021 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #2046320
TLIK, I hear you, still as relevant to this discussion, it is preferable to have a Torah observant therapist. That would mean it is laudable to be such therapist, despite the nisayonim. We were thinking about this issue in regards to possible career path for kids. The problem we see is that how would a Jewish therapist treat non-observant clients: what kind of perverse issues you can encounter and need to deal with? And how would you give them an appropriate advice? It may be a great place for a serious expert, and r Twersky brings a lot of exampels from his non-Jewish crazies and alcoholics, but not sure that you can say le’hathila that someone can thrive in this work. So, if not treating general public, you are left to pray that there are enough crazy Jews (and they realize they need treatment) ….December 29, 2021 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm #2046370
RebE, thanks for the text. It looks like Rav Moshe would approve of Jewish psychologists!
YM, I think you can read this that expertise matters, which is a usual attitude in medical matters: shomer Torah is preferred, but if the only one available mumhe … I imagine if Rav Moshe would advocate going to a non-expert may be an option, he would say that.
And both of you, could you do me a favor. As Syag noticed, I don’t like loaded terms like “frum” that everyone interprets as he wants, usually to exclusion of others. Rav Moshe says simply “shomer Torah”.December 29, 2021 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm #2046378
“As Syag noticed, I don’t like loaded terms like “frum” that everyone interprets as he wants, usually to exclusion of others.”
where do you come up with these things? I said you don’t like frum. I didn’t say you don’t like the terminology.December 30, 2021 2:25 am at 2:25 am #2046406AviraDeArahParticipant
I disagree with the poster above who said that rav moshe’s psak would not apply to “heintegeh” therapists. While it’s true that therapists were more patriarchal and directive in previous decades, and would impose their beliefs on their patients, the issues aren’t limited to such extreme problems. As rav moshe wrote, they will advise *sometimes* to violate something – anything – in torah. Even if the therapist is very supportive of the personal beliefs of their patients, there are a ton of pitfalls in which a therapist who means well can damage a client. Imagine a client is beset with guilt over aveiros, and says he wants to give up and just keep doing them, the therapist will feel it’s healthy to encourage them to engage in aveiros that the psychology field would consider healthy. The therapist might suggest watching a movie to destress. He might validate hashkofa problems a client has and encourage them to “find their own way”. These are but a few examples.December 30, 2021 2:26 am at 2:26 am #2046397ujmParticipant
Very simple solution:
Jewish male therapists should only take male clients, if individual privacy is required for sessions, and Jewish female therapists should only accept female clients.
And, then, they can all be therapists. There are enough of both genders to cater to each one.
Problem solved. Next topic, please.December 30, 2021 2:54 am at 2:54 am #2046416AviraDeArahParticipant
**that should have said “paternal”, not patriarchal; indirect exposure to wokeness got into my head apparentlyDecember 30, 2021 8:38 am at 8:38 am #2046461
If only it was that simple. And once we’re on that suggestion, I do not see how it helps.December 30, 2021 10:50 am at 10:50 am #2046540ujmParticipant
n0m: Why not?December 30, 2021 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #2046578
There are two scenarios. Someone becomes a therapist, clergy, doctor, lawyer, etc. and can’t control himself when confronted with vulnerable people. Someone who is out of control, gets a career to hunt for victims.
Your solution may mitigate the first example. But who really knows what goes through these peoples heads that they turn from mentor to abuser? If they can not handle the responsibility, what is to say they will behave better with less of a nisayon?
But in the second example, they will not listen. They may become ‘specialists’ in the other gender, or they will move to some other position to get their victims.December 30, 2021 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm #2046592philosopherParticipant
Therapy is warranted for those who have experienced abuse, lived through a terror attack, etc. Therapy is not warranted for every bump we go through in life, yes even those who divorced, grew up in divorced homes, etc. Everyone has issues deal with it. 3/4 of people’s problems are created during therapy. If only the people who really need therapy would go to therapists the world would be better off. Look at the secular society’s suicide rate, the divorce rate, the depression rate, the acceptance of LGTBQ behavior and trans surgeries and therapies courtesy of the work of “therapists”. Even in lehavdil the frum world people are dependent on therapists and indulging in non-stop kvetching and it has had a seriously negative impact on our communities. We have simps instead of strong men and women.
I’m not saying to throw the baby out with the bathwater, certainly for some people therapy is needed and some therapists are really good. But those are in the minority, for the majority of therapists and therapy goers it’s not only utter non-sense, it is part of the problems we face nowadays.December 30, 2021 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm #2046599
I have not found this to be so in your conversational posts but in this as well as your covid “platforms ” i hear a lot of passion, with not much fact based information.December 30, 2021 1:03 pm at 1:03 pm #2046611
Syag > I said you don’t like frum. I didn’t say you don’t like the terminology.
I usually avoid personal remarks, but this one required clarification. My perception may be wrong, but I often see people using this term usually do it to – arbitrarily – exclude large swaths of Torah observant Jews from their notion of “amecha”. This may not be true for native Yiddish speakers, but often looks so for those who throw the term into English discussion. Especially here, we now have a full text of the teshuva, thanks RebE, and Rav Moshe, a Yiddish speaker, is clearly NOT using this term, yet everyone mis-quotes him. I may be oversensitive here.
Even Chofetz Chaim, in more “frum” times, when community was besieged by haskalah, had reservations, saying: people say: in our times, you need to be “frum, frum, and klug”, I say, you have to be “klug, klug, and frum”. So, I am pro-klugkeit.December 30, 2021 1:04 pm at 1:04 pm #2046612
Avira > there are a ton of pitfalls in which a therapist who means well can damage a client
I agree. When a more modern therapist says: I am not imposing my belief, all beliefs are valid, he is at the same time give the patient encouragement to see all beliefs are valid. I saw some suggesting that therapist work in tandem with a Rav to discuss what is possible. Here, I noticed a constant theme going through R Twersky’s books that one needs a Rav who is bokeh in these issues, not everyone with a smicha and a shul contract qualifies.
At the end, this discussion underscores a need for observant and well-trained therapists. Is there a place that trains for that and do we send anyone there? Another avenue – make sure families and schools teach musar and other ways to make people leave healthy lives, and hurt the kids less, so that there will be less need in therapy.December 30, 2021 1:09 pm at 1:09 pm #2046616
Again, not sure what you are responding to. My point? Please don’t reference me to make points since I don’t appreciate being misreferenced.December 30, 2021 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #2046668
Your statement has little credibility. Of course people should deal with their issues. Even and especially major issues like trauma. But not everybody knows how to deal with their issues. It is not an excuse. One can think and research and attempt their way out of their current situation. Or they can learn to cope. When they can not do this on their own, they need therapy to be able to work with the issue. It has zero to do with how big or problematic the issues are. It has everything to do with the patient’s lack of ability to help themself.December 30, 2021 3:51 pm at 3:51 pm #2046675
> It has everything to do with the patient’s lack of ability to help themself.
As a first step, having a trusted friend or an older person can help anyone to have an independent look at themselves. Therapist is better, of course: you are paying serious money so it is not that easy to reject what he is saying, and he is also an expert at making himself heard. Try paying your friend $20 for the advice to appreciate it more.December 30, 2021 4:56 pm at 4:56 pm #2046724GadolhadorahParticipant
“….Given the perception of licenced and accredited clinical psychology as not being a “frum” profession”’
Whose perception?? I have several frum friends who are licensed CSWs and board-certified psychologists and psychiatrists. During the summer, you can find some minyanim on Cape Cod and MV where the majority of daveners are mental health professionals (service providers, not patients)December 30, 2021 6:38 pm at 6:38 pm #2046747
Great idea! In Kelm they would say their peers to give them personal mussar. But it would not help everyone. Not even the greatest professionals can help everyone.
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