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CHSCParticipant1 year ago
I would like to hear thoughts on going to a therapist who is not Jewish. Recently my therapist has said several things that really hurt me. I felt betrayed and have ended with her. A couple years back a good friend also stabbed me in the back. These experiences have left me somewhat traumatized and with lots of questions how people who are frum can act this way. I am a Yeshivish frum woman and feel very limited in who I can see. The local good therapists all have waiting lists. I need help now and can not wait months until something opens by one of them. I would prefer to see someone who is not Jewish. I feel that at least this way if I am betrayed again it will not impact my faith. I won’t be left thinking how can a frum person do these things. My husband would prefer I see a Jewish therapist for several reasons..one of main concerns is if the not Jewish therapist is more helpful and kind I will be very confused..Please let me know if you have any thoughts regarding this. Thank you!1 year ago
You ask a very good question. Years back, before I even became a therapist myself, I heard this question asked by a psychiatry intern to an adam gadol. The answer (as I remember it…it’s been a long time) was that as long as the non-Jewish therapist is equally competent, if not more so, and demonstrates absolute professionalism, then it shouldn’t be a problem. Of course, while it “shouldn’t” be a problem, and odds are it won’t be a problem, it may still turn out to be a problem. This may be more or less so depending on the nature of why you’re seeing a therapist. For instance, a therapist who isn’t familiar with the laws of niddah as well as Shabbos, Yom Tov, and especially Pesach, might conclude that you’re being Obsessive Compulsive, when in fact you’re not. You might also consider working with a frum therapist over the phone or via the internet rather than face-to-face as this would certainly give you a much larger pool of frum therapists to work with than the ones accessible to you in your geographic vicinity.
Hope this helps a bit.
Binyamin Klempner, MSW
Jonathan SchnappParticipant1 year ago
I understand your concerns.
It may seem like a strange phenomenon, but it is very common for us to re-experience significant relationship dynamics from our earliest years. This means that both parties are in fact unconsciously / unknowingly acting in ways that cause this dynamic to emerge.
When I hear that someone, like yourself, has been betrayed multiple times, I think there may be the possibility that betrayal is one of the narratives you have lived through, and may be enacted repeatedly.
If this is the case, it is likely that you will experience some form of betrayal again, whether you see a Jewish or non-Jewish clinician, but it is more important that you not attribute the experience to the religion or the absence of it.
That said, betrayal can occur in any circumstance, but very few things in life are clearly black or white.
While leaving is sometimes the best option, they are many circumstances when managing through the discomfort of the conflict will result in, not only a deeper more trusting relationship, but a better version of yourself.
CHSCParticipantTopic Author1 year ago
Thank you both for taking the time to respond. I have not really given much thought to having discuss things which are part of religion. I am more concerned that discussing what was done to me by Jews would constitute a Chilul Hashem.
My other concern is I know my faith is not strong right now. And I feel like I can be easily swayed to leave my “old” challenging life behind and run away to start a new life elsewhere..
As far as betrayal being a former narrative, I don’t believe that to be the case as I am middle aged and have not had any experience with this until after I turned 40. It is not something that has happened over and over many times either. It is just something that has happened three times in three years. There are others who were involved in some way and have asked mechila as they have realized what they did was wrong and extremely hurtful. The people who know what happened and have been there for me agree that there was nothing I could’ve or should’ve done that would have prevented it. I need to put all my focus in to the good people who are there for me and not those who I thought were good and turned out to be really rotten. I just lost my ability to trust myself as I see I was so wrong with who I thought was a good friend and a good therapist.