Thursday, August 25, 2016

Therapy And Hashkafa

Every therapist walks into the room with a hashkafa - philosophies and beliefs about life. These beliefs are not necessarily false but they are also not necessarily true - at least not for the patient. Many therapists, consciously or not, IMPOSE their beliefs on the client, even though they are not coming from their professional training or experience but from a deeply ingrained set of beliefs that they feel a need to impose on others for various psychological reasons. 

The patient must be very careful about this - especially if the therapist is not religious and the patient is. "Don't be so strict about these archaic laws. Do you think G-d really cares if you give your wife a hug when she had a rough day even if it is 'that time of month'. Maybe that is when she needs it most. A Compassionate G-d would want you you hug her". This and MILLIONS of other "chochmos" may emerge from the therapists mouth. Beware.

Even if the therapist is religious, he or she will have a beliefs that there is no reason the patient should adopt. There are many ways of being religious. As long as the therapist sticks to pure psychology everything should be fine, but the second, other, non-psychological issues are involved, things get thorny. There is also a very fine line between what is part of the therapeutic process and what isn't. Many patients suffer from dysfunction that relates to their religious practices and how to correct it is subject to dispute and often requires rabbinic intervention.

My point is - be very careful when you choose a therapist and be discerning as to what you accept from him or her. Nobody is perfect or knows it all. Everybody has mistaken beliefs about life, religion, themselves, others or countless other issues. 

A  healthy sense of doubt is ...... healthy.  

You want PERFECT? Hashem is your address. People, even therapists, are quite fallible.