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TOPIC TITLE: non jewish/religious therapist
Created On 10/28/07 10:59 AM
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killedlastyear
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part three....(sorry this is so annoying)

and the whole hell thing just really bothers me. like what happens to us when we die? why doesnt anyone know? not having control over my body and what happens to me freaks me out SO much. i think of hell like a forever drop on a roller coster (i hate those. where your stomach feels like its being sucked out of your mouth). you're trapped in the seat and can't get out and you cant stop the ride and just for all of eternity your stomach is being sucked out of your mouth.
yeah no one has to worry about me committing suicide.
 
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gad
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Hell is a kind of medicine, like taking pills. It's not meant as a punishment for the sake of punishment, but rather as a cleansing for the soul. Just like pills are not meant to punish someone, but are to help them. (Sometimes there may be side effects etc, but the main purpose is to help.)

I once heard that it's not physical fires, like people imagine, because we are talking about a spiritual world. I heard that it is the embarrassment ("How could I have done that?") which is the main cleansing. And by the way, if someone is not to blame, (if they never had a proper education, or if there were certain pressures whereby it was not their fault,) then one would surmise that hell is not then necessary, because they didn't do anything that needs a cleansing.

In general, just like with medicine, where the main focus is on staying healthy, and not worrying about what pills one may need for this or that if it ever becomes necessary; in the same sense the main focus should be, not on hell, but on how this world is a beautiful garden, and how we can accomplish so much goodness and beauty.
 
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gad
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Every mitzva is important, but every little good thing that you do is precious to G-d.

None of us are perfect. None of us can do everything perfectly. And G-d doesn't expect us to.

If right now you keep Shabbos, that's teriffic. If you are doing another mitzva, like helping someone (the way you often do here on this forum, where you offer encouragement and advice and caring) then that is a big Mitzva, and it is precious to G-d.

And as for the mitzvas that you don't yet do, (perhaps because it is too stressful for you right now,) you can tell yourself that eventually you will be able to do them, in the right time.

But for right now, instead of looking at things negatively, you can look at all the wonderful mitzvos that you are now doing, and which are bringing this world ever closer to Moshiach.
 
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gad
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Originally posted by: killedlastyear
part three....(sorry this is so annoying) and the whole hell thing just really bothers me. like what happens to us when we die? why doesnt anyone know? not having control over my body and what happens to me freaks me out SO much. i think of hell like a forever drop on a roller coster (i hate those. where your stomach feels like its being sucked out of your mouth). you're trapped in the seat and can't get out and you cant stop the ride and just for all of eternity your stomach is being sucked out of your mouth. yeah no one has to worry about me committing suicide.


After death, the soul gets cleansed if necessary, and then waits in gan eden where it enjoys revelations of G-dliness.
When Moshiach comes, the soul return to this world, in a physical body, and enjoys the essence of G-d (which is revealed via our mitzvos).

G-d is good. And He loves us. And it's going to be good.
 
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su7kids
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I think the concept of "hell" is a goyish concept. maybe there are others on the site who can answer better than me.

The way I understand it is that on this earth we do the best we can, and Hashem is a compassionate G-d and takes our circumstances into account. Of course, ideally we should all keep all 613 mitzvos (physically impossible, but you know what I mean) but to do the very best we can with the ones we keep.

When you know better, you do better.

There is a difference between not keeping a mitzvah because you don't want to, and not keeping it because you are not fully aware of it.

I may be wrong, but I think the lesson is DO YOUR BEST and keep learning and striving to be better.


-------------------------
Proud Mom of 7, MIL to 3, Grandmom of 4!
 
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gad
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Gehenom is mentioned in Zohar and the Talmud and Tosefta, according to one source.
But I would agree that the idea of hell being physical fires etc. seems to be a non-Jewish concept.
As I wrote above, it seems to be a spiritual place, and it's there for the soul's benefit.

And as you write, the main focus should be on the positive, and to try to do our best.
 
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fighter88
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kly,
we could spend all day obsessing over what happens when we die, what happens when moshiach comes, etc etc etc...
but its scary. too scary to think about. so i think we should just live life, try to overcome our battles every day, and do our best.
sounds cheesy, but what else can we do?


-------------------------
"I breathe, therefore I Hope."
 
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HopefulMommy
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Originally posted by: killedlastyear
part one (computer wont let me post really long things):

this is in reply to hopefulmommy's reply to me.

i guess my most urgent questions are about death and being dead and am i really going to go to hell. thats kinda what freaks me out the most. at school they always made it seem like you go to hell for every little thing which after a while i was like oh screw it all it was making me so crazy like if i do this i go to hell, if i do that i go to hell. well if everything you do you go to hell then my afterlife is going to suck really bad, sorry for my language i didn't know how to put that any other way.


I think you need to connect with people who have a more positive approach to Judaism. The negative approach that you learned in school is not for our generation. I heard that in previous generations, Jews had an innate connection to Hashem and were able to feel His love, so the mussar delivered in a negative way was effective. In this generation, we have lost that connection. We don't respond well to negativity. It destroys our relationship with Hashem. It is not the best way to learn and to grow.

These days, there are many rabbis that teach us to come close to Hashem in a positive way. In the Litvishe world, it's Rav Wolbe's school of thought. He taught that in order in grow, we need to appreciate who we are and capitalize on our positive traits. Rabbi Kelemen is one of Rav Wolbe's students who runs mussar vaadim all over the world. Those vaadim are very positive. Maybe you could speak to Rabbi Kelemen? (Rabbi Orlowek is another one of Rav Wolbe's students, also very positive, most known for chinuch.)

In the chassidishe world, the positive approach is all over the place. I already mentioned in this thead Rabbi Ezriel Tauber's book, Thoughts for a Jewish Heart. It's very positive and changes the whole perspective on hardships and suffering. Rabbi Tauber would also be a good person to speak to. Nesivos Shalom is a nice book to learn, not too complicated. Lubavitchers always recommend the Tanya as a panacea for every spiritual problem. I think you need a good teacher, though. I find it hard to learn on my own.

I have a really amazing teacher who helped me get a more positive view of Hashem and the way He runs the world. I don't know if I am allowed to post his name here. I'll send you a private message.
 
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HopefulMommy
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Originally posted by: killedlastyear
part two....

i really wanna know whats REALLY important, cuz like i said, at school they made it seem like EVERYTHING was really important and i know that can't be true. so like i cant do everything. im not perfect. so if i was gonna do some things what would be the important stuff and can you just do the important stuff at first? does god really care if you're trying a lil and you like keep shabbat but eat something not kosher? or is he still so mad at your for not keeping kosher that the keeping shabbat thing didnt really mean anything?


My husband told me an amazing thing, which he heard from a local Chabad rabbi. You know how Chabad has this campaign of catching unaffiliated Jews on the street and putting tefillin on them? So this rabbi said that it could be that a Jew who is very far from Judaism may be achieving perfection just by putting on tefillin this one time in his life, while the frum man helping him with tefillin might have a long way to go to get to such a level of perfection. Imagine a conversation in Heaven. Hashem comes to the world of the neshamos and says, "I need two volunteers to go down to the world. One of them would need to live in a place completely void of spirituality. His only spiritual action, in his whole life, would be putting on tefillin once. The second volunteer would live as a frum Jew and be able to do all the mitzvos, and he would have to help the first volunteer put on tefillin that one time." Imagine one neshama saying, "The first task is very difficult for me, but Hashem, I love you so much that for you I am willing to do anything. I am ready to do it." Another neshama says, "Hashem, I love you, but I can't do the first task. It's much too hard. I volunteer for the second task." So those two neshamos go down to the world and do what Hashem asked. Which neshama is on a higher level? Which neshama has a greater love for Hashem? It is the first neshama, the one that ends up in a body which does not keep any mitzvos and seems very far from anything spiritual.

Isn't it amazing? It could be that a person who doesn't even do any mitzvos is greater than someone who keeps all the mitzvos very carefully.

 
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HopefulMommy
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Gehenom is a temporary state. That's why when someone passes away, the sons say kaddish for 11 months, not longer. Because even the greatest rasha is in gehenom for no more than a year, and we assume that the person who passed way was not the greatest rasha, so by 11 months he would be out of gehenom already.

I also learned that the suffering in gehenom is not actual physical suffering. It's a feeling of regret for wasting the opportunities that were available to a person while he was in this world. In the next world, there is no yetzer hara. A person can see clearly where he was mistaken, and he feels bad that in this world the yetzer hara had clouded his judgement and he wasn't able to utilize the opportunities for mitzvos that he was given.
 
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HopefulMommy
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The essence of Judaism is the love relationship between Hashem and the Jewish people. Mitzvos are concrete opportunities for expressing this love. It's not that you'd get hit over the head if you don't do a mitzva. It's just that you'd miss out on your chance to get closer to Hashem and experience the greatest pleasure possible.
 
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su7kids
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Very powerfully put, HopefulMommy. I hope those who need it can totally hear what you're saying, because its very positive and upbeat.


-------------------------
Proud Mom of 7, MIL to 3, Grandmom of 4!
 
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frumsw
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I'm far from being a Rabbi but I think that any mitzva you do-keeping kosher, keeping Shabbos, a chesed, counts. One sin doesn't cancel out one mitzva. Also, there are some aveiras that are from the Torah and some from the Rabbis (deRabbanan) and a Rabbi would know which is which and what is less important and which more. I think you have very good and worthwhile questions and it would be great if you can hook up with a cool Rabbi to help you out. You also have to understand that G-d knows exactly where you are holding so if you can only do some stuff, you're judged according to your level. Like a person sick in bed is not held accountable for stuff he can't do. So forget all this hell stuff. More important is to think about living.


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mommy123
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1/30/08 10:39 PM
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i hope everyone gets the support then need. my husband told me that Rav Moshe Feinstien forbad going to a non frum theripist unless there are no frum ones...only then, if she is an expert and will not talk religon, u can go. something like that.....i can't remember exatcly.
 
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HopefulMommy
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Originally posted by: mommy123
i hope everyone gets the support then need. my husband told me that Rav Moshe Feinstien forbad going to a non frum theripist unless there are no frum ones...only then, if she is an expert and will not talk religon, u can go. something like that.....i can't remember exatcly.


I think you have to be very careful with such blanket statements. Times have changed, and therapists that are around now might be very different from the therapists back then. Everyone has to consult their own rabbi.
 
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mouse
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Thank you Hopeful Mommy for your reply. I couldn't think of how to answer to the above statement about frum therapists without getting incredibly obnoxious.


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All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.
 
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fighter88
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whatever. its comments like those that make me angry. ok, so im doing another thing wrong, WHATEVER.


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bubbs96
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I, like munkster, cannot even begin to address the comment without getting so angry that I will most likely become aggressive.......

BUT, I will throw some of my experience with "frum therapists" in for an example of why hopefulmommy's response was sooo appropriate:
--I was refused by one frum therapist b/c she admitted that she had no experience in trauma.
--I was in school with an administrator for a major frum social service agency FREQUENTLY REFERRED ON THIS SITE (he was going back for a second degree) who admitted in class that frum clinicians lacked appropriate training in certain areas (trauma, domestic violence, sxual disorders being some of those mentioned)
--I was briefly "treated" by a frum therapist who REFUSED to do any therapy and would ONLY talkk about religion (I happen to be one of the very few, very lucky ones who does not have many religious questions, does not need to talk about religion, but DOEs have many psychiatric issues and needs THERAPY.....not helpful!!)

after all that.....I went back to seeing non-Jews. When I need religious input, I go to a rabbi!


-------------------------
"Recovery is a process, not an event."
Even when it doesn't look like it, I am trying, and I'm doing my best in the moment.
 
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mouse
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Hopeful, Fighter, Bubbs, thanks for your input...I thought I may be either insane for seeing a non-jew or non-frum therapist. (She refuses to identify what she is as she says it is unimportant.) Religion therefore is rarely discussed except in the context of how it affecting me or my husband. (For example, my reluctance or wanting to delay going to the mikvah due to trauma history and the importance of going on time for my husband's sake -- forget religion, just plain old curteosy to hubby.) I never even considered going to a frum therapist, as mine is extremely specialized in dissociative disorders, PTSD, and trauma and I could never trust someone frum with the related issues (much less face them within the community.) Anyhooooooooooo, that's all folks.


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All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.
 
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fighter88
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munkster, if ur insane then u'll need to add me an bubbs to ur list=)
i think i'd feel less comfortable with a frum therapist bec they're bound to know someone i know and i'd feel weird. also, my therapist works at renfrew(the ed treatment center i've been going to since i was 14) and i have a whole team that works with me. i'm not going to change now. like bubbs said, i can go to a rabbi for frum issues.


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"I breathe, therefore I Hope."
 
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HopefulMommy
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Originally posted by: fighter88
whatever. its comments like those that make me angry. ok, so im doing another thing wrong, WHATEVER.


fighter, you're not doing anything wrong.

No, wait a second... You're doing something wrong -- you are sending negative messages to yourself. Stop that!

 
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fighter88
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hopefulmommy-he he ur cute


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"I breathe, therefore I Hope."
 
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fighter88
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last week i dont know how we got into religious convos yet again lol....but anyway...
i told her i dont think she can understand the religion no matter how much i explain bec if she didnt grow up religious she just cant understand.
and she was offended that i didnt think she couuld understand and she said that she wants me to feel comfortble discussing everything w her and how could i say she'll never understand if i never gave her a chance...

what do i respond to that???


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su7kids
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Give her a chance?


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fighter88
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but then we'll just have religion convos which i try to avoid.
in the nonm jeiwsh world they think if u dont want a religion, dont be religious. u cant choose to not be reiliguous in jewish world, doesnt work like that


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su7kids
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Intead of having theoretical discussions about what is right and wrong, explain to your T that this is the way it is, and these are the things you have to deal with.

Like, she/he must understand what Pesach is about, in order to help you with the ED related to Pesach, for example. You don't have to go into details about whether there is a choice or not, just explain that THIS IS WHAT IS, and ask her to help you deal with what is, rather than help you to decide whether you should be doing it in the first place or not.


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Proud Mom of 7, MIL to 3, Grandmom of 4!
 
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kensingtonmom
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Mommy123: What Rav Moshe, zt'l, actually said was as follows: If someone needs to go to a therapist, the best choices are to go either to a frum therapist or a non-Jewish therapist. An assimilated Jewish therapist blames all psychological issues on being a frum Jew. This was borne out in my own experience with one of my children. This child was in an out-patient day program following a period of being in-patient. This particular time, both therapists (in and out patient) were assimilated and kept implying that if my child would drop this 'religious stuff' the parents 'forced' the other issues would 'go away'. I literally got into a yelling match with the outpatient therapist and in the end she apologized. All the other therapists, both in and out patient, insisted emotional/psychological issues are seen across the board in all segments of society. These issues have nothing to do with gender, race or religion.


Edited: 6/16/08 at 7:40 AM by kensingtonmom
 
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kensingtonmom
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I will just add that I was given this information after asking a Rov about therapy and he was told this by Rav Moshe personally. Also, these issues are so hard to deal with that when we are speaking with a therapist it is much better to know that they want to help us and not add to our issues by denigrating our belief in Hashem and the mitzvos that we have.
 
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justso
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I would like to reopen this thread. I 'm dealing with this issue right now. As I have posted elsewhere, I'm getting good results from a public mental health facility. But there remains the following problems:


Both my therapist and case mgr's are non-frum Jews and younger than me.

I can't discuss sxl issues and how to educate my teen and I don't feel comfortable discussing this with a rabbanite

I often feel that by disclosing issues is a chillul hashem, because of this,
I don't want to admit to my non-frum Jewish therapist some things. I don't admit that I'm bt, bkz I don't want her to catagorize my becoming frum as a expression of my neurosis. (When I was hospitalized a patient told me that the reason I have my problems is because I don't believe in yshke!)

I have a hard time keeping standards sometimes. Eg, balancing being myself with cultivating refinement in middot, speech and being discrete among a heterogeneous group.

As another poster shared, I too, have been referred out by the local frum clinic when I mentioned issues of self-harm, PTSD from abuse. Also, I had a lot of anger issues with the community regarding how my Get was handled and some intense issues related to this.

I wish I could have the best of both worlds in one person, but this isn't going to happen until Moshiach comes probably. I appreciate referrals to speak/ correspond to a DISCRETE rabbanite
 
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HopefulMommy
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No words of wisdom here, but I know what you mean about chilul Hashem. Years ago, I used to see a non-religious Jewish therapist for panic disorder. She felt that I should postpone having more children until I deal with the problem. My Rav back then (I don't ask him shailos any more) was completely against allowing birth control. He had a "psychologist-shmakologist" kind of attitude. Dismissed the whole thing. I was young and naive. I listened to him. But I felt it was such a chillul Hashem that this Jewish psychologist got to see his dismissal of my issues.

What exactly are you looking for -- a frum therapist, or a sensitive Rebbetzin you can talk to?
 
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justso
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I need a Rebbetzin. I can not afford a frum therapist, and besides, I have - thank G-d - made much progress with the current clinic. Its just that many of my issues are about religous quandries.

I do have a she'eilah right now regarding my dbt group. They are having a semi "holiday" party and I don't want to be around this. My therapist thinks it more of an emotional issue (bkz I told her I had differance of opinion with the group facilitator)

Should I go to the regularly scheduled group. with the idea that they are probably just going to have snacks during the regular lesson. (although one of them wanted t have candles.) They invited me to bring something kosher -- as though the food was the only problem.

Part of me just doesn't want to "stand out" by staying by the sidelines (not sharing food, not commiserating) so I would prefer not to be there. Or is it my job to be there and be a good ivri and refuse to participate in the celebrations? Is this psychological issue that I need demondstarte IN GRUP that I am able to assert my "needs?"

Do you guy understand what my confusion is about.
 
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gad
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Sometimes it's better to just avoid a situation (perhaps to say you weren't feeling well) than to cause discomfort to yourself and others.
(Especially if the others may have difficulty understanding your religious feelings.)

By not showing up, you are perhaps demonstrating to yourself that you are able to assert your needs (as well as being sensitive to others).


Edited: 12/23/08 at 7:12 AM by gad
 
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HopefulMommy
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Why does your therapist think it's an emotional issue?
 
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helpplz
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HI. Ive been following the non-religious therapist issue and wondering how to go about it. Till now i saw only frum therapists, they didnt work out, nothing to do w them not being frum. however someone recommended a non frum therapist and following this forum i started thinking, should i worry that she'll blame my issues on frumkeit? should i ask her first her views on orthodox Judaism. the last thing i want to do in therapy is pay someone to proove Yidishkeit. Also, did anyone hear of Barbara Feld? for that matter anyone have a positive expereince with a Brooklyn therapist and would like to recommend?issues- unhealthy parents, neglect, verbal abuse, trust isssues, anger issues etc. thanks.
 
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