Psychotherapy with Orthodox Jews
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SHAME is a common thread that resonates in the issues presented in the boxes above.
With this in mind, I interviewed a psychoanalyst and shame expert.
Janet Hoffer, D.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Dr. Hoffer specializes in understanding and explaining shame in psychotherapy. Dr. Hoffer draws on years of experience in working within the Jewish community to highlight issues unique to Orthodox Jews in therapy.
I encourage you to listen as Dr. Hoffer eloquently discusses her expertise on the subject of shame and psychotherapy with Orthodox Jews.
1. What do clinicians need to know about shame that is specific to the Orthodox Jewish community?
"Clients often enter therapy already feeling shame." Dr. Hoffer
2. What is the difference between shame and guilt?
"Therapists need to ask themselves: Is religious rebellion or observance a way to guard against feelings of shame?"Dr. Hoffer
3. Where is there room to "Honor Thy Parents" in Psychotherapy?
"Three entities exist in the therapy: client, therapist, and God."
4. How does the Orthodox Jewish community view psychotherapy and where does shame fit into that?
"Often people don't want to disclose shameful secrets to someone within the same community." Dr. Hoffer
5. What are some counter-transference issues in working with Orthodox Jews?
"Can this client talk comfortably without judgement?" Dr. Hoffer
6. What is the history of the relationship between
Orthodox Judaism and psychotherapy?
"Examine the dialogue Orthodox Judaism and psychotherapy can have with each other." Dr. Hoffer
With very little understanding, experience, or exposure in conversations about their sexual selves, it is not uncommon for a spouse to say in therapy, "What is an orgasm?" Cultural understanding of their potential lack of vocabulary is essential.
For more information
The Laws of Family Purity:
Psychotherapy and Implications in Communicating Non-Verbally with Spouse
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