NEFESH: The International Network of Orthodox Mental Health Professionals
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Showing Results 1 - 40 (270 total)
Single-Area vs. Multiple-Area Issues
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I am writing in regard to some of the questions that have come up in the column recently as to when there is an indication of a mental health issue for a bochur or child. I once heard that a good measure of evaluation is if the problem is happening across the board at home, school and camp that would be a sign that professional intervention is needed. If the child is fine at home and elsewhere and only having a problem in yes …
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Does Our Marriage Counselor Care?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: My spouse and I went for marriage counseling for a while for some issues with someone who seemed to be a very competent therapist. The therapist seemed to understand how to breakdown the issues and attempt to work on resolutions. However, some things didn't seem to be adding up right. For example, the therapist left off a few sessions at some very crucial points, leaving us feeling very vulnerable and with a lot of raw emotions ex …
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Adults with ADHD
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: Is it possible for someone who never had ADHD to get it for the first time as an adult? I have recently started having trouble just staying focused on work as well as paying attention during shuirim and concentrating in davening. I have never had this issue before and was an excellent student all through yeshiva. My chavrusah actually recently made an offhand comment about how "ADD" I am and it really got …
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Death and Betrayal
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: There was someone close to my family who died last year. She was someone I was close with and trusted and did something that hurt me terribly. This is not the forum to go into details, but this was a tremendous avlah and I don’t think anyone would disagree. Since this happened shortly before she was niftar and I didn’t really have the full understanding of what she did until after she was already go …
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When an Educator Should Refer to Therapy
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I would like to thank you for this insightful column that so many gain from weekly.  As a mesivta rebbe I occasionally need to send a bochur to therapy when I feel that his struggles may be mental health related and baruch Hashem I have generally had good experiences. There is a question that comes up that I would like to hear your opinion on. When are a bochur’s struggles or lack of motivation in le …
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Work on Anxiety or Go to Israel?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: Our son recently acknowledged that he has been experiencing extreme anxiety over the last 6-8 months. This has been something that his menahel had been concerned about and mentioned to him, but he denied anything was wrong. I think that finally it got so bad that he couldn’t push it away anymore and he is coming to us for help. The issue is he is supposed to go to learn in Eretz Yisroel next zman along wi …
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Are Millenials Suppressing Their Emotions?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: There are many emotions that come up this time of year. There are some like simcha, gratitude, and devekus that are wonderful to experience. I see from my children who are “millennials” that they are fine with that. However, they seem to be rejecting or suppressing some of the more uncomfortable emotions that can come up like anxiety, guilt, and regret. It got me thinking about how psychologically speaking ar …
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Premarital Counseling
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: Our son recently got engaged B"H. He doing very well but is one of those kids who "took the scenic route." He had struggles with yiddishkeit and in yeshiva over the years. He told us that his rebbi recommended that he and his kallah go to a marriage therapist while they are engaged to work on their relationship. This frightened my husband and me. If they are already having issues maybe this isn't the right match? We were …
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Somatic Anxiety
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: Our 10-year-old daughter has been complaining of headaches and stomachaches.  This seems to happen whenever something is going on in her life, particularly when there are changes such as school starting, camp, and around yom tov time when there is a change in schedule. We discussed it with her pediatrician who said there is nothing medical going on. She suggested that we begin by having a conversation with her about what it m …
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Bad Therapist
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: We recently went through a terrible experience with a licensed therapist that a family member used. It was not a subjective mismatch; the clinician lacked professionalism and training, and other professionals and rabbanim involved in the situation were distraught to hear about the techniques he used and the ensuing damage it created. We have switched clinicians and are now going through the process of undoing and re-learning, but …
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The Placebo Effect
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: My 30-year-old daughter had suffered from anxiety for a long time. After a course of psychotherapy was not successful, she began seeing a psychiatrist and started taking an anti-depressant (which is also supposed to help for anxiety). This was very life enhancing for her and she has really thrived since then. Recently she says that new research has shown that antidepressants really don’t work, and it is all a “placebo& …
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Faith and Depression
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I was living a happy and fulfilling life as a busy wife and mom when out of nowhere darkness descended. I was diagnosed with clinical depression requiring medication. I’m in the midst of professional treatment and still struggling each day. My normally happy and meaningful avodas Hashem came to a sudden halt leaving me lost and confused.

My question is what is one afflicted with mental illness to do? The very to …
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I've Never Made a Decision
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: Over the last few years, I have begun to realize that much of what I have done in life I did because other people told me to. I feel like I have never really made my decisions in life. The schools I went to, the career I chose, and even my marriage are all things that I asked others for advice and followed it. As I have realized this, I have become more and more confused as to what I really want and have started doubting everythin …
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Adult Identity Confusion
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I am in my 30s, and BH I'm a busy mother. However, I constantly have dreams that I am in high school. The dreams are not at all disturbing, they are just filled with the day-to-day life of a high schooler (tests, lessons, etc.). This is very puzzling to me, as I am double the age I was then, and I'm at a completely different stage of life. Additionally, I always feel that I am "faking it" being an adult, and I feel overwhelmed by …
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Generational Resilience
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I'm in my low thirties and my oldest children are now in their early teens. Due to increased awareness and education, my friends and I focus on parenting with more positivity, empathy, validation, communication, and emotional awareness than the previous generation. Our parents expected more from us than we expect from our children, and we usually had to do what was right even if we didn't feel like it. Recently, I'm noticing a dis …
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Therapist Advice and Fallibility
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: Here is a question I've been troubled by for a while. Many times, people will send their kid or spouse to therapy, but the kid or spouse is somewhat in denial or confused. They may see reality in a twisted way or be somewhat lying to themself or only see their side of the picture due to their emotional/mental health issue. When they sit and talk to the therapist, they are only giving over that twisted picture o …
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Telling Someone They Need Help
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I am a bocher who has a lot of friends in shidduchim and one of my best friends is about to start. Now this friend went through a very rough childhood and his father was very abusive physically, emotionally, and spiritually. His parents never really got along and they went to family therapy. Now from what I see that wasn't enough and I think there is a lot more he needs to work on before ent …
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Camp or Therapy?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 17th, 2022

Dear Therapist: Our 12-year-old was referred to therapy by her school for some behavioral and social issues. Nothing too severe but the school thought it would be beneficial for her to gain some skills before going into next year. After a while we finally got into the therapist we were suggested but now we are coming up on camp season. She and her friends are all supposed to go to camp for a big part of the summer but that would mean either delay …
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Duration of Therapy
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
June 16th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I don't know if this is a fair question, and I am sure it varies greatly depending on the situation, but can you please give your opinion as to what the average length of time in therapy should be for someone? In my case specifically I am not referring to trauma or a serious mood disorder rather social and generalized anxiety (though please feel free to address other disorders as well). When I called around, I got very varied answ …
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Balancing Childrens' Needs
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
June 16th, 2022

Dear Therapist: ​ Our 9-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. This has been very difficult adjustment for her and she is having a very hard time sticking to the diet and medication regimen that she has been prescribed. She also has been complaining a lot of the unfairness of it all. We have a large family and this has also caused some friction between her and her siblings and we are struggling to maintain the balance …
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My Son Is Overbearing
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
May 26th, 2022

Dear Therapist: ​Our 20-year-old son recently returned home from a year learning in Israel. He is boy who struggled a lot in his teens both academically and religiously. Baruch Hashem, he seems to have had an excellent year of growth, he likes his rabbeim and has learned a lot about being a mentsch, though he still has a way to go. He is very proud of his year and some new concepts and ideas he has learned. The yeshiva has an emphasis on emotio …
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OCD or Kefira
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
May 26th, 2022

Dear Therapist: ​My daughter has always been an all-around healthy 17-year-old . She does tend to have anxiety but it’s always been kept in check. Lately though she’s become a shell of herself. She’s had trouble eating and sleeping and is not herself. We’ve tried very hard to get to the root cause of her distress. Finally she confided that she’s been having intrusive thoughts of kefira type themes. She’s horr …
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Recommended Therapist or Available Therapist
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
May 11th, 2022

Dear Therapist: ​Thank you very much for your informative column, I look forward to reading it weekly. I recently began looking for a therapist for my teenage daughter. The primary issue I think is her mood and she seems to me to be depressed. I did my research about the best therapists available for the problem we are dealing with. Unfortunately, all the more experienced therapists who were recommended are not available and have long waiting l …
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My Husband or My Therapy: Should I Have to Choose?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
May 11th, 2022

Dear Therapist: ​I am interested in starting to see a therapist. Mostly because I have a high amount of pressure and stress in my life and think it could be helpful to have a neutral person to share with weekly. My husband has had a hard time with this idea and says he feels hurt that I need to discuss things with a therapist and that I can't share them with him. He says he will be frustrated that there is someone that hears more about my life …
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Am I Anxious and Depressed, or Just Unmotivated?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
May 11th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I struggle a lot with motivation. I have studied a lot of psychology on my own and have a good understanding of how to deal with negative emotions. I can deal with sadness and anxiety and stop them from interfering with my life but I still just don't feel energized and motivated. It is easy for people to tell me that I should "just do it" but I think that emotions are necessary for us to be driven and I just don't seem to have tha …
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Anxiety or Language Issue?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
May 11th, 2022

Dear Therapist: Our 13-year-old daughter is a very sweet girl who is not the best academically but overall does well.  She is however pretty quiet in general, seems slightly anxious and seems to have trouble really expressing herself. For example she has a hard time describing the details of a story and usually will just talk in short sentences and will answer a question with a word or two. We are considering therapy for her but someone rece …
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Filling My Father's Shoes
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
May 11th, 2022

Dear Therapist: My father, who was a very choshuve rov was recently niftar. I was asked (pushed) to take over his position. I have another position that I am very happy with but I feel that it is important for me to continue in his footsteps and keep the kehilla that he worked so hard to build alive. So, I accepted the request to take over and an announcement was made that I will take over in a few months. I have bee …
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Can Therapy Really Help Me?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
May 11th, 2022

Dear Therapist: People have told me in the past that I need to go to therapy. However, I am an extremely practical and logic-based person and I am skeptical that therapy actually helps people. If I had statistics that 70/80% of people had significant improvement through therapy that would make me much more likely to spend the money. As of now I am not convinced. Does the panel agree that until proven otherwise my position is the correct one in th …
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Angry Teenager
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
May 11th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I have a 13 year old son who has been having these anger outbursts. He has always been a pretty good kid but since his bar mitzvah has been getting really angry with his parents and siblings. He has been physical with his siblings and talks with a lot of chutzpah to his parents, especially his father. His rabbeim say he is doing well in school and there hasn't been much of a change in his life other than the added responsibilities …
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Problematic In-Laws
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
May 11th, 2022

Dear Therapist: My husband has a mental health issue, which is b"h under control, with the help of therapy and a lot of support. With incredible siyata dishmaya, we were able to repair the damage it caused to our relationship. However, because of his issues, which started in his parents' house at a young age, I have a very bad relationship with my husband's parents. They are aware of the issue and have been incredibly unsupportive. In fact, …
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Infertility Depression
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 15th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I have been married for a long while with no children. There is a possibility that we will never be able to have children. Recently I have been extremely depressed about it, although still functioning through daily life. I do not feel therapy can help such an awful emotional situation but my wife disagrees. Who does the panel side with?   Response: I’m sorry that you are going through this difficult situation. Unfortuna …
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My In-Laws Make Us Pay
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 15th, 2022

Dear Therapist: My husband and I are married for ten years, we have 6 beautiful children. BH our expenses for tuition, healthcare and rent are significant. We should be able to make it to the end of the month without an issue since we are both working. However, that rarely happens. My husband grew up in a home where both his parents worked full time but never budgeted or thought about the future. Now, in their mid-70’s the financial situati …
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Man-Made Mental Illness?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 15th, 2022

Dear Therapist: Thank you so much for the column, I really enjoy it each week. I would like to know what the panelists think of the following:
Of course, there are real mental illnesses that exist and those that suffer from them should obviously get the help and support that they need. But I feel like many of the people "suffering from mental illness" are suffering from man-made problems based on the expectations of our society. For instance …
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Why Do I Always PANIC?!?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 15th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I have always been jealous of those who are able to keep calm when everything around them is in crisis. There are some people who it seems no matter what is going on around them are able to keep cool, stay rational, and make sound decisions. I always tend to panic and do exactly the wrong thing. Is this just a personality type that you are born with or is this something you can develop? If it is something you can really become goo …
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My Father's Unlicensed Exposure Therapy
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 15th, 2022

Dear Therapist: When I was a teenager, I developed a severe phobia. I don’t think it is relevant to be more specific as to what it was. What matters is that my father learned a lot about it, got a lot of books and workbooks, and took it upon himself to help me work through it. The best method he said is a CBT approach called “exposure therapy.” This led to him pushing me very hard to be in the exact situations that were making m …
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Is My Student Depressed?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 15th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I am a teacher in a high school and am writing regarding a girl in one of my 11th grade classes. Some of the other staff think she should be sent for therapy because "she doesn't seem happy." She is a girl who is shy and introverted. I know her mother and she is also quite shy.  She has friends but is quiet in big groups. She does well in groups of 2 or 3. She isn't very happy in school because learning is a st …
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Inflated Ego or Self-Esteem?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 15th, 2022

Dear Therapist: Thank you so much for your weekly column. I was wondering if you could explain the difference, as you see it, between self-confidence and gayva. Self-confidence is considered, certainly by psychologists, as a good thing while gayva is considered the worst of all middos. I understand that they are different but would be interested in hearing how you define the difference and at what point does something cross fr …
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My Job Trauma
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 15th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I had a terrible experience with my first job. I had been looking forward to this career and had high expectations but things really did not work out well. I had a very hard time with my boss who had a strong personality and we clashed. I only lasted 3 months before we realized it was time to move on. I had wanted to leave sooner but he actually convinced me to stay. I think he felt he could get me to buy into his way of thinking …
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Inappropriate Touching
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 15th, 2022

Dear Therapist: Thank you so much for your informative column. Once again, the importance of being diligent regarding the emotional and physical safety of our children has been hammered home. I was hoping that based on your years of experience as clinicians you could offer some guidance and advice as to what we as parents and members of a community should do to best protect our children?   Response: It is indeed unfortunate—in fact tra …
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How Do I Forgive?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 15th, 2022

Dear Therapist: I was recently treated very hurtfully by a relative. This relative had known confidential information about me, and the way he treated me left me feeling betrayed, and I lost the trust in our relationship. This was especially painful as I had invested a lot in this relationship, and really wanted to be close with this family member. I would like to have a good relationship once again with him, but every time I think of him, I …
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