Mental Health, Psychotherapy and Judaism

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This slim volume focuses on the interface between mental health, psychotherapy and Judaism. The topics considered are varied and relate to theoretical as well as practical issues. Reports of effective therapeutic treatments involving rabbis and psychologist, markedly differing opinions of various rabbinic authorities regarding psychotherapy, examples of psychological wisdom and insights of rabbis and religious leaders in effecting change in people, description of the workings of a unique mental health clinic under ultra-orthodox auspices, and responsa of contemporary rabbis to psychotherapy-halachic questions and issues, among other topics, are clearly presented. Mental health practitioners, therapists from various orientations and disciplines, clergymen as well as those interested in the interface between psychotherapy and Judaism, will find interest and benefit from reading this book. --- Seymour Hoffman, Ph. D. is a senior clinical psychologist who has worked in various mental health facilities for the last 50 years in the United States and Israel. He is presently employed as a supervising clinical psychologist in a mental health clinic in Israel and is in private practice. He has published over 50 papers in professional journals in the U.S., UK, and Israel and co-authored/authored three books and edited one on psychotherapy. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare. --- "The articles in this slim volume deal with the interface of psychotherapy and Judaism and encourages collaboration between mental health practitioners and rabbis. The articles contribute to a deeper understanding of a variety of halachic questions involved in mental health issues and the practice of psychotherapy and in defining the specific roles and functions of rabbis and psychotherapists in helping people with emotional and psychological problems. Mental health practitioners, rabbis and religious and secular readers will find the book an interesting and worthwhile read." (Rabbi Naphtali Bar-Ilan; Communal rabbi, Rehovot, Israel. Author of "Be Sanctified with Charity," "Government and State in Israel According to the Torah," and numerous articles on psychotherapy and Jewish law." --- "I believe that mental health professionals, psychotherapists of different orientations, disciplines and persuasions, as well as those interested in the interface between mental health and Judaism, will find this slim volume informative, stimulating, and of value." (Joshua H. Werblowsky, M.D., D-L.F.A.P.A.; Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Drexel University College of Medicine and Lecturer, Schlesinger Jewish Medical Ethics Institute) --- "The subjects in this book are both practical and enlightening, demonstrating through many case histories and analyses, how the religious authorities and the mental health professionals - psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and therapists - can work together for mutual benefits." (Leah Abramowitz, M.S.W.; Co-chair of Nefesh Israel and Director, Geriatric Institute at Shaare Zedek Medical Center)
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Published on
Dec 31, 2011
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Psychology / Applied Psychology
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Eligible for Family Library

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This book presents case studies of the unconventional psychological treatment of orthodox and ultra-orthodox patients by psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric social workers and rabbis. Presenting problems treated include social phobia, obsessive-compulsive, conduct disorder, homosexuality, and severe depression, amongst others. The appendix contains three articles that deal with very sensitive and controversial issues that are highly relevant to the religious mental health practitioner - counseling homosexuals, attitudes of haredi rabbis toward psychological treatment, and cross-gender psychotherapy. The editors are hopeful that this volume will pave the way for haredi rabbis, seminary heads and arbiters to greater appreciation of the value and benefits of psychological treatment for people suffering from emotional, psychological and behavioral difficulties and disturbances. * * * Seymour Hoffman, Ph. D., is a senior clinical psychologist who worked in a variety of mental health facilities in the United States and Israel for over half a century and has published papers and books on psychotherapy in Hebrew and English. He presently works as a supervising psychologist in a mental health clinic in Bnei Brak, Israel. --- Benni Feldman, Ph.D., is a supervisor in clinical and medical psychology and in family psychotherapy and is certified in hypnosis. He is the director of the psychological services at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, Israel, and teaches family therapy and medical psychotherapy in the M. A. curriculum at Tel-Aviv-Yaffo Academic College. He lectures on Jewish psychology at the Hebrew University, Social Work Graduate Program, and at Beit Morasha College, and also serves as chairperson of the professional committee for medical psychology.
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