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In My Mind (and on the couch)
Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
Click here to view my clinical profile
A Selection Of Articles, Musings, And Information Detailing The Struggles Of The Ordinary Person; A Celebration Of The Individual's Resilience To Overcome Challenges And Live Authentically.
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Showing Results 1 - 40 (126 total)
Thank you for Reading My Blog
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
December 16th, 2018

Enjoy the articles already posted on this website and those published before 2016 at frumtherapist.com as well. Thank you all for reading my blog but I will no longer be posting. If you want to read more of my articles, you can keep updated through Binah Magazine which publishes my columns on therapy bi-weekly in the main magazine, and I have another teen column in Twirl, which is published bi-monthly as a Binah teen supplement. I also write essa …
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The Dowser Speaks about Alternative Treatment (and my response)
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
October 28th, 2018

In response to ‘Evidence Based Treatment’ M. Blumenfed 19th Tamuz5778   Given the respect Mrs Blumenfeld garns as a world-class social worker, therapist and author, her opinions on alternative therapy are all the more so, surprising. The facts are, that scientific research has been made on alternative practices. Dr Bernard Grad of Mc Gill University, Montreal, conducted a study (with several control groups) which conclusively pro …
1 comments
Trick or Treatment?: a look at alternative healing practices
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
October 21st, 2018

  Ever hear the phrase evidence based treatment? If you haven't, you should get to know it. And know it well. Because every time you go for treatment, whether it's for a physical ailment or a mental one, the only treatment you should be ethically receiving is one that is evidence based to produce positive results. And in the worst case scenario, the evidence at least lets you know that even if there's no proof that it works on whatever it is …
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Language of Your Loving: what's the 5 love languages about?
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
October 7th, 2018

  Question: I have twin daughters who are just finishing ninth grade high school. For the older twin (who is my oldest daughter after 2 sons), it was a great year. She had a significant part in her school production and did very well academically. I actually enjoyed being involved in her production as it reminded me of my years in high school busy with practice. My younger twin is a wonderful girl who loves doing chessed (she is the one I co …
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Forgiveness: Favor or Responsibility?
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
September 11th, 2018

  “I can't forgive my parents,” clients tell me. “I can't forgive my son for what he did, or my daughter, my sister, my grandparent.” Others ask, “Do I need to forgive him? Do I need to forgive her?” I speak now not as a Rebbetzin giving a shiur on forgiveness, but as a therapist. On the psychological role of forgiveness. How forgiveness is different than acceptance. And how, in order to move on, to heal, …
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Apology Power: Just in time for the High Holidays!
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
September 2nd, 2018

  When I reminded my married son about the incident, he said, “I was six, Ma!” “But you apologized,” I said. “I did,” he said, laughing. “We became best friends.” My daughter-in-law looked at me quizzically. I explained. A mother in my son's class called to tell me that he and a bunch of other boys were teasing another boy about his weight. My son allegedly called him fatso. Of course I did not …
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Going To Prison: How Can I Forgive?
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
August 27th, 2018

  My husband's brother is going to jail for eighteen months and with good behavior will be out in about a year. This is devastating to our family. We are a very close family, and we had no idea that he was involved in some illegal, white-collar activities. When he was first arrested, the family raised money for his defense lawyer and did everything they could to help him. At this point, I am sick of everyone feeling sorry for him and being p …
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Co-Dependency: what it is, what it is not
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
August 19th, 2018

  Co-dependent. Everyone uses the word without knowing what it really means. If somebody does not like the brother-in-law married to their sister, and miracles of miracles, their sister likes him anyway, the family is already labeling her co-dependent. And sometimes they may be right and sometimes they may be wrong. But what is certain is that nobody I know that has used this word to describe family members, their neighbors, or even themselv …
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My Husband Wants to Become a Social Worker: ask the therapist
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
August 12th, 2018

Question: My husband was in Kollel for nine years and then in the classroom for 3. He's thinking about getting a degree in social work and I'm really scared it will change the wonderful person I know. Not to put you down, Mindy, and I don't know you at all-- do you think that social work school can change a person's Yiddishkeit level? What about his interactions with family? He is the kind of person people feel drawn to and talk to etc and he fe …
0 comments
Desperate But Not Mentally Ill: a shidduch question for the shidduch season
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
August 6th, 2018

  Question: Dear Mindy, I know this is not a question that can be really answered in a column, but I feel whatever light you can shed on this issue will benefit not only me but many of my single friends. I am a divorced 28 years old in shidduchim. As you can imagine, I am being redt the strangest suggestions. Even though I am a fairly mainstream Bais Yaakov-type of girl, teaching in a local high school, it's not only my age and divorce statu …
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Mourn Until Morn (or even longer): Grieving the first year after a loss
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
July 19th, 2018

  Blah, blah, blah. Everyone is driving you crazy. Or you are doing a pretty good job making yourself crazy. Your parent died yesterday. Two months ago. Two years ago. Even twenty years ago, and everyone gives your their dumb opinions (notice how later on I assume my opinion to be the only smart one, ha!) about how you should be feeling, how you should be grieving. And either you—or somebody else—thinks that you are not grievi …
3 comments
Green Grass, Green Envy: The nature of people
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
July 14th, 2018

  Question: Every Shabbos Nachamu, my entire neighborhood leaves to the Catskill Mountains. They go to family or friends who have bungalows or summer homes there. It’s very hard for me to stay home with my family when I know that my sister-in-law has a large summer home that has plenty of room for all of us but can’t be bothered to invite us. In general I feel that she disdains our family for not being of her social (rich) calibe …
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Is It Okay for My Therapist to Give ME a Gift? Part 2 about Gifting
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
July 7th, 2018

  So I am writing my column on the ethics of a therapist accepting gifts from clients. And like I had written, I was really sure that it is unethical to accept gifts. Until I did some research for my column, and unbelievably, not only is it not unethical to accept gifts from clients (of course under the right circumstances as explained in my article), but not accepting gifts can be really bad therapy. And that is unethical. And because I l …
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Love Addiction, Love Obsession: a short story
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
July 1st, 2018

“Oh my goodness!” Chava exclaimed when she chanced upon Eva in the supermarket aisle, their overloaded carts bumping into each other between the cereals and cornflake crumbs. “How have you been?” “What's it been?” asked Eva, conveying her delight in meeting Chava. “Nine years since I graduated high school?” “More like forever!” joked Chava. “Where have been at all these years …
4 comments
Summer Sore Loser: How to help you daughter this summer
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
June 17th, 2018

WRITTEN FOR TWIRL, BINAH MAGAZINE'S TEEN SUBSECTION Cheaters are the worst kinds of people. So are sore losers. Cheaters and sore losers. Whether you are sleep away camp or day camp, you know exactly who I mean. Those girls that need to cheat to win every game. Those girls who are the biggest sore losers if they don't. I mean what is their pro-o-o-blem? So what if they are out at jumprope? So what if they are out at machayanim—or dodgeball …
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Relationships Matter: Meet Tante Reitzu
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
June 9th, 2018

Ready to talk about a relationship that is pretty neat — if only you let it happen? Great. Here goes. So first of all, in the olden days, before indoor plumbing and cars, when I was a little kid (just kidding! But it was a pretty long time ago when I was a kid!), aunts and uncles were really special. I was born about 20 years after the Holocaust ended and family was really important. Most of my friends came from small families that origi …
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My Daughter is Coming Home from Seminary in Israel: Help!
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
June 3rd, 2018

Question: My oldest daughter is coming back from seminary and I am feeling a huge amount of anxiety about it. She doesn't know what she wants to do and I don't know what she should do. I really think she should go to one of the colleges where she can get a degree in one year and had tried to convince her to take those tests for credits when she was in high school but she refused. Now she is undecided and seems paralyzed (like me) about her choic …
1 comments
Therapeutic Relationships and surprising stuff you might want to know!
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
May 27th, 2018

Here's another one, People. Yep. Another column about the therapeutic relationship. Because I went to this phenomenal workshop a couple of weeks back and as I was listening to the John Norcross speak (he wrote some great books on the therapeutic relationships), I thought, “Hey, clients should be hearing this!” (Have you ever noticed that whenever I attend a workshop, a column about what I learned emerges? Not only are you getting fre …
1 comments
Grandfathers are NOT Chopped Liver: another one for my teen readers
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
May 13th, 2018

Grandfathers have been really annoyed at me since my last column in Binah's Twirl Magazine where I write my quarterly column of “Relationships Matter.” Some have said, “Hey, Mindy, you spent a whole column writing about grandmothers. What are we, chopped liver?” I have no idea how my column about grandparents, ended up being only about grandmothers, because the truth is, I adored both my grandfathers to pieces (although t …
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Keeping Cancer a Secret
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
May 6th, 2018

QUESTION: My mother was just diagnosed with cancer. She wants me to keep it a secret from everyone except my husband, who she trusts won't say anything if he is sworn to secrecy. She says that she doesn't want to become a pity case, and that for Hashem to make the miracle of her cure happen, nobody is allowed to know about it (because Hashem does not make open miracles). Of course, my father knows, too. This is creating a terrible burden on me. …
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Is It Okay to Give My Therapist a Gift?
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
April 29th, 2018

Exposure therapy here. At least, I will be exposing myself to all my readers. But hey, it's the least I can do when all the other times I am exposing other therapists, therapy itself, and other stuff to my loyal (and not-so-loyal) public. What's this about, you want to know? Gift-giving. And gift-getting. Now that the end of the year is upon us, and clients all over the world are pondering whether or not they should be giving their therapists …
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Jokes or Judgment (something a little different this time)
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
April 21st, 2018

“Being a teenager is like the chicken pox,” my teenage son observed watching his teenage sister's theatrics in the days before the chicken pox vaccine; and the way to become inoculated was to actually catch it; “everyone has to go through it.” *** A friend stood in front of the mirror before her date was coming to pick her up, applying lipstick to her cheeks because she realized she had run out of blusher and needed somet …
1 comments
My Final Response About Life Coaches
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
April 14th, 2018

My response: I am glad that one reader who insists that people should be able to choose a nurse or doctor as needed chooses from 2 licensed practitioners and not between a nurse or, say, a healer. I am also glad that that the writer who insists that one's personal ethics is all that matters, when we live in times where personal ethics and morals have been changing with alarming frequency and results, I would not advocate relying on personal ethi …
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Angry Responses: Life Coaching Revisited
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
April 9th, 2018

Life Coaching vs Therapy READERS RESPOND The facts and viewpoints presented in Mindy Blumenfeld’s article on life coaching vs. therapy were sound, but the title was distracting, as it screamed “Opinion! Never ever! Non-discussion!” I had to delete that from my mind in order to go back and actually concentrate on the discussion presented. As someone who goes to both therapy and coaching, and as someone who is trained as a coach …
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Life Coaching? Not on your life!
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
March 25th, 2018

I will say it straight out. Today's column is to explain why you should choose a therapist over a life coach except for in a few very specific situations (which you will find more to the end of this page). Yes, I am a therapist. Yes, I have very strong feelings about this. Yes, I know some excellent life coaches. Yes, I know some lousy therapists. And yes, I will say it again, and again, and again. If you need a therapist, choose to work with …
1 comments
Holiday Brat: for my teen fans!
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
March 18th, 2018

NOTE: THIS WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN BINAH MAGAZINE'S TEEN'S TWIRL  Because you are stuck here listening to me, I am going to tell you all about my niece who was the most absolutely adorable baby you have ever met in your whole entire life (no, I am not interested in your niece because there is no way anyone can ever compare with mine). She was deliciously fat, honey curls on her head, and a button nose perfect for kissing. I shlepped her …
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My Wife the Pesach Problem
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
March 11th, 2018

Question: My wife and I have a fairly good marriage, with the normal ups and downs of life. Our first (and only) newly married couple is coming for the first days of Pesach and I am dreading it. My wife is extremely stressed out every yom tov and I hate the tension of her frantic cleaning and endless attention to detail. She also insists on keeping the minhagim of her parents' home even though my parents are much more lax in their Pesach minhagi …
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It's NOT About You: a parent asks about her child's social life
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
March 4th, 2018

Question: My daughter is twelve. She is one of three classmates on the block who have always played together. Two years ago, Girl A started convincing Girl B not to play with my daughter. They started sneaking away from her, or suddenly having to go in when she tried to join them. The advice I got made me dizzy. One person told me she should foster a relationship with Girl B, but she was only getting hurt. Another advised me to ignore them, but …
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Costume Clashes! Parenting Problems on Purim
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
February 27th, 2018

Question: We have three sons and then three daughters ranging in ages ten years to ten months. Our middle son who is eight wants to choose a costume with a secular theme for Purim. My husband and I feel that contradicts the message of Purim, which is not to assimilate with the non-Jewish culture. This child is a strong-minded, opinionated child and we do not want to necessarily begin a battle over this, but we feel it will be the first of many s …
1 comments
About Grandmothers: for my teen audience
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
February 18th, 2018

“Mindy,” I am sure you wondering, “Why are you writing articles on how relationships matter when you sound like you were pretty awful at relationships when you were a kid?” That is a great questions! My mother and my older sister, and my younger sister, and my brother, and my cousins who live in Israel and America, and my aunts and uncles, and all the kids on my block, and all their parents, and the kids in my classes fro …
1 comments
Please join our Mrs. Sokol fan club chat
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
February 10th, 2018

To all of you who were students or colleagues or friends of Mrs. Sokol, I am reaching out to you to give back to Mrs. Shirley Sokol only a fraction of what she gave to us. Mrs. Sokol, as interesting and intelligent as ever, unfortunately has retired from teaching because of her health. She has impaired vision today and can no longer read. For someone used to learning every second of her life, not being able to read is devastating. We are putting …
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Mrs. Shirley Sokol: My Second Grade Teacher
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
February 10th, 2018

  If you happen to be in Mrs. Sokol's house, and want to poke around, I will bet the letter I sent her over forty years is somewhere there still. And the note I left on her desk will be hanging in her kitchen. And if you tell her I send my regards, she will know exactly who I am, even if I write under a pseudonym. Mrs. Sokol was my second grade teacher in Rabbi Balkany's school over forty years ago, in the building on 14th Avenue, that now b …
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Should My Daughter Work in an Office?
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
February 3rd, 2018

Question: A while back you wrote a column about going to work in an office versus teaching. Can you address the issues that can occur in an office? If my daughter doesn’t care where she works, in an office or in a school, is there a reason to guide her towards teaching rather than an office that may not be a good place for a frum girl? I am asking this question because we live in a community where the girls are not encouraged to go on to s …
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Egocentricism: Part 2 Because there is so much more to say!
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
January 28th, 2018

In Part 1 of my column on egocentrism in relationships, I had written that when people have difficulties in relationships, I assess for egocentrism in either of the two people involved in the relationship (whether in my client or the other) in order to help my client manage this difficult relationship successfully. Do you know how easily I can assess that? Here's the secret. If a person says, “I don't understand my rebellious son/unfriendly …
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What's the Deal with the Egocentric Person in my Life?
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
January 20th, 2018

Relationships.
If you want to know the number one reason people enter therapy, it’s because of relationships. Sure, they will tell you they are having panic attacks. They will talk about hating school. You will hear the struggle to find a job, to get accepted to seminary, to find a shidduch, to be organized, overcome trauma, or dozens and dozens other presenting issues with which people enter therapy. But do some digging, and everythi …
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Angry Responses to My Response of the Screaming Sister-in-Law
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
January 14th, 2018

My column on the screaming sister in law garnered a heated response. Here is the one that was furious at me, and the rest who were furious at the letter writer for not understanding the pain of a child. Any comments from you?   Dear Mindy
Your articles are always informative, interesting , edifying , enlightening ,and self effacing . I've seen you write so many wise observations , you are obviously accomplished and very talented -both …
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The Screaming Sister-in-Law: What to do?
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
January 7th, 2018

QUESTION: I have a sister in law who is an outgoing  and loving person. She's the type who many of my sisters in law call when they need validation-- she really listens well. She also  really listens to her kids (or so it seems!) many times and makes sure they get all the help they need. However, she has a serious anger issues. I'm older than her and it seems to be that I'm the only one that sees its detrimental effects on her children …
2 comments
Dreams and Dreamers: Is that you?
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
December 31st, 2017

Confession here. Usually when I write a column, it is about therapy stuff that I know. And know well. Stuff that I have studied, stuff that I practice, things that I am seriously invested in. Today, I am going to talk about something I know nothing about. To be perfectly honest, the subject fascinates me, intrigues me, entices me. But yet, even though I three books on dreams in my office, including Sigmund Freud's epic work, The Interpretation o …
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My Daughter Hates Helping!
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
December 25th, 2017

Question: I am tearing my hair out from my youngest, teenage daughter. She is the only daughter left at home except for two younger brothers and another away at yeshiva. She does well in school socially and academically, and we are a close family. Lately she is giving me a hard time that she doesn’t want my married children to move in for Shabbos. This girl does not do a thing throughout the week. I rarely ask for her help with household c …
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When Death Can Be Deadly
Author: Mindy Blumenfeld, LCSW
December 17th, 2017

The moment we are are born, we are already one second closer to our deaths. Which is why it seems to make little sense that we live in denial that it will occur, or we strive strenuously to avoid any reminder or sense of it. We speak of it in hushed tones, we think we must shield children from it, we quiet the voices in our head by pretending moisturizer or botox or a new car will save us from the inevitable. When I was a new therapist in pri …
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