NEFESH: The International Network of Orthodox Mental Health Professionals
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Showing Results 1 - 40 (345 total)
Young Sibling Rivalry
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
August 9th, 2018

Dear Therapist: Thank you for this forum. Our oldest, a boy of 6, thinks that he is in charge of everything. He is in charge of every game, every digging session, and every clean-up job. He will constantly dominate every interaction with his younger siblings (boy 4 & girl 2) and attempts to control them. If his commands are not adhered to, he will yell and threaten etc. He cannot tolerate his younger brother superseding him in any way: "you a …
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You Need to be in Therapy FOREVER!
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
August 13th, 2020

Dear Therapist: I have gone through a lot the past few months and after reading this column thought that it would be a good idea to see a therapist to help me deal with my issues. I thought it would be a simple process but when I contacted a respected local therapist, she told me that I would need to see her twice a week and she also recommended that my family go through a regimen of weekly therapy sessions. That’s quite a lot, not to menti …
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Wrong Therapist?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
September 26th, 2019

Dear Therapist: We recently acceded to our daughter’s request to begin seeing a psychologist weekly. This is related to some eating disorder and body image issues. Without going into the specifics we were given a bad recommendation by a friend as to which psychologist to send to. This psychologist clearly did not share our values and we believed she would not be appropriate for our impressionable teenage daughter. So we switched her to a d …
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Work To Live or Live to Work?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
February 16th, 2017

Dear Therapist: Hi, Thank you for your column. Since parnassa pressure is something we all face, I hope you will print my question. I am the mother of a growing family, BH, and like most women today, my income is essential. Perhaps my husband is learning and I am the primary breadwinner. Or perhaps my husband is working, but his income covers basics while mine pays the tuition. Either way, the pressure that I am feeling to increase my income as m …
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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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Work Anxiety?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 23rd, 2017

Dear Therapist, I recently graduated from college and began a job in an accounting firm. Although the job is working out well and I get along with everyone there, I have been feeling increasingly anxious as time goes on. I can't put my finger on what is bothering me because nothing else in my life has changed. In school I was always a relaxed, happy, popular person. I have good relationships and I am happy with my career, but I can't seem to shak …
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Will My Therapist Report Me?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
June 7th, 2018

Dear Therapist: There is a specific issue that I have been holding in for a long time. I understand that it is something that is very serious and needs to be discussed with a therapist. The issue is that it is a very serious thing that I am worried will need to be brought to the attention of the authorities. This is something I don’t want to happen. So, I am stuck, not getting the help that I need. Obviously, I can’t be specific …
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Will I Always Have Anxiety?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
February 7th, 2019

Dear Therapist: I am 46 and have been living with anxiety my entire life. Every few years I go back to therapy for a while until I start feeling better. Then I stop with my therapist and it gets me through a year or two then it gets bad again and I wind up back in therapy again. I tried medication for a while a few years back but the side effects weren't really worth it. I have done 2 rounds of CBT where I analyzed my thinking patterns and how th …
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Why My Kid's Grades Are Deteriorating
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
June 29th, 2023

Dear Therapist: I appreciate your weekly column and have learned a lot from it. I had a question regarding what type of evaluation you would recommend for a child who has shown a significant reduction in grades from one year to the next. This is for a child coming out of 3rd grade who has no major other history of issues. Someone suggested a speech therapist for a language eval, others are saying a neuropsych eval, and yet others are recomme …
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Why Isn't My Son Productive?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
August 14th, 2023

Dear Therapist: My son (19) hasn't been productive for a long time. He has been in therapy for two years and it hasn't really made much of a difference. He gave me permission to speak to his therapist who basically agreed that he hasn't made much progress and that the most important thing for him is to be productive but he just isn't moving forward. The therapist himself said he considered stopping with him but is hesitant to do so if my son does …
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Why is Camp Scaring My Child?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
September 26th, 2019

Dear Therapist: What is it with camps scaring the wits out of kids. How come all the scary plays, Holocaust stories, and color war breakouts. Granted my kids are a bit sensitive but do I need to have them come home from day camp all terrorized? Are these things appropriate? Are my kids just wimps? Can these types of things negatively impact kids?   Response:               …
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Why Doesn't My Daughter Want to go to Camp?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
May 19th, 2021

Dear Therapist: My 13-year-old daughter is an intense child. She puts a lot of pressure of herself academically and school is a big deal for her. All of her friends are going to (overnight) camp this summer and initially she had us register her as well. She is now insisting that she wants to stay home for the summer and "relax." She says she works hard all year, and she just wants a chance to have nothing to do. It is interesting that it doe …
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Why Do We Need Things?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
May 8th, 2024

Dear Therapist: I have been pushing off writing this, which maybe is part of the problem, but I feel like at this point I really need to. A few years ago, my husband was making a very nice living which caused us to raise our standards of living significantly. Now unfortunately, like I imagine many others are, we are feeling the crunch of the economy. Baruch Hashem, we have what we need but we can no longer afford to spend like we used to. We …
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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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Why can't I remember what I learn?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
January 19th, 2017

Dear Therapist: I have been enjoying this column in the Yated very much. I was wondering if you would be able to help me out. I’m going through a very hard period. I’m only 28 years old and I’m realizing that I have an issue in retaining information that I learn. I’m realizing it now because I got a job and it’s really affecting my job. I am slowly getting very very down on myself and I no longer have any interest in …
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Why Can't I Be Happy?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 18th, 2021

Dear Therapist: I am not a happy person. Is there a way to change that? That is honestly my whole question. I am pretty much fine in every way, I have a good husband, healthy frum kids, a decent job, we have decent parnassah, are part of a nice kehilla, etc.. Yes, I have the stresses of every frum family but nothing major. With all that said I am a pretty moody and cynical person. If I am being fully honest, I always have been …
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Why Are Teenagers Rebellious?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
July 5th, 2017

Dear Therapist: My 18-year-old son has been going through a very difficult time recently. He has been acting very rebellious and his yiddishkeit is suffering tremendously. We have been advised by many rabbonim and others that the key is for my wife and me to retain our relationship with him and unconditionally love him. Though he has not shown us that he is very responsible, we did not put up a fight and allowed him to get his driver’s lice …
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Who is a Narcissist?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
October 23rd, 2020

Dear Therapist: I find the letters and responses to the Couch very informative. Would it be possible for the panelists to share advice on how to detect narcissistic behaviors? I had an awful experience with a narcissistic individual and tried so hard to make it work. However, if I would have been aware of the classic signs of narcissists, I would have realized early on that it would not work. Narcissists are very charismatic people that are  …
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Where Is My Son's Anger Coming From?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
December 26th, 2019

Dear Therapist: Hi. We'd like your guidance regarding a challenging aspect of our 15 year old son. Our son b”h has above average maalos. He's a shtark yeshiva bachur, ehrlich, intelligent, articulate, and good-looking. He's musical, writes incredible stories and has a sense of humor. The challenge: he doesn't know how to properly regulate frustration/unmet expectations/dealing with things he disagrees with …
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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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What's the Therapy Process?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 18th, 2021

Dear Therapist: Our daughter experienced a significant trauma when she was in seminary last year. It had been suggested a few times, both by her school and once she came home, that she go for treatment. For whatever reason she refused. She now approached us that she would like to speak to someone about what she experienced and saw. We read this column regularly and would like to hear your recommendation regarding what is the best type of approach …
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What's the Right Amount of Anxiety?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 6th, 2023

Dear Therapist: I have always considered myself a healthy person and have never been diagnosed with any kind of mental health issue. Recently, due to the current events in Eretz Yisroel, I have this feeling of uneasiness that follows me around all day. I can't say I'm anxious but I certainly don't feel like my regular self. I feel more "alert" when I am walking down the street, considering travel plans, or even dropping my kids off at school …
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What, Me Intellectualize? Well, Come to Think of it...
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 14th, 2024

Dear Therapist: I have been wondering about a friend who is very smart but is still struggles with motivation. He has been confiding in me recently but I think that he is very focused on philosophical reasons for his unhappiness, like the purpose of life, but doesn't pay enough attention to his emotions. It's hard to tell really but I am wondering if you could give me some pointers in how to steer him for the proper help. Thanks.   Response: …
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What is the Processing Process?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 22nd, 2023

Dear Therapist: I have a pretty basic question about therapy, and I am hoping you can answer it for me. I went through something difficult recently and a few people have told me I should go to therapy so that I could “process” it. I have heard that word from a couple of people and no one has really been able to tell me what exactly that means. What does it mean to “process” something? To talk about it? I have been talking …
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What is Happiness?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 27th, 2019

Dear Therapist: As the yom tov of Purim approaches, I wonder if the esteemed panel can elaborate a bit on "happiness." There is so much attention today being paid to being happy. It is even enshrined in the declaration of independence as a right. I sometimes wonder if the fact that people chase happiness, which can be so elusive, actually makes them more miserable. As therapists who are bnei torah I was hoping you could share your thoughts on ha …
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Wedding Jitters
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
April 18th, 2023

Dear Therapist: I know this is more of a shidduch question, but I would love to hear the perspectives of mental health professionals on this. BH I am getting engaged and I am excited. I am so grateful that I got everything I wanted (and much more). At the same time as so much excitement, I am also really nervous, it's such a huge decision and even though I spoke it over with my parents and mentors, I still just feel how huge it is. I feel like wh …
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Waking Up to Anxiety
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
November 18th, 2021

Dear Therapist: I am someone who has occasionally had trouble with my moods. I have gotten help in the past with anxiety and depression. While I am currently doing really well, I still have a rough time in the morning. I wake up with a lot of anxiety and it takes time for me to get out of bed. Once I get out of bed I generally do ok and have a good day. There are no noticeable "triggers” for me in the morning so there is no obvious reason t …
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Unlicensed "Therapist"
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
February 7th, 2019

Dear Therapist: My sister-in-law sees an unlicensed therapist. This concerns me and I asked my sister-in-law about it who assured me that the therapist has very solid training and good results and she is happy with her. This doesn't sound right or ethical to me, but I am not sure what to do, if anything. I would appreciate the thoughts of the panel members.   Response: Generally speaking, it’s not ethical for someone who is unlicensed …
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Twice Weekly Sessions
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
August 14th, 2023

Dear Therapist: While I pushed it off for a long time, I now realize that I benefit from speaking to a therapist. I saw someone when I was in yeshiva in E'Y and now that I am back, I am trying to find someone appropriate. There is a lot that has gone on, and is going on, in my life and I need to speak to someone at least twice a week. So far it is hard enough to find someone with one opening, forget about two. Also, one of the therapist …
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Trichotillomania
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 16th, 2018

Thank you for your column. I really enjoy it. I am a teenage girl who bh has many things going for me; I have a great, loving family, plenty of friends, good grades and all in all I am very happy. I do suffer from trichotillomania (I pull out my hair). But just to make it clear those who don't know would not be able to tell. My friends know and really don't think about it—it really has no effect on my life. Do you think it is necessary to g …
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Traumatic Therapy
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
May 16th, 2019

Dear Therapist: A few years ago, I went to a therapist to deal with something very difficult going on in my life.  Instead of validating my pain and letting me share my feelings in a non-judgmental environment, my therapist hurt me deeply.  She said things that damaged my self-esteem more than anyone in my life had ever done.  You might say that she was trying to help me grow?  There is a way to say things to someone.  Th …
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Trauma Therapy
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
May 10th, 2017

Dear Therapist: Around a year ago I went through something very difficult (I am not comfortable providing all the details). I have found that the passing of time since the event, keeping busy so that I don't have time to think about it, as well as writing about it, have helped but would appreciate any other suggestions that you might have. Someone I spoke to said it was a “trauma” and that something called “EMDR” is used t …
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Trauma and Young Children
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
December 25th, 2023

Dear Therapist: Hi, my two-year-old child was recently exposed to something very traumatic. At least it was something that would be very traumatic for an adult. I am uncomfortable going into all the details but it involved a serious injury to someone right in from of her, with a large medical response etc. I am wondering if a child that young can be "traumatized" and what would be the signs in a child so young that they needed help? What kind of …
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To Date or Not to Date...Is That the Question?
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
August 24th, 2023

Dear Therapist: Our daughter, who is shidduchim age, recently approached us that she would like to see someone regarding her indecisiveness. This is something that she has struggled with over the years.  It definitely seems like now would be a good time to address it. We are however, also concerned about her delaying shiddichum any longer, especially since we won't really be able to explain why we are holding off. I was h …
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Threatening Dad
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 31st, 2020

Dear Therapist: I have a few small children, the oldest of whom is six years old, who can be quite difficult. My husband often threatens them, jokingly, with all sorts of physical punishments for their behavior, some mild and others outrageous. He says it is a harmless way to let off some of his stress. I am concerned about the effects of this on their psychological development. I know how literal little kids are, and I see the expressions on the …
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Therapy? Very Funny!
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
March 14th, 2024

Dear Therapist: Thank you so much for your weekly column. I enjoy hearing your different perspectives. I was wondering if lekavod Purim you could share your thoughts on humor and mental health. Does a good sense of humor help people in dealing with difficulties? How does this work? Is this something that can be developed or do you either have it or not? Additionally, I think for most of us we imagine therapy as a serious somber thing, i …
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Therapy That Is Not Therapy
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
August 31st, 2017

Dear Therapist: At the end of last year my son’s menahel requested that we set him up with therapy for the upcoming year. My son is 12 years old and has been misbehaving in class, makes all sorts of trouble to get attention, and has been very chutzpahdik to Rabbeim and teachers. There is a family friend who is a LCSW and we arranged with him to "learn" with my son twice a week but really it would be therapy. My son’s menahel says this …
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Therapy? Never Again!
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
February 22nd, 2024

Dear Therapist: I have a friend who has a very serious problem with her shalom bayis. Her husband started going to therapy to try to help the marriage. She has a very long list of complaints against her husband, but she admits that she also has faults and she's not innocent. When I asked her why she doesn't go to therapy she told me she can't even think of it. She had gone for a lot of therapy in her late teens/early twenties  …
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Therapy for Kids at Risk
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
December 25th, 2023

Dear Therapist: Thank you for your weekly column. I am involved in a drop-in program that helps "kids at risk." I am wondering on your opinion on sending younger teenagers with behavior issues to therapy. We have sent them in the past - with limited results. I'm not sure if most of them are really ready for any type of serious therapy. Wouldn't our time and energy be best invested in getting them a mentor and offering other types of support? Some …
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Therapist Vs. Psychiatrist
Author: Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW
February 7th, 2019

Dear Therapist: My wife has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She has been seeing a therapist who has been treating her using cognitive behavioral therapy. She has not made that much improvement and our family doctor suggested she see a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist is recommending that she take medication to help with this. However, her therapist is strongly discouraging taking medication and is adamant that she has the strength with …
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