NEFESH: The International Network of Orthodox Mental Health Professionals
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Why Saying "Divorce is Not an Option" Can Hurt Marriages
Author: Elisheva Liss, LMFT
April 30th, 2021
Were you taught to believe that “divorce” is a curse word? That we don’t even say the “d” word?   When I was a young, idealistic grad school student, a professor told us: “We are not in the business of saving marriages. We’re in the business of helping people.”   At the time, I (arrogantly) thought: “Well, maybe those are your values. I want to save marriages.”   I stil …
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Child Sexual Safety Education Awareness
Author: Elisheva Liss, LMFT
April 15th, 2021
Every so often, I meet a colleague who offers the opportunity to collaborate in a way that aligns perfectly with my own mission and values. Blimie Heller, and her beautiful approach, Unconditional Parenting, is one such colleague. In this conversation, we tackle the vital topic of child sexual safety education in a way that is practical, culturally sensitive, and easily applicable to most families. Enjoy this free video resource: https://www.inst …
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How a Chacham Becomes a Rasha: Some Thoughts About Questions
Author: Elisheva Liss, LMFT
March 25th, 2021
How a Chacham Becomes a Rasha: Some Thoughts about Questions   A few years ago, I was speaking with a high school student who was struggling with her faith. She told me that she’d learned some material in her Halacha class that upset her. When she shared it with me, I had to admit that I’d never heard of it before, and encouraged her to ask her teacher for sources, so she could at least research and try to understand the basis fo …
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"I Was Molested by my Brother but Neither of Us Knew It"
Author: Elisheva Liss, LMFT
March 17th, 2021
Trigger Warning: This post contains sensitive content about child sexual abuse.   *Like all vignettes featured in this blog, it reflects not one specific true story, but a disguised amalgam of too many. It changes any potentially identifying information but preserves clinically relevant details.*   “I know this might sound strange. But we were kids. We were pretty sheltered- no TV or internet in our house, hardly any newspa …
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"Why Won't My Wife Dress Up For Me?"
Author: Elisheva Liss, LMFT
March 9th, 2021
Some men say it with embarrassment, others with indignation or frustration, and still others in defeat: “I’m not trying to be demanding or controlling. But I really wish my wife would dress up for me once in a while. When we go out, in our bedroom, or just the way she presents herself in general. It’s not that I don’t think she’s naturally pretty- she really is and I tell her so. But I know a lot of women …
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New Monthly Virtual Group Sessions
Author: Elisheva Liss, LMFT
January 27th, 2021
What do you call something that's not exactly therapy, not exactly a course, not exactly a support group, but kind of has elements of all three?

This isn't a joke with a punchline. I don't actually know what you call it, but I think I'm starting one anyway. Here's the truth about what's been going on: The last few months, I've been fielding more messages and calls than I can responsibly handle in the way of questions, new clients and …
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Talking About Marital Consent and Rape with Bracha Bard Wigdor
Author: Elisheva Liss, LMFT
January 14th, 2021
  Confronting the Less Popular Sexual Sins: A Shovavim Plea   Sexual sins are possibly the most interesting of sins. There are few transgressions more titillating, more shamed, and more taboo than those having to do with succumbing to desires of the flesh. During this time of the Jewish calendar, some communities have a custom to focus on atoning for sins in the realm of sexual immorality. Some examples I’ve heard are reviewing th …
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"My Husband's 'zera l'vatala' Will Be My Fault"
Author: Elisheva Liss, LMFT
December 10th, 2020
*Trigger warning: This post touches on the topic of sexual trauma. Proceed with caution.* “I was taught that my husband’s purity and holiness are basically my responsibility. As long as we can ‘be together,’ that saves him from sin. And if we’re not, then I’m guilty,” she explains tearfully. “It feels like my job as a wife to be there for him that way.” His facial expression implies that his i …
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Why Do Some Clients "Do Better" in Therapy than Others? Seven Factors Satiisfied Clients Share
Author: Elisheva Liss, LMFT
December 9th, 2020
Have you ever noticed that some people will swear that therapy totally changed their lives for the better, and others will say they’ve tried repeatedly and gotten nowhere? Still others will say they don’t even believe in the idea of it- that it’s just a waste of time and money.   It could be just a case of “strokes and folks,” but I think there might be a little more to it than that in some cases. &nbs …
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"How Often Are You Supposed to 'Be Intimate'?"
Author: Elisheva Liss, LMFT
December 2nd, 2020
Have you ever wondered how often people have sex?
(I purposely used the nebulously awkward euphemism “be intimate” in the title because generally people who ask this question in the framework of “supposed to” are uncomfortable with the more direct language of “have sex.” They may also say: “be together, do it, make love, have relations, etc.”) In my line of work, I get this question a lot, be …
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