We\’ve become obsessed with therapy, but it\’s not all that great – Anash.org

From the Anash.org inbox: As a parent of young children, I\’m always looking for ways to improve my parenting. But the recent obsession with secular therapy and methods has become overrated and often destructive.

By Rochel B.

Recently, an article was published on Anash.org by R Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin on the importance of receiving guidance for life solely from the Torah.

In his spirit, I would like to draw attention to two practical problems Chasish Lubavitch also faces today:

As a parent of young children, I am always looking for ways to improve my parenting. So when a Hasidic acquaintance eagerly wrote on a WhatsApp support group group for parents using the fed-heart approach, I curiously clicked on the invite.

Before I had a chance to open it, I was greeted with the warning that nothing related to religion could be discussed. This was clearly not a Jewish group that had adopted some techniques from a method that worked for them, but rather a secular group where nothing related to Hashem could be mentioned. How did my acquaintance become so desensitized as to take this class for her children\’s chinuch?

If the reason he chose her was because there was nothing available for Hasidishe parents, that is not the case. Luckily there are quality courses based on Chassidishe values, which I have found much more relevant and practical.

I\’m not saying there aren\’t other methods that work. But we belittle ourselves and our children if we educate them in secular ways. We will raise nice people, but we will not reach their neshama. You can train a horse to run, but you can\’t train it to play chess. The Jew nefesh habehamis it\’s a different animal no matter the nefesh haelokis.

Therapy has become a big word nowadays. People all over the world are looking for therapists to deal with traumatic experiences, marriage problems, self image issues, anxiety, OCD, life guidance and so on.

Of course, someone who has been so strongly influenced by an experience that they cannot function to execute decisions may need special treatment to help their mind function. But a normal person with normal difficulties shouldn\’t need to go to therapy to deal with it. For this we have, as the Rebbe would always say, Toras Chaim, a Torah of life.

I would like to share my experience with you:

At one point, a drug I was taking was causing depression. I was feeling down and felt even more down that I had to step back from my happy, active life.

I visited a therapist, but did not find it empowering. I have found my mashpia much more likeable and uplifting. He talked about nisyonossharing some of their own experiences, instead of the therapist\’s clinical approach.

My next experience as a therapist was when I did some research and found that psychological tools could help my condition, so I wouldn\’t need medication. I went to a Frum Lubavitch therapist, who assured me that I could use their tools to avoid anything unwanted and stop my medicine. I diligently used the tools I was taught, until I started noticing the symptoms that things weren\’t right.

When I messaged my therapist about it, her response was, well, talk about it at the next session. Well there was no next session as I had to be hospitalised. My poor husband called the therapist to find out what I had last discussed before being admitted to the hospital. As he was about to hang up, he was told he would be charged for the call

When I was released from the hospital, I was determined to grow up. I was serving Hashem with Simha, knowingly smiling and expressing gratitude, even though I had tears in my eyes. Things quickly began to change for the better and I was back to giving to others sooner than I ever dreamed.

I am so grateful to Hashem for changing my situation and I realize how much I have grown. I have felt empowered and have seen the changes in myself and my life. Conversely, those I know who are in therapy are not above their challenges; they are wallowing in it.

At one point when I was down, a doctor asked me how I spend my time. When I listed some common tasks I\’ve done, the doctor commented, just make sure you have enough time for me. Unsure what he meant, I asked, what would you advise me to do during the ME period? His response was that I should play on my phone

This embodies for me the secular approach: focus on yourself. Don\’t do too much for others. If you do something for others, make sure you refocus on yourself at regular intervals.

This seems like sheer stupidity to me. If I have to step back, I definitely will, but my intention in stepping back is TO return to serving Hashem and others with greater energy. I won\’t waste time playing games that won\’t help me. I will take a nap or something beneficial for my health.

It\’s a Hashem-centric versus a selfish approach. Honestly, my limited communal activities have been a lifeline, allowing me to forget myself and experience the privilege of doing for others, using the talents Hashem gifted to me. Afterwards, I would go home satisfied, feeling the afterglow for some time.

One last thought:

One advantage that therapists offer over Rabbanim and Mashpiim is the time they spend with their clients on a weekly basis. The reason is simple: they are paid for their time. Rabbanim and Mashpiim have other occupations and simply cannot afford to give up so much time. Of course, that\’s a significant benefit, since people make money from personal attention, weekly check-ins, and discussing whatever roadblocks came up that week.

We could easily correct this advantage with the following:

If you are looking for an occasional mashpia session, where the mashpia listens to you and gives you guidance to take home and implement, you can find mashpiim who will gladly give you their time here and there.

But if you\’re looking for the more immersive feeling of therapy, why not book sessions with a mashpia and pay for them, so they can drop a different paid project and give you that time? You may have the benefits of therapy with the wisdom of the Torah. It\’s a win-win for everyone.

If you would like to contact the author of this piece, they can contact [email protected]and we\’ll put them in contact with the author, pending their approval.

NOTE: The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Anash.org.

#Weve #obsessed #therapy #great #Anash.org

Leave a Comment