(.Seymour Hoffman (ed
- Rabbis and Psychologists
Partners or Adversaries
This volume contains articles by a prominent rabbi and veteran mental health professionals who have been involved in working with and counseling people from the ultra-orthodox and religious communities for many years. The topics discussed include the different, and at times, opposing views and attitudes that rabbis and mental health practitioners hold regarding their roles in catering to the needs of the people who seek their help. Also discussed are halakhic (Jewish law) issues and controversies that arise in the practice of psychotherapy between therapists and rabbis and between rabbis themselves. Anecdotal examples are also brought describing the psychological wisdom and sophistication of rabbis and their productive and effective contribution and involvement with psychotherapists in psychological treatment. Rabbis and mental health professionals, religious and secular, as well as lay people interested in the interface of Judaism and mental health/psychotherapy, will find the book informative, enlightening and a worthwhile read.
This slim book like the four previous ones was sponsored by Nefesh Israel, an organization made up of orthodox mental health professionals and deals with the interface between Judaism/halacha and psychol-ogy/psychotherapy. The topics discussed in this book are highly sensitive, controversial, important and very much relevant to rabbis and religious mental health practitioners and the authors are commended in expressing their views in an outright and clear manner. This stimulating and thought provoking book is highly recommended. (Leah Abramowitz, M. S. W., chairperson, Nefesh Israel).
The dual conflictual and collaborative relationship between rabbis and mental health professionals is presented in a respectful manner by a scholarly rabbi and prominent mental health professionals. The book reviews the diverse rabbinical attitudes to consulting with mental health professionals as well as current controversies such as cross-gender therapy and psychological treatment and honoring parents. Of special interest are the psychological wisdom of the sages and the collaboration of rabbis in the treatment of psychiatric patients. This series of articles is well organized and is of interest to the casual reader as well as to an expert who is familiar with these topics and wants to continue to delve into subjects by utilizing the reference citations listed in the articles. (Yocheved J. Berlowitz, M.D.; Adult and Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, certified in USA and Israel).
I believe that rabbis and psychologists can only gain from establishing open lines of communications, learning mutual respect, and working cooperatively. I pray that this book will make a significant contribution towards achieving that end. (Rabbi, Dr. David Mescheloff; Community Rabbi and University Lecturer).
Seymour Hoffman, Ph. D., is presently employed as a supervising psychologist in a community mental health clinic in Bnei Brak, Israel. He authored, “Mental Health, Psychotherapy and Judaism, and co-edited " Psychotherapy and Judaism”, (Hebrew), “Psychotherapy of Haredi Patients: Case Presentations” (Hebrew), and “Case Studies of Unorthodox Therapy of Orthodox Patients”, all published by Golden Sky Books.
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