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TEEN ISSUES-----shrinks / therapy

IkeHolmes Posted - 10 December 2001 20:22

How come in previous generations Yidden didn't need shrinks, and fared off well without them, and now many people need to get "expert advice" / "counseling"?

MODERATOR Posted - 10 December 2001 21:56

A lot of it is our culture that convinces us we need shrinks. They come across like scientists and doctors, and they would have us believe that what they have to offer is as scientific and medically established as aspirin.

The point you are making was made even more forcefully by Rabbi Avigdor Miller ZTL where he writes that incidents of mental illness and suicide actually increased dramatically since shrinks increased in number.

Cultures where shrinks are not used or used much less have no more incidents of mental illness than the Western, shrink saturated cultures.

Especially when it comes to treating Yidden, the shrinks are highly overrated. This is because the Yiddishe Neshomah - which is synonymous with the Yiddishe mind - has components that the shrinks are totally unaware of at best, and whose existence they emphatically deny at worst.

Rav Elyashev shlita pointed out that the Chasam Sofer writes that the physical characteristics of a Yid are different than a Goy, and that what applies to one may not apply to the other.

Therefore, said Rav Elyashev, how much more so regarding the mind/soul?

lifeisbad Posted - 04 February 2002 16:55

does that mean you shrinks are bad? If so I agree.

MODERATOR Posted - 04 February 2002 17:36

Some are "bad". Sometimes they’re necessary. In general, they are overrated.

lifeisbad Posted - 06 February 2002 15:30

What do you mean by shrinks being "bad" s/t?

And also I read on another post I think that you should go to frum therapists, did you mean e/o or just that person in particular.

Ok, now I'm confused a little, do you mean that ppl don’t need shrinks?

Or that ppl think shrinks are like a magic pill?

I don’t get it, how did that belief evolve anyways?

MODERATOR Posted - 06 February 2002 16:09

All frum people should only go to frum shrinks.

Yes, people overestimate the scope of shrinks' capabilities. Shrinks are "professionals" only in regard to what they were taught in school. That does not include "spiritual counseling", common sense advice, caring about someone, explaining why you should be frum, and many other things that people send their kids to shrinks for.

A shrink may know these things, but so may a dentist. But it will have nothing to do with the fact that he has a PhD in psychology.

The reason people believe that shrinks are like a magic pill is first of all because people sometimes tend to look at all wrong decisions as all being the same problem, meaning, if a kid decides to run around with girls or to stand on his head in the moon, the parents will look at both of those as "something wrong with the way he thinks" and in both cases send him to a shrink.

Secondly, the shrinks themselves, who want people to send them customers, often falsely present themselves as qualified in these areas. And since the average Joe on the street has like no idea what shrinks really know or don’t, and they are impressed with the college degrees on their walls, as if they endorse everything that the shrink says.

The same way that the computer programmers convinced the world that planes are going to fall out of the sky on Y2K unless we give them a lot of money per hour to fix the problem, shrinks can convince people that their kids are going to go off the derech and become drug addicts unless you hire them to fix things.

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