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Unread 03-04-2002, 05:40 AM   #1
flameonacoal
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counseling is chasidish!

In another thread
>>>the TYPICAL, secularly oriented workshops, counseling, blah blah, is not for a Chassid of the Rebbe. Chassidus is<<<

THIS IS A MATTER OF PIKUACH NEFESH. If someone is feeling miserable and tried their mashpia/rabbi whatever and still feels depressed, very anxious, deeply frustrated etc. they are required by Halacha to see a proffesional counselor, Psychiatrist
Psychologist etc. DO NOT BE AN IDIOT AND SUFFER because someone said it's not chassidish to seek help.

There are plenty of sources for this including rambam hilchos daios.

(just in case you wonder who I am to say this, I am a shliach and mechanech for many years, and I have spoken to many troubled young people who needed proffesional help, not mashpiim!)
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Unread 03-04-2002, 12:53 PM   #2
Jude
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being that it was my quote, I will respond
I am personally related to a psychologist/marriage counselor and to someone, not professional, who works with youth and marrieds.

We are in agreement, that when someone needs help, they must get it! To say it's not chasidish to get help is absurd!
The question is the source of that help. Halacha ABSOLUTLEY DOES NOT REQUIRE professional help.

It is the professional opinion of the frum psychologist I know, that most people involved in counseling, both rabbis and professionals, though meaning well, often do more harm than good. The non-professional counselor thinks likewise.

You can say they are both nogei'a b'davar, but the basis for what they say is that they meet with people who previously went to other professionals ,and so they are privy to the methods that were unsuccessfully tried before these people came to them.

Being effective is in no way synonymous with one's degrees, and years of practice for professionals, nor is it synonymous with one's learning background for non-professionals. It is completely erroneous to think that somebody with a degree is by definition, the one who can give you the help you need.

It's just that with secularly educated counselors, there is an ADDITIONAL danger, because even though frum, they have secular ideas that go counter to Yiddishkeit and Chassidus, no matter how frum they are or how much Chassidus they learn. Masbir explained what tumas ha'mochin is in the Chalav Yisrael thread, and said (my words) it's when chochmos other than Torah distort one's thinking.

What's needed is 1) effective help 2) help that does not in any way interfere with one's avodas Hashem, but on the contrary, supports it

When it comes to soul problems (as opposed to medical, health problems, though often they overlap), to say that we MUST go to those who are professionally educated, sounds to me equivalent to saying Torah has nothing to say about anxiety, frustration or the other reasons people see counselors, like relationship issues.

Again, we agree that effective help is mandatory.
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Unread 03-04-2002, 03:49 PM   #3
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>>>We are in agreement, that when someone needs help, they must get it! <<<

That's the main thing. I'm glad we agree that someone with real problems should not rest untill they have been helped.

I am not sure where you stand on getting help from proffesionals. do you think that people with persistent emotional problems should see a frum psycologist?

My understanding is that if someone asked a rav he would say that in many cases proffesional help is the right way to go.

>>>most people involved in counseling, often do more harm than good. Being effective is in no way synonymous with one's degrees, It is completely erroneous to think that somebody with a degree is by definition, the one who can give you the help you need. <<<

I agree that a degree is no gaurantee, considering that I do some religious/emotional counseling myself I know that in some cases it works better than others. My point is that Torah respects the expertise of the "mumche" and while many psycologist may do harm some can save people's sanity.

>>>secularly educated counselors, have secular ideas that go counter to Yiddishkeit and Chassidus, chochmos other than Torah distort one's thinking. When it comes to soul problems (as opposed to medical, health problems, though often they overlap), to say that we MUST go to those who are professionally educated, sounds to me equivalent to saying Torah has nothing to say about anxiety, frustration or the other reasons people see counselors, like relationship issues. <<<

I agree that getting help with issues like depression challenges the idea that Torah has all the answers. It does, have the answers and one of those answers are that we should respect the experise of a mumche. Surely when we build a house we speak to a college educated architect, when we a medical problem we speak to a college educated doctor.

There are emotional problems that we rabbis are not equiped to deal with. To put it bluntly, my years in Oholei Torah, on shlichus, 770, learning Tanya, some laws of kashrus for semicha etc. gives me the knowledge to help some people but not others. The OTHERS MUST GET PROFFESIONAL HELP.
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Unread 03-04-2002, 04:46 PM   #4
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<<to say that we MUST go to those who are professionally educated, sounds to me equivalent to saying Torah has nothing to say about anxiety, frustration or the other reasons people see counselors, like relationship issues.
>>

the problem is, there are alot of ppl out there who arent trained in dealing with these problems and would cause more harm than help. for example, if someone doesnt know how to respond to a suicidal person, they might decide to take the gevurah approach, when another approach is needed.

although i agree that you need someone who's going to deal with you on your soul level, not your body level, the fact is, how many ppl like these are available?

while torah does have ways to deal with all of this, it doesnt necessarily mean that someone who has smicha is equipped to deal with these problems. the problem isnt with torah-its with the ppl.

i dont know...it seems to me that if a problem like this would crop up, i would want that person to get the best help available-and that would be someone who is trained to deal with the situations, someone who has spent time learning that.

maybe you can open your own psychiatry office ....we would all benefit greatly from it;-)
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Unread 03-04-2002, 05:48 PM   #5
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"there is nothing new under the sun" - how did Jews cope with all the things we suffer from and have to deal with, over the millenia? Or do you think that only enlightened us have the solutions?
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Unread 03-04-2002, 05:51 PM   #6
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you pointed out in your thread on drop outs, that the numbers of teens at risks have risen dramatically

times change, people change, and problems change. what was once shoved to the back is now coming to the front. doyou think so many ppl suffered from drug abuse, alcohol abuse (achashveirosh is not included) anorexia etc etc?
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Unread 03-04-2002, 07:56 PM   #7
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I think it's safe to say that the basic underlying problems are the same, but the ways they are dealt with (both in the negative sense and the positive sense) are different.

For ex. - not so long ago, if a person was under stress, he/she might try studying works of bitachon, speaking to a friend, biting their nails, etc. Today, those same methods might be tried, but turning to alcohol, other drugs, and destructive behavior are far more prevalent.

years ago, when a person wanted to talk things over and get good advice (both Jews and l'havdil gentiles), they invariably spoke to family members or good friends. Today more and more people are turning to professional advice. This has been described by some as "paying for a friend to listen to you, in a time when people don't have true friends."
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Unread 03-05-2002, 02:18 AM   #8
flameonacoal
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let me go back to my original statement. If you or someone you know tryed the Torah solution and their life is not working then encourage them not to be an idiot and get proffesional help before they harm themselves and further destroy their ability to function.
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Unread 03-05-2002, 10:10 AM   #9
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why not seek effective Torah help?
It's not like by seeking professional help one is GUARANTEED a solution, you know! Plenty of people pay good money for professional help and remain as stuck as ever. I find the implication that professional help equals resolution of problem, inaccurate.
Can you prove in any way that professional help is more effective overall than other sorts of help (mashpia, friend, Rabbi)?
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Unread 03-05-2002, 10:27 AM   #10
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1)There are letters from the Rebbe to Reb yaakev Landau the Rav of Bnei Barak to find ways that Eastern Meditation shall be Haalchkily correct (minus Avodei Zara influences) since poeple are helped by it.

2) The Rebbe Reshab visited Freud in Vienne in his famous odyssey of 5663 as written up in the Reshimos (and other sources.)

Of course you shall seek proffesional help, but with the consultation of a Rabbi.
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Unread 03-05-2002, 12:57 PM   #11
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I don't believe the Rebbe Rashab going to Freud is relevant, since I would call it an expert going to consult with an expert (And perhaps the Rebbe Rashab had more to tell him than the reverse), and Freud was actually what we would call now a therapist, who just talked to people - he couldn't really help anyone with clinical depression either!

I do think that story was printed in Reshimos because the editors didn't realize/know who Freud, as spelled in Hebrew in the Reshimos, was!! I'm sure they would not have printed it otherwise, because it is subject to tremendous misinterpretation.

A rule of thumb for non-professional counselors is: Look for signs of medical mental illnes, such as depression, anxiety or worse. Do NOT try to counsel without knowing to some extent the signs. If you don't see any such signs, it is definitely better to counsel yourself than have them subjected to secular therapeutic talks. AND, in either case, therapy should not be open-ended!! The therapist and psychiatrist should be setting goals, and not shlepping the treatment on and on. Goals such as how to work through certain situations on your own, and lower the dependency on medication. Those are signs of good therapists - that they want to get rid of you as soon as possible .
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Unread 03-05-2002, 01:19 PM   #12
masbir
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<<<I don't believe the Rebbe Rashab going to Freud is relevant, since I would call it an expert going to consult with an expert (And perhaps the Rebbe Rashab had more to tell him than the reverse), and Freud was actually what we would call now a therapist, who just talked to people - he couldn't really help anyone with clinical depression either!

I do think that story was printed in Reshimos because the editors didn't realize/know who Freud, as spelled in Hebrew in the Reshimos, was!! I'm sure they would not have printed it otherwise, because it is subject to tremendous misinterpretation.>>>

They knew very well, the editors are not imbeciles. Why its not relevent - fails me. The Rebbe told him??? Guessing? The Rebbe himself recounted the Story ba a farbregen. If I am not mistaken the Rebbe mentioned the doctors name in that farbrengen in Parshes bechkosei 5722.

Last edited by masbir; 03-15-2002 at 11:47 AM.
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Unread 03-05-2002, 03:41 PM   #13
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Is anybody here saying that the Rebbe Rashab was in need of counseling and so he consulted with the premiere therapist of the day?
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Unread 03-05-2002, 03:53 PM   #14
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Jude, my "opinion" is that the Rebbe Rashab was worried about something he saw in himself (as an expert in people BRuchnius and BGashmius, as a Rebbe) and consulted Freud for his opinion of how Sechel Anushi views this, which he received.

There is an interesting similar story where he asked a Chossid to explain a certain concept, and the Chossid refuse saying the Rebbe knows it all too well himself, and the Rebbe replied that he wanted to know how Sechel Anushi could ever figure this one out.
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Unread 03-05-2002, 04:44 PM   #15
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for little problems, by all means go to friends and family for advice. but there are certain problems that an untrained person shouldnt try to solve on their own. how would going to a rabbi help a teen get over their anorexia? you need trained dieticians, counselors, etc....

i'm sure there are places out there that train ppl in psychology with a torah outlook...seminaries etc.
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Unread 03-05-2002, 04:56 PM   #16
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<<<Jude, my "opinion" is that the Rebbe Rashab was worried about something he saw in himself>>>

You can say all opinions you want. but first the sources. In the Reshima it says it was bc "Nemichas Haruach" (low spirit). In sefer Hasichos 5701 (Tuv Shin alef) p 87-88 it says "the main thing the proffessors in Vienne advised was the great importance of rest and relaxing".

Last edited by masbir; 03-07-2002 at 03:35 PM.
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Unread 03-05-2002, 05:28 PM   #17
Jude
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rest and relaxation? what a plug for those advocating just that in the Free Time/Fun thread!

as far as your other point - there is something that is extremely unappealing to me about following a spiritual leader who needs a shrink to help him deal with depression. This was the nasi ha'dor of his time? the neshama kelalis? the moshiach of the dor? the neshama of atzilus? and he was depressed?!

I have a very difficult time relating to this, putting it all together. Any helpful comments?
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Unread 03-06-2002, 09:32 AM   #18
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I don't know how to explain it clearly, Just in generel that a Tzadik is "bedugma delmala". We find many Tzadikim who had a period of "Katnos Hamochin". Its known the Holy Barditchover had in the year TKND (5554) a condition what we would call depression.

Its really beyond me to talk about such lofty things. But to make things more palateble to our simple minds I dare and will say thus. That not only is there no qestion why it can happen to Nashome deatzilos, but a Nashhome deatzilus maybe more vulnerable!

Since we know (from Learning Chasidos) that in Atzilos itself there is now in Golus time a kind of "depression", since the "mochin" (the brain aspect which is Chochma and bino) of Atzilos are not properly engaged in the Midos of Atzilos. Which in turn creates a rift (=pirud) between Malachus and its benafactor - Midos, which in normal Geuleh times, the midos have to be connected with Malchus.

[In more simple words. Its as if you talk (dibur is the sphere of malchus) without any emotion (midos), or worse, without thinking what yoy say (lack of "mochin"), likewise in Golus time, Malchus deatzilus, who is the level of G-Ds speech, which utters constantly the 10 mamorim to keep the world existing, is in an exhausted state, devoid of vitality]

Now, this fissure between malchus and its vitality (midus, mochin), has infinite states of changes and volatility, which are influenced by many factors, Jewish Avodas Hashem, Kitrugim, Jewish tzorus etc., which in many cases what happens to Malchus is akin to what we call here "low spirit", an extereme low level of vitality flowing into Malchus.

So, we, being completely oblivous to these cosmological events, are self contained; whats happening in other spheres and realms doesnt bother us, we are only concerned and overtly affected with the here and the now, but a Tzadik who is pegged to the higher worlds, many times is completely dependent on the state of Malachus and its "moods". so when Malchus is kvayacho "depressed" he also falls into a "depresion".

{Likewise we know what says in Toras Sholem on the differrence between The A.R. napping erev Shabos, and R' Hillel Paritchers. The A.R., naturelly in tune with the upper worlds, fell asleep automaticly; Reb Hilel however went to sleep then, since it says in Kabalah, that at that time 'dormita' (=heavenly napping) occurs.)

And it indeed says in Sefer Hasiches TRPG (5683) p, 42, that that trip to Vienna was a way of going to Golus!

But lemaaseh it felt as real "nemuchas haruach" and he went to a real doctor (At that time, I think, Fr. didnt develop yet his famous theories, he was a real doctor). And if the story was given to us, it tells us that the Peshat is also real, and we can learn from that.

Last edited by masbir; 03-15-2002 at 11:53 AM.
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Unread 03-06-2002, 09:39 AM   #19
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Nosi Hador

Jude wrote:

"as far as your other point - there is something that is extremely unappealing to me about following a spiritual leader who needs a shrink to help him deal with depression. This was the nasi ha'dor of his time? the neshama kelalis? the moshiach of the dor? the neshama of atzilus? and he was depressed?!

I have a very difficult time relating to this, putting it all together. "


Jude, you are forgetting that "Gam Guf Kadosh Basar Hu" (as the famous saying of the Magid, explaining how Avrohom ovinu laughed).

Even a Rebbe is human, and just like you can understand a Rebbe needing a Physical doctor, yo can understand him having emotional issues that need proffesional help. It does not diminish at all his holiness and greatness. To the contrary, his Tzidkus expresses itself in how he deals with theses issues.
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Unread 03-06-2002, 02:59 PM   #20
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Jude, all the "explaining" that had to be done to the story because of your question just emphasizes both of my points:

A) That the story should not have been posted, because of misinterpretation, and

B) the Nemichas HaRuach could definitely mean that the Rebbe Rashab was in what the Baal Shem Tov may have describes as "Katnus Hamochin", as he did tell about himself, and that he went to hear how Sechel Anushi views it, and the answer of the doctors is in the same line: taken as an expert from an expert in Sechul Anushi.
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Unread 03-06-2002, 03:31 PM   #21
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<< That the story should not have been posted, because of misinterpretation>>

I am in favor of letting the truth be known, with explanations. If the Rebbe spoke about it publicly, then it's certainly no secret. If by "reshimos" it is meant, material taken without permission then

The stories of the Besht having times when his greatness was taken from him for a time, don't bother me in the way that this does, I think for obvious reasons (acts of G-d, no doc consulted etc.)

just want to add a comment that I made in another thread, but it belongs here too:

if the Rebbe tells us in the Vayeira sichos that teva has changed and children's chinuch has to be altogether different, then consulting with therapists and all sort of specialists regarding children, teens, young people is doomed before it begins, because they are not working with the Rebbe's sichos as their basis for advice. It's NOT like NOTHING they say will help, but whatever they say won't get to the root of the problems. So too with adults, if the advice given is not in accord with Chasidus' understanding of human nature etc. - how can it help a Chasid?

I suppose that a professional CAN give interpersonal, how to communicate, helpful advice but if that's all that's needed - why can't a mashpia or other wise person provide that?

Last edited by Jude; 03-06-2002 at 03:37 PM.
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Unread 03-06-2002, 03:34 PM   #22
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Publicity

"THe Rebbe spoke about it publicly"?!

It was said in 5723 in a farbrengen of 100 people, nost of whom forgot about it, and had no clue who Freud was anyway. That sicha was not published anywhere until after 3 Tamuz.

Last edited by rebayzl; 03-07-2002 at 01:58 PM.
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Unread 03-06-2002, 03:41 PM   #23
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I am under the impression that lately, the use of shrinks is more common by youth than it used to be. I know from my family every teenager suddenly consults a shrink! Is that grounded? Is the reason the Rebbes histalkus?
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Unread 03-06-2002, 03:43 PM   #24
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<<<Even a Rebbe is human, and just like you can understand a Rebbe needing a Physical doctor, yo can understand him having emotional issues that need proffesional help. It does not diminish at all his holiness and greatness. To the contrary, his Tzidkus expresses itself in how he deals with theses issues.>>

Dont you see the difference? Come on, you are pretending.
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Unread 03-06-2002, 04:04 PM   #25
Jude
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Rebayzl - I think we've discussed this point in the 'Is the Rebbe infallible thread' ... My opinion: if your spiritual guide's got emotional problems, find another guide!!

Masbir - why it's so common: because it's become more and more accepted to seek outside professional help. This is actually regarded as quite a positive achievement on the part of the profession, naturally Parents of the youngest children are told or even ordered to get their kids professionally evaluated or else They're taking over! Watch out or you might be next!

Last edited by Jude; 03-15-2002 at 12:10 PM.
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