My Approach to Helping
Note: I accept insurance from GHI, Empire, Value Options, and Medicare. My approach to tackling life's difficult moments is via the interface and interweaving of classical Judaeo-spiritual teachings, and the psychological approach of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The cognitive behavioral teaches that ideation determines the way one feels and acts. Changing the way one thinks triggers a change in the way one feels. Consequently, a change in mood promotes changes in our behavior, and mode of conduct in our daily lives.
Also,I use "a strengths perspective" focusing on the client's strengths which serve to compensate for one's weaknesses. This combination of the Judaeo-spiritual, cognitive behavioral, and "strengths perspective" is transformative and life-changing serving to help a client return to his/her authentic self. Additionally, I strive to make a difference in a client's life by instilling hope, and confidence in their ability to change.
More Info About My Practice
What follows are vignettes reflecting my approach to tackling life's difficult moments via the interaction and intertwining of classical Judaeo-spiritual teachings, and the psychological approach of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT).While the following therapeutic accounts are taken from the laboratory of life, some of the details have been disguised to preserve confidentiality, while retaining the essential meaning of the stories.
Vignette 1: An observant client felt ashamed and embarrassed about his obsessive, unwanted sinful sexual thoughts which he felt unable to control or stop. In this state of mind, he felt alienated, and distant from God. Hence, he decided not to attend Yom Kippur services at the synagogue for the first time in his life. I felt the spiritual solitude of my client, and softly whispered to him, :"have you forgotten the verse from the Day of Atonement Torah Reading, where the Master of forgiveness proclaims that He 'dwells with them in the midst of their impurities' (Leviticus 16:16)?" My client wiped away a tear, and decided that he would engage in the day long rendezvous with the One who hears the wordless cry of the aching heart and broken spirit.
Vignette 2: Walking to the synagogue, wearing Sabbath finery,-a new silk caftan,-I slipped and fell on my face and head on an uneven sidewalk. Hearing the thud of my head knock on the concrete, I was frightened and worried that my cognitive ability to learn and study would be permanently affected. Not wanting to think about a possible concussion, I distracted myself in thinking instead about my soiled frock coat. Lying on the pavement, I reminded myself that the Masters of the Kabballah teach that the purpose of a fall is to rise, and not remain lame. I recalled the words of the Prophet Micah "...for though I fell, I will rise (7:8)." At that moment, I decided to transform fear and worry into growth. In the hospital emergency room, I hummed an old Kabbalistic tune, the purpose of a descent is to ascend, and pictured the circular Hasidic dance of continual rotation from bottom to top.
Vignette 3: A client became agitated and restless upon learning that his "Rebbe" [a charismatic spiritual leader] himself was undergoing psychotherapy. The fact that his role model was "a receiver" of mental health services was deeply troubling to him. I informed the client that he had a special "rebbe" who acknowledged his vulnerability to despair, fear, conflict, and did not deny , or cover them up.
I shared the following story with my client: A humble "zaddik" [a pious/saintly man], once revealed the hidden recesses of his heart to his hasid, reflecting on the paradox of the human condition in the presence of God, accompanied by thoughts of personal inadequacy, "Who am I that people should come to confide in, unburden themselves with all manner of requests, and ask me to pray for them?" Reflecting. he softly answered, it is only when I emulate (Imitatio Dei) the Healer of the broken hearted, the One who binds up their sorrows (Psalms 147: 3), and link my being to those who seek me out that relief comes from me to them.
My client was taken by surprise, It was an eye opener for him. He did not expect that level of self-disclosure on the part of the rebbe to his follower that he too struggled with inner conflicts and fears. After sharing this Hasidic anecdote, my client felt more willing to accept his own rebbe's need and decision to enter therapy.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
1-Father-son relationships, and their affect and effect on life-long self-esteem.
2-Children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors.
3-Parents who struggle with the need to have their child hospitalized, as a safety precaution for their own safty, and the issue of stigma.