Monday, August 12, 2013

Preventing sexual abusers of children from reoffending: systematic review of medical and psychological interventions

BMJ   Introduction: Sexual abuse of children is a global problem, and systematic reviews suggest that 18-20% of women and 7-8% of men in the general population report being abused before the age of 18.1 2 Rates have not differed substantially in recent decades but might vary across regions.2 [...]

The high prevalence and adverse consequences of sexual abuse of children warrant increased investment in development of preventive and therapeutic strategies.14 15 16 Such efforts should directly deal with children, their caregivers, and their environments to prevent potential abuse and effectively manage cases of abuse that have already occurred. Interventions for individuals at risk of sexual abusing children could prevent more children from being abused.
Society’s response to people who sexually abuse children has focused largely on punishment and deterrence through the criminal justice system. Offenders, however, are often directed to mental health professionals for treatment of disorders related to the offence (such as sexual compulsivity and paedophilia). Consequently, the availability of evidence based treatment for this population would be of considerable interest to medical practitioners. [...]


Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of current medical and psychological interventions for individuals at risk of sexually abusing children, both in known abusers and those at risk of abusing.

Results After review of 1447 abstracts, we retrieved 167 full text studies, and finally included eight studies with low to moderate risk of bias. We found weak evidence for interventions aimed at reducing reoffending in identified sexual abusers of children. For adults, evidence from five trials was insufficient regarding both benefits and risks with psychological treatment and pharmacotherapy. For adolescents, limited evidence from one trial suggested that multisystemic therapy prevented reoffence (relative risk 0.18, 95% confidence interval 0.04 to 0.73); lack of adequate research prevented conclusions about effects of other treatments. Evidence was also inadequate regarding effectiveness of treatment for children with sexual behavioural problems in the one trial identified. Finally, we found no eligible research on preventive methods for adults and adolescents who had not sexually abused children but were at higher risk of doing so (such as those with paedophilic sexual preference).

Conclusion There are major weaknesses in the scientific evidence, particularly regarding adult men, the main category of sexual abusers of children. Better coordinated and funded high quality studies including several countries are urgently needed. Until conclusive evidence is available, realistic clinical strategies might involve reduction of specific risk factors for sex crimes, such as sexual preoccupation, in abusers at risk of reoffending.

26 comments :

  1. As far as I'm aware there are two basic methods for preventing re-offending:
    1) Hormone suppression. The offender is given regular doses of progesterone which lowers his testosterone levels and kills his libido. This requires compliance on the part of the patient. Fat chance.
    2) Moving the offender to a location where there are no children. This was attempted in the recent season of the TV show "Arrested Development" with hilarious consequences and is unlikely to be feasible in the real world.

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  2. No way - cognitive behavioral approaches - which happen to be in line with the Torah perspective, are by far the most effective.

    Just google "efficacy of cognitive therapy in treating sexual offenders" and you'll see plenty of studies to back this premise.

    One example: A meta-analysis at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2924729/

    There are however several shortcomings. Not the least is the problem with MOTIVATION. How do you motivate the abuser to deny himself the pleasure of his deviant thoughts and instead accept the need for "reduction of cognitive distortions; the development of effective problem-solving strategies; improved social and victim perspective-taking; improving sexual and social relationships; managing affective states; reducing deviant sexual arousal; and developing adaptive thinking processes, affect, and behavior" (Taken from https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=207006)?

    This is where spirituality and religion can help. Positive Psychologists have recognized the power of what they call "a life of affiliation", where a person finds happiness in living a meaningful life that gives him the opportunity to be part of something BIGGER than his own (perhaps wretched) life.

    Mainstream psychology considers Spirituality to be a type of alternative therapy. I think mainstream psychology considers the most powerful aspects of Religion as taboo. They tolerate religious practice and some accept the palliative effect of a "kinder, gentler" religion. But they see the "absolute Truth" part of religion - where one is ready to die for his beliefs - as absurd. This "absolute Truth" part of religion happens to be it's most powerful aspect, since it gives one the motivation to withstand the powerful pull of deviant habits, because of the belief that a Higher Power is watching and Helping.

    Being a "practicing" religious person isn't enough, since religious practice is often motivated by habit or by extrinsic factors. Studies stress the importance of an INTRINSIC religious lifestyle, based on a deeply held belief system that's protected from societal misconceptions.

    Yes, it's hard work, but it's possible. In the final analysis, I'm convinced that a robust protocol of cognitive behavioral therapy coupled with a clear, detailed course on religious thought based on original religious texts can be extremely powerful.

    Lest someone think that I'm coming out of "left field" with some irrational approach, please note that over thirty years ago Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Shimon Schwab, Rav Avigdor Miller and Rav Yakov Weinberg all gave their endorsement to Rabbi Avrohom Amsel's book on the subject called "Rational Irrational Man". His approach is very similar to that which I have just noted.

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    1. the book is horrible.
      See a review - Rational Irrational Man: Torah Psychology by Avrohom Amsel
      Irwin I. Mansdorf
      Tradition
      Vol. 16, No. 4 (SUMMER 1977), pp. 149-152

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  3. 1) Why?

    2) Do you also disagree with my basic premise?

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    1. Not sure whether anything really helps - especially when the molester thinks he is being helping by molesting the victim.

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    2. Did you miss this part of therapy:

      "reduction of cognitive distortions; ...." (Taken from https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=207006)

      Besides, I don't think you "get" the power of meaningful religious practice insofar as its ability to "developing adaptive thinking processes, affect, and behavior". Am I right?

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  4. Mind posting some details - or a link to the article?

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  5. Amsel views mental illness as being the result of sin

    This attitude is discussed in depth by Dr. Moshe Spero as well as the review in Tradition I mentioned above.

    http://bjpa.org/Publications/downloadPublication.cfm?PublicationID=1616



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  6. Yeah. But he also writes "Judaism, like psychology, insists upon acceptance and impartiality as the basic attitude of the therapist toward the client. The therapist's operating tools are sympathy, empathy, understanding and compassion". (pg. 264).

    Don't forget - he's a Baal Musser. So we are ALL sinners, and still we can do Teshuva and bask in Hashem's grace.

    He told me that people misunderstand him.

    I agree with most of what R' Amsel writes, although I think his actual treatment plan isn't the strongest. I believe that his points on free will, concept of Mazal and the difference between the Jewish vs. the psychological unconscious are all valid. He wrote his book when Freud's pschoanalysis was still in style, but much of what he says applies equally to today's psychodynamic overemphasis on early childhood problems and blaming parents for all evils is definitely overblown. After all, the Rambam in the beginning of Hilchos Dayos mentions FIVE sources of character traits. Why do contemporary therapists ignore four out of five?

    His point that mental illness is usually a continuum of normalcy and not something distinct and should be treated as such is also solid and backed by many contemporaries.

    However, I think his treatment plan – although cognitive by nature – mostly focuses on overcompensating for bad traits by going to the opposite extreme, based on the Rambam. It's a difficult path (see Arvei Nachal on Parshas Vayishlach) and I think that there's much more to be done, like the "life of affiliation" that I mentioned earlier – which we would call Devaikus – and all the cognitive processes entailed in making this possible. Additionaly, there's harnessing the evil urge for good, which is how the Maharsho, Alshich, etc. explain the Gemara in Shabbos that האי מאן דבמאדים יהי גבר אשיד דמא א''ר אשי אי אומנא אי גנבא אי טבחא אי מוהלא.

    Please point out what else I'm missing.

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    1. Ploni, the very limited psychology in Halachic sources usually ends up saying there is a yetzer tov vs hara. Now, perhaps if someone spends too much money and wants help, he can be told to be a miser for a while. whether that is effective or not for OCD, remains to be proven.
      How exactly will you get a serial killer or rapist to go to the other extreme? would you feel safe having a serial killer become a shochet, and handling a a sharp knife?

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    2. There may be indeed be "limited psychology in Halachic sources" - In Halacha.,Not so if we consider HASHKAFA - where a veritable treasure is at our fingertips.

      And not just Jewish sources abound. surf over to: http://www.apadivisions.org/division-36/index.aspx and you'll see how much research Division 36 of the APA has on the Psychology of Religion.

      Glance at: http://www.division36.org/sommervogel.html
      where you'll find the Sommervogel Archive, "a database of research in the Psychology of Religion developed by Dr. Michael Donahue and supported by Division 36 of the American Psychological Association, the archive presently indexes over 74,000 articles of use in the psychological study of religion.

      Is 74,000 such a miniscule number?

      As to your comment about the serial killer - What Chazal are saying is that someone with an innate urge to kill could AVOID becoming a killer in the first place, by (among other things) channeling those urges in productive ways.

      And that was only one of the THREE routes to setting things right that I mentioned.

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  7. OK. I glanced through Spero's thesis, and I'll freely admit that most of what he writes goes over my head. What I won't admit – is his preoccupation with the import of whether or not mental illness is caused by sin or causes sin, etc.

    Why is it irrelevant? Because Judaism is basically behavioral, so the question is really "what works"? We happen to be standing at a juncture in time when EBT's (Empirically Based Therapies) happen to line up nicely to the Torah approaches to dealing with sinful thoughts, while psychotherapies still don't have a strong evidence base. So why are we still looking for solutions in all the wrong places?

    A case in point is Eating Disorders, – the most deadly of all mental illnesses. Psychotherapists continue to ignore all the up-to-date research and stubbornly stick to therapy, causing untold suffering.

    PS: I don't like Spero's backhand comment about Mr. Wikler's "mysterious Rabbinic authorities and R' Amsels' limited familiarity of psychology. Did he fail to notice R' Amsel's impressive Haskamos? Is Rav Moshe only good we WE want him?

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  8. excerpts of book review of Amsel's Judaism and Psychology which appeared in Tradition 1977

    Part I
    Amsel is correct in accusation that many Orthodox Jewish therapists have become so imbued with Freudian thinking so as to distort the Torah's view of rational man. More important is that, in attempting to alleviate patient problems, some therapists subscribing to analytic theory tend to totally ascribe the causes of behavior to unseen and unconscious (what Amsel calls "irrational") motives. In doing so, outwardly committed Jews may be ignoring Torah views on personality and behavior, which stress, for the most part, personal responsibility for behavior. To this end, Amsel has made a contribution. Far too many psychotherapists have for too long viewed psychoanalytic ritual as a science which can do no wrong. This, however, has long been recognized by many psychologists, and Amsel's views on the matter are hardly original and certainly not "trail-blazing" (as the jacket description would have one believe) . His contribution could. well have been delivered in a different framework, one which does not take a distortive and viciously antagonistic attitude toward all of psychological theory simply because of some errors of psychoanalysis.

    Amsel proceeds to indict psychology for a series of alleged inconsistencies with Jew thought. His discourse is professionally immature, in that he attributes certain characteristics to psychology which most Psychology I students would recognize as false (e.g., claiming that behaviorist theory agrees with psychoanalytic principles). An extensive analysis of the book, given its wholesale misrepresentation of psychology, is beyond the scope of this review. Instead, several (of many) examples of Amsel's distortions will be pointed out.

    Amsel places far too great an emphasis on the influence Freudian psychic determinism has on psychotherapeutic practice. While inconsistencies with Jewish though: may indeed be present, one must separate the theory from the practice. Many psychoanalysts, for example, might contend that while they do not subscribe to questionable areas of psychoanalytic theory they find its techniques useful in practice. Moreover, as noted by Mischel,1 Freud did not necessarily believe that all of one's actions are irrational and impulse driven. In fact, a healthy ego would preclude such behavior. More important however, are the advances in behavioral and social learning theories of personality in the last twenty years which have been totally ignored by Amsel. As a "trail-blazing" theorist, Amsel should know quite well that the influence Freudian theories of personality have onr contemporary psychological theorizing is far from widespread. That is because current psychological thought, as most scientific thought seeks to be descriptive, not explanatory. Scientific (including psycho logical) determinism, thus, slmply means that any given event is caused by events which precede it ls this any different from the view of the Vilna.Gaon,2 who says,


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  9. Part II
    The strict, rigid determinism of Freudian theory, as well as other deterministic theories, is not totally accepted in psychology, and is a matter of strong debate (see Carpenter,a pp. 68-77).

    Because of Amsel's initial erroneous equation of Freudian theory with all psychological theory, his subsequent contention that psychologists focus on determinants of behavior which negate individual free will and self direction is also in error. The entire burgeoning field of behavior therapy, for the most part, (as noted by Rimm and Masters+) does not actively concern itself with hypothesized internal and uncontrollable states of behavior. They tend to concentrate on the particular maladaptive behavior in question. Furthermore, most social learning theorists (e.g., Banduras) indicate that individuals play an important active, rather than passive, role in producing the various behavioral contingencies with which they come into contact.

    Amsel's strong focus on the internal ("rational") motivations in man does not give justice to Judaism's and behavioral psychology's view that external contingencies can influence behavior and modify it. By showing that behavior (includng criminal behavior) may be in part controlled by external events, one does not have to conclude (as Amsel does) that these events caused the behavior, thus justifying it. Correlation, as most scientists know, does not imply causation.

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  10. Part III
    Hence, in Judaism, we have the concept of seyag latorah, an external contingency applied without regard to an individual's internal controls. Other types of external contingencies may function to cause anxiety and fear, which may manifest itself as a phobia. Such anxiety and fear, according to Amsel (p 16) is strictly a case of one's not having emunah, and is a sin. It has long been demonstrated, however,

    · (e.g., Watson and Rayner") that a fear can be acquired through an unpleasant association, a classical conditioning phenomenon. Thus, one who walks in a street and is bitten by a dog may develop a fear of dogs. Is such a person a "sinner" according to Amsel? If so, what is the onesh?

    Rabbi Amsel's selective use of Judaic sources also bears some mention. In discussing Rabbi Moshe Feinstein's7 ruling on shoteh, he brings R. Moshe's comments that a shoteh l'davar ehad can effect a divorce, as evidence that such a person is responsible for his actions. Rabbi Amsel fails to note, however, that R. Moshe (citing among others, Maimonides) differentiates between a kinyan (as divorce) and mitsvot in general. With regard to a kinyan, which divorce is, he is responsible, but in the greater realm of responsibility, as in mitsvot, he is not responsible.

    Amsel spends considerable time on the relationships between physiology, pharmacology and behavior. For example, he contends that Judaism does not believe that physiological and chemical agents can strip man of his free will. This entire treatment of physiological in- fluences on behavior is questionable. One wonders if Amsel would recommend seeking treatment from practitioners who believe (as Amsel cites from Talmudic sources) that the spleen controls laughter and the kidneys cognition. As to the inability of chemicals to influence behavioral choice, what would Amsel say to the Talmudic discussion of נכנס יין יצא סודו
    Does this not indicate an altering of choice? Moreover, the Midrash Tanhumah discusses the influence alcohol has on behavior change in discussing Noah. It mentions the limitations one must place on such imbibing and states

    שותה יותר גדי נעשה כחזיר

    While there are certainly questions in the areas of psychology and Judaism, Amsel's treatise is not the answer. Its pretentiousness and egotistical style, its lack of citations for incredible remarks, and basic nisrepresentation of psychology is misleading and unfortunate. His point that Jewish values must be considered in therapy is well taken, but his indictment of psychology as a whole is largely incorrect arid erroneous. The subject matter covered by this book is interesting, but requires one who is a psychologist (which Amsel is not) or familiar with psychological theory (which Amsel is not) to give it justice.



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  11. I think castration or permanent chemical therapy combined with very thorough education for children on the topic may be the best way out of this morass.

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  12. Firstly, I approach this subject with more than a bit of uneasiness. The endorsements of Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Shimon Schwab, Rav Avigdor Miller and Rav Yakov Weinberg for R' Amsel's book are right there for all to see. Why does the reviewer fail to mention this fact? Is he alluding to the unspoken belief among therapists that they know more about the subject than these illustrious Rabbonim? Did he fail to notice what Rav Moshe wrote, that "His views regarding life and the dynamics of the Soul are in accordance with those of the Torah"?

    At the very least, the reviewer should openly state that he doesn't believe that these Rabbonim – including Rav Moshe Feinstein – know what they're talking about when it comes to mental illness! R' Amsel told me that Rav Moshe's son actually found a source of funding for putting R' Amsel's theories into practice. (It didn't work out at the end, for reasons that will remain unstated in a public forum). Should I think that he's lying?

    Insofar as the review itself – The reviewer defends psychiatry based on the idea that clinical practice doesn't hue closely to Freund's psychoanalysis and that Freund himself did not necessarily believe that all of one's actions are irrational and impulse driven. I've already mentioned that R' Amsel "wrote his book when Freud's psychoanalysis was still in style, but much of what he says applies equally to today's psycho-dynamic overemphasis on early childhood problems and blaming parents for all evils".

    The reviewer main line of attack against R' Amsel is that he vilifies all of psychiatry because of the sins of psychoanalysis. He writes that Amsel claims "that behaviorist theory agrees with psychoanalytic principles" and that "The entire burgeoning field of behavior therapy, for the most part, (as noted by Rimm and Masters+) does not actively concern itself with hypothesized internal and uncontrollable states of behavior… most social learning theorists (e.g., Banduras) indicate that individuals play an important active, rather than passive, role in producing the various behavioral contingencies with which they come into contact".

    I do not see R' Amsel attacking either behavior therapy or social learning theory. To the contrary, R' Amsel's emphasis on HABIT fits very nicely with Bandura's self-efficacy model, which is based on planning moderately challenging tasks, reinforcing effort and giving frequent, focused task-specific feedback, which are all hallmarks of building good habits.

    I believe that typical approaches widely used in therapy today share many of the concerns that R' Amsel writes about. Therapists might call their approach "eclectic", but in fact therapy usually involves building a therapeutic relationship by assuaging guilt feelings through shifting blame elsewhere – often to places where blame is NOT due. Worse, the cognitive "heavy lifting" is often absent, with the therapist taking the role of friend and perhaps cheerleader, hoping and waiting for transference to do its magic, often to no avail.

    Perhaps worst off all, the client never learns about alternative sources of happiness and "adaptive thinking processes and affect", which can be powered by a "Life of Affiliation", namely: the Power of the Neshama is forgotten.

    In essence, I think the reviewer uses a classic "strawman" argument. He attacks R' Amsel from easily defendable grounds, while ignoring the strengths of R' Amsel's main arguments.

    I'll end with the words that Rav Avigdor Miller wrote in his approbation to R' Amsel's book:
    It is to be hoped that the honest ones among the mind-healers, particularly orthodox Jewish practitioners, will be encouraged to use the practical Torah methods of therapy and counsel which can cope with the ills of individuals and our contemporary society. Amen!

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    1. It is obvious that Rav Moshe did not read the book and was entirely relying on what somebody told him. Thus his haskoma tells us absolutely nothing about the quality of the book - either as psychology or Torah. Rav Moshe was known to give haskomas to almost anyone who approached him.

      Not sure why you assume that Rav Moshe knew about mental illness - why should he? You have rabbonim sending people to Mondrowitz - why should it be assumed that they know anything about the topic? there are other rabbonim who have served as therapists - such as Weberman - who obviously knew nothing about the topic. Obviously there are rabbis who are good at counseling - but it is not because they studied Torah. There are many rosh yeshiva, mashgichim and teachers who have caused much psychological harm - in spite of the fact that they are competent talmidei chachomim.

      I also find it difficult to understand what Torah therapy means when it is clear that there is no such thing. There is therapy which is consistent with Torah values but there is no independent concept of therapy such as we have. It is also interesting to note that the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe went ot Freud

      Furthermore I find it outrageous that he states that mental illness is a result of sin.

      Delete
  13. I'm shocked by your reply. I've always held much of your work in great esteem and can only hope that you'll recant your uncharacteristically thoughtless comment.

    DT writes: Not sure why you assume that Rav Moshe knew about mental illness - why should he?

    Well, Rav Moshe says that he knew about mental illness, by specifically stating that R' Amsel's "views regarding life and the dynamics of the Soul are in accordance with those of the Torah".

    I know that there's been a heated debate here about Rabonim's knowledge of mental illness, but I think this statement is beyond the pale. Do you consider Rav Moshe to be some two-bit Rabbi that spouted anything that sounded right without thinking?

    How many other Haskomos did Rav Moshe give on psychology texts? Please show me even ONE that uses psycho-dynamic therapy.

    Why would Rav Moshe's son volunteer funding for R' Amsel's approach, if Rav Moshe never knew what the book was about? R' Amsel is alive and well – please pick up a phone and call him and check the veracity of my statements. Please follow this thread with the same zeal that you've (rightfully) followed up on ORA forced Gitten, etc.

    Are you assuming that Mondrowitz's "approach" was Torah based? And if it was - If a secular therapist's sexual indiscretions would be enough reason to devalue the therapy that he uses, there would be NO valid therapies left.

    Is secular knowledge of the mind such settled science that practitioners hold some secret key? The best current research states otherwise.

    "I also find it difficult to understand what Torah therapy means when it is clear that there is no such thing. There is therapy which is consistent with Torah values but there is no independent concept of therapy such as we have". Allow me to be blunt: You've been brainwashed by your secular mentors – as the overwhelming majority of heimishe therapists have been.
    Google "Nouthetic counseling", and read the Wikipedia article, which states that " Nouthetic counseling" (Greek: noutheteo, to admonish) is a form of pastoral counseling that holds that counselling should be based solely upon the Bible and focused upon sin, and that repudiating mainstream psychology and psychiatry as humanistic, radically secular and fundamentally opposed to Christianity. Its viewpoint was originally articulated by Jay E. Adams, in Competent to Counsel (1970) and further books, and has led to the formation of a number of organizations and seminary courses promoting it.[1] The viewpoint is opposed to those seeking to synthesize Christianity with secular psychological thought, but has failed to win them over to a purely Biblical approach. Since 1993, the movement has renamed itself Biblical counseling to emphasize its central emphasis on the Bible.[1] The Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology and Counseling states that "The aim of Nouthetic Counseling is to effect change in the counselee by encouraging greater conformity to the principles of Scripture."[2]
    And then google "Theistic Psychotherapy", and glance at the APA division 36's Nov. 2005 newsletter on the subject which states "Theistic psychotherapy is a comprehensive orientation that includes a theistic conceptual framework, a body of religious and spiritual therapeutic interventions, and guidelines for implementing theistic perspectives and interventions (Richards & Bergin, 2005)..
    Please – for your own good – recant your last comment, and don't allow your good reputation to be sullied!!

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    1. DT writes: Not sure why you assume that Rav Moshe knew about mental illness - why should he?

      Ploni wrote: "Well, Rav Moshe says that he knew about mental illness, by specifically stating that R' Amsel's "views regarding life and the dynamics of the Soul are in accordance with those of the Torah".
      ==============
      Please! Rav Moshe is making no such assertion. Again, Rav Moshe did not read the book which is in English. He relied on someone telling him what the book was about. On that basis he said R' Amsel's views are in accordance with Torah. He doesn't say anything about his knowledge of psychology!


      Ploni wrote: "I know that there's been a heated debate here about Rabonim's knowledge of mental illness, but I think this statement is beyond the pale. Do you consider Rav Moshe to be some two-bit Rabbi that spouted anything that sounded right without thinking?

      How many other Haskomos did Rav Moshe give on psychology texts? Please show me even ONE that uses psycho-dynamic therapy. "

      I am embarrassed by your naivete. Rav Moshe gave haskomas to almost everyone who came to him. He didn't read the books. He even gave a haskoma to a recording of cantorial music! Rav Moshe himself said that being a gadol in Torah does not necessarily give you expertise outside of Torah. Rav Moshe never claimed to know about mental illness.

      See the haskoma that Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky gave to Travis's book on marriage counseling where he explictly states he doesn't know anything about marriage counseling. Why should you assume that Rav Moshe knew more about psychology than Rav Yaakov?

      The fact that Rav Moshe didn't give haskomas to psycho-dynamic therapies is simply because no psychoanalyst in their right mind would have thought to ask for it. There are also no haskomas on refrigerators or cars!

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    2. There is no such thing as Torah therapy - i.e., therapy which in the Hirschian sense springs forth from Torah. There is definitely therapy which quotes from Torah texts.There is therapy which has been modified to exclude elements which are problematic from the view of halacha. The fact that writes such as Rabbi Dr. Twerski, Rabbi Zelig Pliskin and Dr. Miriam Adahan adopt secular psychological technniques and use Torah to explicate it - doesn't make it Torah psychology in the Hirschian sense. It is simply secular psychology which has been adapated for a Torah culture.

      There are even techniques which have been inspired by chassidic or mussar texts. But not everyone who has mastered these texts sees the "Torah therapy" within in them.

      Why does Rabbi Dr. Twerski get excited about the 12 steps? Which gemora or mussar text provides the basis for it? Once one knows the techniques the therapist can "discover" the ideas in the texts. But "Torah therapy" is not generated by the text.

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    3. Ploni why don't you write a guest post describing 1) what Torah therapy is and you criteria for saying it is Torah therapy 2) your basis for saying that gedolim are knowledgable in secular psychology. The subject obvious would benefit by its own discussion instead of one tacked on to another topic.

      I am totally shocked by your outburst and criticism of my comments - which are simply expressing ideas which are common knowlege in the world of the frum therapist.

      Delete
    4. many of these issues were raised in the discussion of shalom bayis therapy

      http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2012/10/shalom-bayiswhere-is-source-for.html

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  14. More on religion BASED therapy:

    at http://christianpsych.org/wp_scp/

    Here's how they describe themselves:

    Welcome to the Society for Christian Psychology!
    Learn about about our mission to work out a distinctly Christian psychology. Inside the website you’ll find:
    • A weekly Blog. Our blogger for the month of August is Dr. Eric Johnson. Eric Johnson is the Professor of Pastoral Care at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Director of the Society for Christian Psychology.
    • A growing list of resources, including information about Christian psychology, ancient and contemporary Christian psychologists, sample articles, recommended books, sister organizations and institutions, and .pdf copies of our journal, Edification, and copies of our newsletter, Soul & Spirit
    • Conferences of the SCP and other related organizations
    • Grant and research opportunities
    • Information on how to become a member of the Society. Consider partnering with us in the project of a radically Christian vision and practice of psychology.


    שלא תהא תורה שלימה שלנו כשיחה בטילה שלהם!
    על אלה אני בוכיה!

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  15. Regarding knowing whether you have a true Torah therapy see the following

    http://in.bgu.ac.il/bgi/iyunim/DocLib1/%D7%9E%D7%92%D7%93%D7%A8_%D7%91%D7%99%D7%A9%D7%A8%D7%90%D7%9C,_%D7%99%D7%A6%D7%97%D7%A7_%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%A9%D7%A7%D7%95%D7%91%D7%99%D7%A5.pdf

    It is a discussion of the attack made by Rav Menashe Klein against the Torah marriage counselling approach of Travis - despite the fact that Travis had a strong haskoma from Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky. It is clear that Rav Klein is correct.

    Thus an approach in therapy provide by a rabbis is not necessarily Torah therapy. Even if a gadol certifying that it is a Torah therapy - it is not necessarily consistent with Torah. Even if gemoros or medrashim are cited - it is not necessarily a Torah therapy.

    At most the meaning of Torah therapy is that it a therapy which is not inconsistent with halacha and Torah values and that it contains examples and descriptions from Torah literature.

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  16. the discussion of Torah Therapy - whether there is such a thing and has been transferred to its own post

    http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2013/08/torah-psychotherapy-learned-from-torah.html

    ReplyDelete

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