ERIC Number: ED237826
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
Judaism and Counseling: Perspectives and Comparisons.
Bechofer, Robert A.
Judaism provides for human mental health as well as modern psychology since all elements of counseling philosophy and techniques are inherent in classic Jewish institutions and practices. As opposed to a behaviorist theory of determinism, the Judaic theory of personality and development believes man is endowed with free will but only at the point where consciously decided behavior meets with social learning behavior. This boundary point is always in flux and is the source of a lifelong process of self regulated therapy and education. Judaism posits that man must restore the world to its original order by transgressing negative character traits such as anger, jealousy, and sarcasm. As opposed to psychotherapy, the individual in Judaistic theory is his own counselor with the rabbi serving as resource person and mentor. Under Judaistic beliefs character traits are strongly defined with extremes at either end being unacceptable. The individual, as counselor, must rely on self analysis and self management to bring the body to equilibrium. Just as in Rogerian theory, Judaism is centered around true friendships in terms of genuineness, unconditional positive regard, and empathy. In Jewish institutions and communities, the counselor must be learned in secular as well as in religious philosophy and laws. Psychotherapy in a Jewish context operates from a religious set of values, with a main thrust of such counseling aimed at distinguishing true religious piety from pathologically caused piety. Therefore, the most comfortable and effective counselor for Jewish clients may be an orthodox therapist. (BL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A