Dear Therapist:

There is so much talk about the mental health issues that many are facing. Lekovod the simcha of Purim can you please share some of the good news? Where have you seen success, and what has inspired you, as to how both individuals and the tzibur have made strides in the area of mental health? Thank you! Ah Freilichin Purim!



Our society does tend to focus on problems rather than on solutions. Problems are often sensationalized, and positivity ignored. We see this in the media, in politics, and in many other areas. I’m glad that you asked this question. It can help us to reframe our thought processes.

Within my therapy sessions, I try to help my clients to better acknowledge the positive aspects of their lives while helping them with their problems. Often, our problems become centralized. This makes it difficult for us to view other aspects of life outside of the pall that is cast by our problems. Within the context of this column, the focus is typically on the issues that are raised. We are being asked for our opinions on mental health issues, so this is natural. Nonetheless, I try to emphasize the solution without minimizing the problem.

Very often, an identified problem is caused by—or at least exacerbated—by a skewed self-view. I have had much success in helping people to change this life view, allowing them to begin seeing everything—including their problems—from a healthier perspective. I have found that many of my clients can see dramatic results from simply changing this perspective. I say “simply,” meaning that it is a single therapeutic process that often leads to positive change in many areas, like depression, anxiety, OCD, and others. This is not to say that it is an easy process.

Although the process itself is somewhat complicated and takes work, I have witnessed clients make positive strides almost immediately. I have seen people from my professional life and personal life progress from a negative viewpoint to a positive one. Perhaps the person who has most benefited—and continues to benefit—from this self-esteem technique is yours truly.

When viewed from this perspective, hope springs eternal. Here’s to transforming pessimists into optimists!  V'Nahapoch Hu.

-Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW

  psychotherapist in private practice

  Woodmere, NY

  adjunct professor at Touro College

  Graduate School of Social Work

  author of Self-Esteem: A Primer / 516-218-4200


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