Frum Therapist: Mental Health Resources for the Frum Community
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Something more than the usual in the world of frum mental health
Evan Steele
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A forum for thoughtful, honest analysis and contemplation of mental health issues in the frum community with a lean away from the standard fare that populates much of the written word in the field
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Showing Results 1 - 13 (13 total)
Toward Servin Men Better-A series-Part 2
Author: Evan Steele
November 2nd, 2022

Toward Serving Men Better-Part 2: Suppression of feelings   This is Part 2 in a series.  For introductions, context, and caveats, please see Part 1.  I will assume the reader is familiar with these, and move forward. As I mentioned in Part 1, I’ve often encountered statements by individuals and in the media imploring men to “be brave” and express feelings.  Indeed, I recall a pop song many years ago by a fema …
Toward serving men better-A series-Part 1
Author: Evan Steele
October 20th, 2022

Introduction and Part 1 The following is an essay on thoughts regarding how our profession may be falling short in reaching and treating men, and suggestions for improvements.  I will need to begin with somewhat lengthy caveats.  If the reader wishes, s/he may skip to the main body of the essay Introduction/Caveats: Politics/Agendas:  While I am suggesting that we can do better in treating men, I have no, nor subscribe to, any agen …
The big picture
Author: Evan Steele
July 9th, 2019

The question of why I don’t have a private practice feels ever present.  I have answers…some good, some not as good.  Truthfully, as my LIU students who have been subjected to my professional hashkafic mussar shmuezim can attest, I struggle with the larger picture, not only of mental health in the frum community, but the even larger picture of tzarus in the frum community. It is self-evident that there is no shortage of pro …
The Case for Clinics
Author: Evan Steele
March 10th, 2019

In a few hours, NEFESH will be hosting an event on the state of clinics today, so it seemed an apropos time to put this in writing.  For the reader’s information, I am a Director of 2 clinics with The Jewish Board. If I may indulge the reader with a few beginning caveats: “The case for clinics” evokes an implication that there is a “case against” something. In this case, the obvious candidate is private practic …
Self Care-Who are we turning to?
Author: Evan Steele
August 2nd, 2018

As therapists, we know all too well the importance of self-care.  When exposed to the level of trauma, pain, and tzarus that we encounter on a daily basis, the need to develop ways to manage and sit with this pain is self-evident.  When I hear my colleagues speak of where to turn for models and methods of self-care, however, I’m somewhat puzzled and troubled by who they don’t seem to turn to, namely Great Torah Individuals ( …
Externalizing and the Shalom Bais shiur
Author: Evan Steele
July 26th, 2018

As therapists and humans, we know all too well the universality of externalizing, especially in relationships and especially in marriages.  Indeed, we can go back all the way to Adam HaRishon to find this ubiquitous behavior.  What moves me to write, however, is a phenomenon that I have encountered with clients, and, let’s be honest, with myself as well.  That is the experience of hearing a Rov or other wise person speak abou …
On fantasy, heroism, The Force, and Reality
Author: Evan Steele
December 28th, 2016

I went to see the new Star Wars movie the other night.  Though I’d love to claim that I was dragged by my teenage son, there’s the small matter of who sat in the driver seat of the car and paid for admission…that being me.  In addition to trying to avoid movies altogether these days, I specifically did NOT want to go see this movie, and it’s not because of piety or the anticipation of not liking it.  Indeed …
Thoughts on planning a parenting workshop
Author: Evan Steele
December 8th, 2016

This is an email I sent to a colleague today who is organizing a training for clinicians on teaching parenting skills and techniques: My experience working with families and parent education is that there is often a lot of disconnect, parallel process, and ineffective interventions.  Let’s start with parallel process.  Parents are frustrated that children don’t problem solve, i.e. they don’t cope with challenges, exter …
Fathers and the Angry Child in Treatment
Author: Evan Steele
July 17th, 2016

The following is an email that I sent to my LIU 1st year field students last December.  Thought I'd share it: From Professor Steele: The following is an observation that I want to share with you all that was prompted by a process recording.  A frequent presentation in clinics or other mental health settings serving the frum community is one where a mother brings a latency age (8-13) son for treatment to address behavior.  A common …
Parent Education
Author: Evan Steele
May 12th, 2016

This is an Article I wrote 7 years ago.  Wow, can't believe its been that long.  I think it's worth re-publishing As a clinical social worker, psychotherapist, parent educator, and parent, I have had the opportunity to be on “both sides of the couch,” and observe the current state of parent education. The following are some thoughts about what help is available, especially as it relates to difficult (ADHD, ODD, etc) children …
PCIT and beyond. What we are missing in Parent Education
Author: Evan Steele
February 10th, 2016

After completing an online course in PCIT (Parent Child Interaction Therapy), something just didn’t seem right to me.  This nagging feeling resurfaced when I watched a supplement to the training, on the topic of whether the model was culturally sensitive.  I watched as nearly every participant, PCIT practitioners and trainers, cited examples of families from non-Western cultures who struggled with the model.  Rationalizations …
Do therapists need to be in treatment?-A counter argument
Author: Evan Steele
July 5th, 2015

A highly popular notion in the field of psychotherapy purports that any professional psychotherapist should be him or herself in psychotherapy, either presently or in the past. Indeed, the notion that "the more the better" is often invoked to suggest that therapists should themselves be in near constant treatment.  With all due respect to my colleagues in the field, I vehemently disagree. To begin, the argument is often made that engaging is …
Annoyance--The real monster in treating Orthodox couples and families
Author: Evan Steele
July 5th, 2015

As the young wife sat in my office with her husband, having come to me for couples’ counseling, I could see that I wasn’t reaching her.  I was speaking English, but it might have well been Chinese.  We were in the same room, but on different planets.  Yet, on paper, we had the basis for a perfectly good therapeutic connection.  We were both Orthodox Jews.  She and her husband were coming for psychotherapy, whi …
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