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Parenting With Rabbi Ackerman
Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
Click here to view my clinical profile
When a parent tells me that she is overwhelmed, I usually say "That sounds very difficult. What do you do when you're overwhelmed?"
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Showing Results 1 - 10 (245 total)
The Endowment Effect
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
August 2nd, 2020
A thing which you have enjoyed and used as your own for a long time, whether property or an opinion, takes root in your being and cannot be torn away without your resenting the act and trying to defend yourself, however you came by it. The law can ask no better justification than the deepest instincts of man.  (The Path of the Law, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., #10 Harvard Law Review 457, 1897)   Justice Holmes may not have realized it, b …
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Stick To It Part 2
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
July 19th, 2020
He [Rabban Yohanan ben Zakai] said [to his disciples]: go out [of the bais hamedrash] and see which is the good way to which a man should cleave?  (Avos 2:13 in the The Lehmann-Prins edition) Why did Rabban Yohanan ben Zakai ask his talmidim to identify one middah to which one should adhere?  Why didn’t he urge them to work on all of their middos? This question comes into sharp focus when we learn from the hakdama of Orchos Tzadik …
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Stick To It Part 1
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
June 28th, 2020
He [Rabban Yohanan ben Zakai] said to [his disciples]: go out [of the bais hamedrash] and see which is the good way to which a man should cleave?  (Avos 2:9)   Two questions come to mind:   First, why go out of the bais hamedrash?  Isn’t the bais hamedrash the best place to think about one’s middos and to choose the one that is most important to you?   The Magid Rabi Yisrael m’Koznitz answered this quest …
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Oppositional Compliant
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
June 22nd, 2020
Vayomer Hashem Elokim, lo tov heyos ho'odom l’vado; e'eseh lo ezer k’negdo.   It is not good for man to be alone.  I will make a compatible helper for him. (Braishis 2:18, translation from The Living Torah, Rav Aryeh Kaplan, Z”L)   The verb l’nagad means “to oppose, to contradict.”  This implies that the preposition neged means “opposite” in the sense of “in opposition to.& …
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Good Grief
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
June 14th, 2020
Father to crying child: I understand that you are feeling really sad and disappointed, but think about what you’re so upset about!  That’s peanuts compared to what happened to me when I was your age! This dad began by validating his child’s feelings.  He then proceeded to invalidate her feelings.  He probably didn’t realize it.  You can be sure his child realized it.   Mother to sulking child:  …
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Self-Esteem Demystified
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
June 7th, 2020
Everyone of us has a role in building self-esteem, in ourselves and in others.  Parents can do this continuously and, I hope, consciously.  Every one of us plays this role in the lives of many people whether we mean to or not. What is this nebulous yet essential quality we call self-esteem? In academia, self-esteem is defined as a global self-evaluation on a positive to negative continuum. Simply stated, self-esteem is the belief that y …
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The Immovable Object and the Irresistible Force or Be A Kli Sheini
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
May 31st, 2020
Let us imagine that there is such a thing as an Immovable Object, and there is such a thing as an Irresistible Force, as described in this story: Once there was a man who was trying to sell a spear and a shield. When asked how good his spear was, he said that his spear could pierce any shield in the world. When asked how good his shield was, he said that it could resist being pierced by any sword in the world. One day, someone asked him what woul …
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What Do You Say Instead
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
April 26th, 2020
There is a phrase and there is a word that should set off alarms in your yetzer hatov. The phrase is nisht oif Shabbos geredt.  The word is “Who?” nisht oif Shabbos geredt is usually followed by saying something you know you shouldn’t be saying on Shabbos.  “Who” is often followed by rechilus. Various abuses of our unique gift of language are listed in the al chait.  Here are some examples: Bitui sifos …
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44 Antidotes Part 2
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
April 2nd, 2020
In my previous article, I alluded to a tefilah that gives us 44 antidotes to the machala afflicting the world today. That tefilah is called Al Chait.  The occasions on which it is said are Yom Kippur and your wedding day.  We say Al Chait on those days in order to ask Hashem to wipe our slate clean so that we can begin anew at these turning points in our lives. The word anew is defined as in a new or different and typically more positiv …
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44 Antidotes, Part 1
Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Shmuel Ackerman, LMHC
March 26th, 2020
Three women are on line at Glatt Savings.  Woman X observes the cashier carefully placing her groceries into bags based on weight, refrigeration, and fragility.  She smiles at the cashier and says thank you.  The cashier smiles back. Woman Y observes the cashier carefully placing her groceries into bags based on weight, refrigeration, and fragility.  She says to herself, “that’s what she’s getting paid for,&r …
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