The Elephant in the Therapy Room: The Conversation Continues

The Elephant in the Therapy Room: The Conversation Continues

Does the age of a therapist matter? Should frum Are young adults venturing into the field of mental health before they have gained life experience? Readers give their opinion on Sarah Rivkah Kohn’s column.

Experience is not everything

I just graduated three years ago from social work school. I’m in my 40s and had a few classmates my age, but the rest were in their 20s.

The downside of men and women my age going to school is that they sometimes believe that their life experience is everything. Our excellent teachers helped me reject that idea pretty quickly. I will add, however, that I don’t think life experience is unimportant.

I have my own practice and am at capacity. If I could clone myself, I would. I don’t believe I do a better job than my colleagues and classmates. I think I’m less afraid of facing a lot of situations because as a mother, grandmother and former teacher, I’ve seen a lot.

I would like to encourage more men and women in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s to return to school. Go to a great program, don’t skimp on your internship and go for it. THE klal needs more from you!


Should we hold them back?

I am a single mother who has been in therapy. I never hid this from my children, and in some ways it may have inspired my seminary daughter to insist that social work was her chosen field.

And yet, I know therapy well, and I can’t imagine who would trust someone my daughter’s age as a therapist. He’s a genius. She is good, healthy and growing. I love it. And yet, would I send my child to him?

Training is about 50 percent of what makes a therapist a good candidate. Fifty percent is who the therapist is. While speech therapy or physical therapy requires 80 percent schooling and 20 percent skill, mental health therapies require enormous use of self. And my 18 year old daughter will be 19 by the time she does her first internship and 21 by the time she graduates. That’s barely the legal age to buy alcohol. Would we put the most delicate lives and situations in the hands of someone that age? I don’t know….

However, my daughter is attracted to the field and must now make a choice that I am Yirtzeh Hachem allow him to earn a parnassa. Should I force her to pursue things like education and delay her dream until she is at least 30? This is the real dilemma and ultimately what makes so many mothers say…go for it. Not because we think it’s the best decision, but because we’re not sure it’s right for our child to withhold it.

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The Benefits of Unique Therapists

I wanted to share an additional perspective, not as a disagreement with anything this article shares, but as the voice of many of us therapists in this category: young women, ages 25-30, who are single and who have lived on the estate for at least three years or more.

I wonder if there is a lack of information about some of us single therapists and what we can offer in therapy. Most of us have extensive education, probably more than some of our married counterparts. We have all spent time (years) doing our own therapeutic work and are comfortable with whatever this field has in store for us.

Being single and not having difficulty reconciling work and private life as a married person with children does, we can invest more in our work, and thus our supervision, our training, our readings and our knowledge are more complete, reinforcing Our skills. We can be more fully present for our clients than married people, and what’s more, we have the desire and openness to learn from them, more than the omniscient middle-aged therapist who carries her own experiences into the room .

No, we do not yet have the personal experience of being married or having children. But we understand very deeply the human condition that we all share equally, regardless of the relationship status or stage of life we ​​find ourselves in. Many of us have worked successfully with people twice our age, with individuals who could not see their age. or scene as an obstacle to their therapy.

I know there are so many fantastic older, married, middle-aged, experienced therapists out there. I see this as an open conversation. THE frum The community’s relationship to mental health is ever-changing and expanding, and I wonder if that’s another element worth exploring.


Age limits can be overcome

I am a young single man in my twenties who is currently a social work intern at a clinic. The questions raised in this article are something I grapple with and think about often. I cannot speak for other aspiring young clinicians; I can only speak for myself. Here are a few points I wanted to make about the points made in the article:

I’m not at all nervous about being in the stage of my life I’m in, and I’m proud of myself for taking on such responsibility (with the Yirah And Aimah This field is required). I invite future clients and their parents to ask me any questions about my education or training when we return to school. Clinicians who won’t answer their age and other personal details will likely say they feel this is an inappropriate disclosure. The topic of self-disclosure is hotly debated, although I personally think it would stem from a level of insecurity, and I would invite these clinicians to explore whether their own defenses are preventing them from self-disclosure, or whether it is really for the effectiveness of their revelation. therapy.

Regarding the effectiveness of therapy due to age, I think the real problem is the lack of clinical excellence, regardless of age. I think there are many good clinicians, but only a basket of excellent ones. Young clinicians who aspire to clinical excellence, by pushing beyond their comfort zone, will far outperform other clinicians, regardless of their age. Although the question of a clinician’s age affecting treatment effectiveness is still up in the air, one thing is certain: if we track outcomes and the client has a better quality of life and experiences lower levels of distress in every aspect of their lives, that’s what matters.

As far as the age difference affecting the relationship, I think it’s not about having a clinician who has experienced similar things. It is about the client feeling that the clinician can truly control him and his problems.

Finally, a true school of social work that prides itself on cultivating therapeutic excellence will have a rigorous interview process that eliminates goat I’m just looking to make a good parnassa. I am personally in this field because I see this as a avodas hakodeshand if I wanted to make (seriously) money, I’d be in real estate or nursing homes right now.

I believe that with open communication, the pursuit of clinical excellence, and active engagement in comprehensive supervision to improve skills, we can find the answers to the questions posed in the article. Thank you for making me think and bringing these issues to the forefront, raising awareness about mental health in our community.

All my wishes,

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Parental experience is something

I’m a 46 year old man who goes to social work school with men half my age and I really respect their efforts. But from some of the questions they ask in class or while supervising our clinical group, I wonder how things are going in the therapy room….

Yes, they primarily see children and adolescents, but as anyone who cares for children knows, you have two clients: the child and the parent. The horror they express at some fairly normal parenting difficulties makes me wonder what compassion they may have for these parents.

My blind spot is that I have had children of all ages and therefore my perspective may not be as objective as it should be. No age is perfect, but I believe a frame of reference helps.

A man in a social work school

The training is too short

As a teenager, I saw many therapists for various reasons. One therapist in particular, who had just returned from seminary and was in her 20s, was unable to help me due to her lack of education. Even if the fast programs offered by the frum schools can be a great option for many everyday careers, don’t take this route for more personal and complex professions such as social work, therapy, or hospice work. As Ms. Kohn points out in her article, these questions should not be ignored. Therapy is a long and delicate journey, and without proper guidance, it can potentially cause harm.



(Originally featured in Family First, issue 892)

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