Rabbi Raffi Bilek
Destigmatizing Therapy (continued)
A friend of mine in Houston, Texas contacted me in relation to the article I published on destigmatizing therapy. She is working with a frum family whose daughter is suffering some kind of attention disorder. In order to proceed with therapy, she had to contact the girl's high school, but the family was reluctant to allow her to do so, since they did not want the school to learn about their child’s disorder and treatment. It is not clear whether they were doing so out of embarrassment and shame over their daughter's condition, or out of fear of potential consequences from the school administration, which itself may have prejudices and biases regarding mental illness. This seems to echo the dilemma I brought up in the article, namely, on one hand a therapist is bound to protect client confidentiality; on the other hand, the therapist does not want to reinforce the idea that there is anything to be ashamed about. Not an easy problem to solve.