Subscribe to our newsletter!


Professional Posts

Preview of Rav Rosensweig’s Upcoming Book on Mental Health and Jewish Law: Journaling on Shabbat

Editor's Note: Below is a compelling question and answer as a special preview of Rav Yoni Rosensweig's upcoming book examining ...
Read More

Mental Illness in the Orthodox and Chassidic Communities

I have vivid memories from my childhood of a man in a crumpled suit sitting in the kitchen of my ...
Read More

Exercise For Your Mental Well-Being

It is common knowledge that physical exertion and exercise have dramatic impacts on our physical health. All nutritional programs will ...
Read More

Our Community Leaders Must Speak Up Before It’s Too Late

I started working in an acute psychiatric unit fifteen years ago as an occupational therapist (OT), during which time the ...
Read More

Yom HaZikaron (Rosh Hashana) – The Day of Remembrance: How Our Past Affects Our Future

“Remember when?” and “remember the time that?” These phrases that often come up when I am hanging out with my ...
Read More

Religious Rituals and OCD Interference

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder that is difficult to cope with on a daily basis. The need to perform ...
Read More

Mind Games

The stock market is volatile, the government recently went through a historical shutdown and acts of mass violence are almost a ...
Read More

Substance Use Disorder in Children and Adolescents

The purpose of this article is twofold. The first is to help parents understand the nature of substance use disorders ...
Read More

Are Kiddush Clubs Just Harmless Fun?

It’s 10 a.m. on Shabbos morning, and the congregation at Ohel Yitzchak (fictitious name) stands as the ark is opened ...
Read More

Thanksgiving: How To Say Thank You (When You Just Don’t Feel You Have Anything to Say Thank You For)?

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and for some, it is synonymous with an enjoyable time spent among family and close ...
Read More

Community Life and The Addiction Crisis in The Orthodox Community

The Orthodox Jewish community in America has achieved many things once believed impossible. For one, we have built vibrant, knowledgeable, ...
Read More

Communicating with Children with ADHD

Everyone can learn to improve their communication, whether with spouses, bosses, neighbors, or children. With everyone's different personalities, wants and ...
Read More

How to Reduce Vacation Stress And Maximize the Benefits of Time Off

Taking a vacation can put your mind at ease and make you forget about all of the world’s worries. It’s ...
Read More

Suicide Prevention: Warning Signs and When to Seek Help

You overhear a friend say he wishes he were dead. You catch your sister creating superficial wounds on her wrist ...
Read More

Perinatal Depression: You Are Not Alone

Perinatal depression is a condition that affects 25% of women during or after pregnancy. However, it is often not discussed, ...
Read More

Freedom and Owning Our Insecurities

Not everyone loves Pesach. Despite the fact that this is the time when we celebrate the redemption of the Jewish ...
Read More

Delirium: The Secret Killer – A Live Conversation Transcription

Below is a loosely edited partial transcript of the live conversation recently held with Dr. J.J. Rasimas, MD, PhD and Ariel ...
Read More

The Addiction Relationship Effect

Alcoholism, drug abuse, and extramarital affairs often go hand in hand. Any of these in themselves is a good reason ...
Read More

Chanukah Guilt… I mean Gelt: Navigating Chanukah Parties using Emotionally Focused Therapy

For many, the holiday season is the most difficult time of the year. In fact, because so many people have ...
Read More

Why Taking Care of Your Mind is as Important as Taking Care of Your Body

Imagine this scenario:   A patient with familial hypercholesterolemia visits his doctor and has his cholesterol levels tested. The doctor ...
Read More

Loneliness and Community: The Plague of Our Time

Sarah was at her wit's end. Each day, after working a full-time job as a teacher's aide - while her ...
Read More

Living with Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder

Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder People often ask me what it is like living with someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder ...
Read More

Chayei Sara: Positive Speech, Positive Mind

This week’s Torah portion (Chayei Sara) begins with “And this was the life of Sara, she lived…” and continues to ...
Read More

Believe in Me

As he is In this week's Torah portion (Vayeira), Yishmael and his mother are cast out of Avraham's home. They ...
Read More

The Impact of Childhood Trauma

I often see patients for therapy to address issues related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Somehow, people in their ...
Read More

Depression in Children and Adolescents

Major depression is an illness that can affect people of any age, including children and teenagers. Depression (also called clinical ...
Read More

Repentance Without Guilt

Unhealthy repentance I was recently talking with a friend of mine who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and suffers from intrusive, ...
Read More

Should We React Like a Puffer Fish When We’re in Danger?

The Puffer Fish: A Study in Self-Preservation I recently saw a puffer fish at the aquarium. Famously, when a puffer ...
Read More

See Something, Say Something

This week's Torah portion (Ki Teitzei), encourages us to not turn a blind eye towards the loss or destruction of ...
Read More

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Thoughts on Repentance

If you live in a small home or apartment, or if you struggle with getting rid of anything and everything, ...
Read More

Totality: The Power of a Shared Experience

I was one of the lucky ones to have been in the path of totality this past Monday. It's hard ...
Read More

The Cost of Affluence

In this week's Torah Portion (Eikev), the Jewish people are informed of the great wealth, ease of life, and health ...
Read More

Keeping the Lessons of Robin Williams Alive

Editor's Note: It is hard to believe it has been three years since we lost Robin Williams. Refuat Hanefesh finds it important ...
Read More

Rebuild Through Tolerance

On a hot summer afternoon, I took my 2 yr old daughter into trader Joe's. Refusing to sit in the ...
Read More

The First Members of AA

In this week's Torah portion (Devarim), Moshe rebukes the Jewish people. The Ohr Hachaim points out several strategies Moshe used ...
Read More

Outsourcing Your Marriage

We live in a world where we are encouraged to outsource. Whether it’s the Ford Motor Company outsourcing its I.T ...
Read More

5 Alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous

Contrary to popular belief, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is not the only program which helps facilitate sobriety. In fact, there are ...
Read More

Act the Way You Want to Be

In this week's Torah portion (Balak), Bilaam asks G-d's permission to curse the Jews and is denied. However, on Bilaam's ...
Read More

Normalizing Symptoms, Minimizing Stigma

25% Can Feel What 18% Have As I wait in line at the grocery store, I notice a tickling feeling ...
Read More

Addiction: Cunning, Baffling, and Powerful

Addiction is a disease that is known to be cunning, baffling, and powerful. With this reputation, one might think that ...
Read More

Fight to the death

In this week's Torah portion (Korach), we witness one of the most famous biblical arguments. Korach gathered a group of ...
Read More

Why Won’t He Open Up to Me?

We all grow up in different environments with different standards for how to communicate. Yet, we often expect others to understand ...
Read More

Nurture your nature

In this week's Torah portion (Shelach), spies are sent to explore Israel in preparation for conquest. They were given several ...
Read More

Looking Behind an Eating Disorder: Are Parents to Blame?

As someone who works with women struggling with eating disorders, I often hear that mothers are to blame for a child’s ...
Read More

Good things come to those who wait

In this week's Torah portion (Behalotcha), we are told the Jews in the desert would rest and travel at God's command ...
Read More

Someone To Talk To

Many years ago, I started a support group for teenagers whose families were going through a tough time. As I ...
Read More

Mental Health in the First Year of Marriage

The Torah (Devarim 24:5) teaches that the first year of marriage should be a period of special joy. It relays that ...
Read More

The Who, What and Why of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Nowadays, it seems everyone has ADHD. In fact, this has been termed the "ADD generation". What's the difference between someone ...
Read More

Forget about it!

This week's Torah portion (Behar-Bechukotei) promises several rewards for going in God's ways and keeping his commandments. The midrash (Torat ...
Read More

The Who, What, Why of Borderline Personality Disorder

What is Borderline Personality Disorder? Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) refers to a cluster of behaviors and psychiatric symptoms characterized by ...
Read More

The Who, What and Why of Personality Disorders

They say Trump is a narcissist, Clinton suffers from antisocial personality disorder and Britney Spears has borderline personality disorder. Is ...
Read More

Stillbirth Research

Pregnancy loss, whether an early term miscarriage or a late term stillbirth, can be devastating for both men and women ...
Read More

Shame on me

This week's Torah portion (Acharei mot- Kedoshim) conveys the procedures of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. The Ohr Hachaim ...
Read More

Dealing with Depression

When I was a young rabbi, I encountered someone with depression. I vividly remember thinking to myself, why can’t he ...
Read More

Make chirping beautiful

This week's Torah portion (Tazriyah-Metzorah), discusses the disease Tzarat, a punishment for slander. Part of the purification process requires two birds, one ...
Read More

13 reasons why NOT

Recently, Netflix produced a TV series detailing 13 reasons why a young woman committed suicide. Closer to home, this past ...
Read More

Free Will is Not an Answer to Addiction

Prescription medication spills out onto the floor. Are addicts who abuse this medication acting out of their free will? ...
Read More

Who is Wise?

Between Pesach and Shavuot it is customary to learn Ethics of the Fathers. In chapter 4:1 Ben Zoma says "איזהו ...
Read More

The Four Sons: What’s The Deal With The Rasha?

The Pesach Seder is often looked at as a model for how we should educate our children. We use experiential models ...
Read More

The 4 Questions You’ve Never Heard

Why is mental illness different from all other illnesses? Support 1) For with all other illnesses, when you hear someone ...
Read More

OCD Awareness: Is it Dayeinu (Enough) Yet?

Pious Actions or OCD? With Pesach quickly approaching, everyone is getting ready in their own way. Some cook the food, ...
Read More

Maggid- The greatest medicine

This coming Monday night we will sit around the table and retell the story of the Jew's slavery in Egypt ...
Read More

Festival of Failures: A Fifth Question for this Year’s Seder

The art of storytelling demands a captivating structure. One time-tested method introduces a character worth following, only to have him or her ...
Read More

Managing Expectations is the Key to a Beautiful Holiday

According to a 2013 PewResearchCenter study, though only 23% of American Jews attend religious services at least monthly, 70% participate ...
Read More

More breaks equal more efficiency

In this week's Torah portion Rashi, an 11th-century commentator, notes the frequent pauses between commands. He explains these breaks functioned ...
Read More

Has the Dating Process been Compromised?

As a psychotherapist, marriage counselor, mother and community member, I am acutely aware of the problems confronting singles in their ...
Read More

Fake News Can Cause Real Stigma

At the forefront of today's debate-happy society is the question of what constitutes fake news and which culprits are relaying ...
Read More

Disconnect to Reconnect

In this week's torah portion (Vayakhel-Pekudei) Moshe relays Hashem's commandment to work six days and rest on the seventh ...
Read More

Elevate those around you!

Count Elevate the Jews In this week’s Torah portion (Ki Tisa) Moshe is commanded “Ki tisa et rosh bnei yisrael… ...
Read More

Secrets to conquering bad habits

Torah lights up the world In this week's Torah portion (Tetzaveh), God instructs Moshe to command the Jews to bring ...
Read More

Forget About Being Happy: Let’s Define Real Happiness

Happiness. It seems this is the modern buzzword for the ultimate goal in life. Ask parents, "What do you want ...
Read More

What goes around comes around

Take me a gift In this week's Torah portion (Terumah) God commands, "...And they should take to me a gift, ...
Read More

Addiction: Nuts and Bolts of Getting the Help You Need

Many people have questions about how to assist a person suffering from addiction. There are many different treatment options to ...
Read More

Set them for success!

In this week's Torah portion (Mishpatim), Moshe is commanded: "And these are the laws you should place before them". The ...
Read More

Stepparenting: A Challenge and An Opportunity

Stepfamilies are not uncommon. They sometimes work out well, but at other times can be disastrous. Whether Stepfamilies are created ...
Read More

Little Sinai, Big Lesson

Why was the Torah given on Mount Sinai? In this week's Torah portion (Yitro), the Jews receive the 10 commandments ...
Read More

Why Does a Mental Health Organization Need an Intellectual Disabilities Advisor?

When I was asked to serve as the Intellectual Disabilities Advisor for Refuat Hanefesh, my initial reaction was, “Why? Why ...
Read More
Less traveled road

Take the road less traveled!

Why didn't the Jews take the straight path from Egypt to Israel? In this week's Torah portion (Beshalach) God takes ...
Read More

How to make your spouse your BFF

Happily ever after During their engagement, Malka and Avi felt a bond and ease with one another. Under the chuppah, ...
Read More

I will not let them go!

What does it mean that Pharoh's heart was hardened? In this week’s Torah portion (Bo) the Egyptians experience the continued ...
Read More
Disordered Eating

The Food Fight

The Fight “I am so fat.” “I hate my body.” “How come she eats all day and doesn’t get fat?” ...
Read More

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself

What prevented the Jews from listening to Moshe? In this week's Torah portion (Va'eira) we are told, "The Jews did ...
Read More
Building a strong relationship together

Make Sure You Always Communicate!

"Make sure you communicate!" Don't we already do that? “You have to make sure you always communicate.” “Make sure you ...
Read More

Time to reframe how we view mental illness

Our dreams for our children Every parent has hopes, dreams, and aspirations for their child. On the most basic level, ...
Read More

Sage Advice for a Successful Marriage When One of the Partners Has Mental Illness

If you are married to someone with a mental illness, you don’t need me to tell you that it’s a ...
Read More

Matchmaker find me a Match

The story My phone rang on an erev shabbos afternoon, it was my friend Esti*. Esti had been dating someone ...
Read More

The Who What and Why of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Have you ever wondered why some people have traumatic experiences and recover uneventfully, while others go on to develop PTSD (Post ...
Read More

An Organic Illness of the Mind

Mental illness is an organic illness of the mind. Something about this sentence sounds inherently contradictory and it deserves to ...
Read More

Addiction: A Moral Failure Or A Disease

How is Chemical Addiction Diagnosed? According to the American Psychiatric Association, one meets criteria for a substance use disorder when ...
Read More

“They’ll Think I’m Crazy”

"I've been thinking about jumping off a bridge. I haven't told my parents because they'll think I'm crazy." ...
Read More

The Who, What and Why of Schizophrenia

"My good fortune is not that I've recovered from mental illness. I have not, nor will I ever. My good ...
Read More

The Who, What and Why of Bipolar Disorders

"When you are happy you enjoy the music. But, when you are sad you understand the lyrics" -Frank Ocean What ...
Read More

The Who, What and Why of Depressive Disorders Part 3

"We can not change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand" - Randy Pausch Ok, so ...
Read More

The Who, What and Why of Depressive Disorders Part 2

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” - Alphose Karr What Causes Depression? ...
Read More

The Who, What and Why of Depressive Disorders Part 1

"Depression can seem worse than terminal cancer, because most cancer patients feel loved and they have hope and self-esteem." - ...
Read More

The Who, What and Why of Anxiety Disorders

 "Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal" -Albert Camus Why Do I Get Anxious? Have ...
Read More

What Is Health?

“Your heart will follow your actions.” – Eliyahu Dessler Before we begin to discuss various illnesses, we must understand what ...
Read More

Scope Of Psychiatry

 "Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you." -Carl Jung Ok, so we have established that ...
Read More

Inspiration and Vision for Starting Refuat Hanefesh

"Let's face it. The secret is out. We have a problem." ― Abraham Twerski Welcome to RefuatHanafesh! This website is ...
Read More