A Biblical Injunction for Orthodox Jewish Couples

TITLE: A Biblical Injunction for Orthodox Jewish Couples AUTHOR: Debby Schwarz Hirschhorn, M.S., Ph.D. Candidate, Nova Southeastern University; Clinical Director, CHABAD Family Counseling Services, Aventura, FL. HOMEWORK: a “noticing” task OBJECTIVE: to help orthodox Jewish couples understand their conflicts in a different way. RATIONALE: To systemic family therapists with a social constructionist (McNamee & Gergen, 1992) orientation, an arguing couple’s problem is not in any identified individual. Thus, it is not necessary for the therapist to assess who might be right or wrong. The clients most likely do not see it this way. Part of their problem may be the lack of flexibility which has dictated that one person must be right and the other, wrong (Hudson & O’Hanlon, 1991). Their limited number of choices (von Foerster, 1984)–either I am right or you are right–boxes them into this corner. The notion that a shift in their perspective (O’Hanlon & Wilk, 1987) can allow both members of the couple to be right is an incredible idea for a warring couple new to social constructionist models of therapy. A social constructionist framework therefore seems to be a vital basis for marital therapy. Because social constructionist models of therapy also underscore the importance of speaking to clients in language that makes sense to them (Fisch, Weakland, & Segal, 1982), such models lend themselves to utilizing the Bible as an authoritative resource when working with religious couples (Hirschhorn & Rambo, 1996). Christian counselors have discovered this powerful tool and have applied it using rational-emotive therapy (Johnson, 1993; Young, 1984), cognitive-behavioral therapy (Tan, 1987), gestalt therapy (Cowart, 1980), specially created Biblical models (Carter, 1980),...
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