When God is Your Cotherapist: Working with Orthodox Jewish Populations

1.5 CE. $30/MPA Members, $55/Non-members

*Meets the Maryland licensing requirement for cultural diversity.
**There is no potential conflict of interest and/or commercial support for this program or its presenter.

When working with Orthodox Jewish clients, the clinician can assume that God is always present in the consulting room. The therapists' words will be filtered through religious orthodoxy that was millennia in the making. From a Jewish viewpoint, the world belongs to God, and the Torah directs every aspect of human endeavor. For culturally and religiously contextualized treatment, the therapist must have a basic understanding and acceptance of the client's belief system and practices, while avoiding stereotypes and assumptions. This webcast will address cultural competence with orthodox Jews including the role of the clergy and their influence regarding psychotherapy, specific religious practices and traditions that impede or empower psychological treatment, religious barriers to therapy, attitudes of religious clients to psychotherapy, as well as overt and covert clinician attitudes towards religious clients. The focus will be on understanding how religious faith interfaces with the practice of psychotherapy and on effective interventions.

This webcast is designed to help you:

  1. List Jewish laws and lifestyle differences that can inform culturally sensitive practice;
  2. Describe the role of the rabbi as intermediary and adjudicator in psychotherapy;
  3. Prepare to utilize effective interventions with members of the orthodox Jewish tradition.


Presenter Esther Finglass, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Owings Mills, Maryland. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Clinical and Developmental Psychology from Michigan State University. She currently divides her time between private practice in Baltimore County and the counseling center at Loyola University of Maryland, and is adjunct faculty in the Department of Psychology at Loyola University of Maryland. She specializes in psychotherapy and psycho-educational testing with children, adolescents, and adults with emotional, attention, and learning disorders, and in post-divorce parent coordination. She works extensively with orthodox Jewish populations.

Requirements for completion: This is considered a home-study course for reporting purposes, and in order to get CE credit you must pass the post-test (75%) and submit a completed evaluation. You will receive your CE certificate via email 7-10 business days after course completion.

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