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Hillside J Clin Psychiatry. 1989;11(2):131-46.

The religion of the therapist: its meaning to Orthodox Jewish clients.

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  • 1Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University, Brooklyn, New York.


How do Orthodox Jewish clients feel about the religious identity of their therapists? Do they have any preferences; and if so, why? The research reported here was designed to answer these questions. Semi-structured in-person interviews were conducted with a sample of Orthodox Jewish clients of out-patient mental health clinics and private practitioners. The findings of this study revealed a wide range of diverse meanings attached to the therapist's religious identity by Orthodox Jewish clients. The implications of the findings for clinical practice with Orthodox Jewish clients as well as other religious minority group clients are discussed. The overall findings suggest that religious differences in the therapeutic relationship can and do play a critical role in the treatment process.

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