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From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 19:37:38 -0500 Subject: A Simple Observation On Slander and Psychotherapy There have been many find points made in the last few issues on slander and psychotherapy. The following simple case may answer some remaining questions: If a person comes into a therapist office and starts telling his/her problems and conspicuously and obviously slanders people then I would simply posit that in ADDITION to all his/her other problems this person has the personality problem of slandering people. Quite simply then the therapist has not only a halachic requirement to object but the therapist also has a PROFESSIONAL OBLIGATION to cure this person's most blatant fault: His/her compulsion to slander. In fact this would tie in with what Jeremy Nussbaum said: Our view of slander vs psychotherapy must be a function of how Judiasm views psychotherapy...and obviously Judaism considers Slander to be the root cause of many personality faults (e.g. consider the multitude of statements on the MeTzOrah..who is being punished for all his faults... yet the most basic one in "slander") Let me put it still another way..all the questions so far have separated Therapy's desires from Judaism's desires...what I am positing is that it is contrary (or should be contrary) to professional standards of therapists to ignore a "slander compulsion" problem and concentrate on other (minor) problems. I would be so bold to say that if a person went twice a week to a therapist for a year (50*2*100=$20000 dollars) and the therapist never attempted to cure his/her slander problem then this person would be entitled in a Jewish court for a return of his/her money due to the professional negligence of the therapist. Needless to say I am not only interested in halachic comments.. I wonder how the therapists feel about my "diagnosis" Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.d ASA rhendel @ mcs drexel edu