Skeptical About Therapy
Dear R' Twersky shlita,
I am a yeshiva bochur who recently joined the Guardureyes website after many years of struggling with my addiction. From when I was a very young kid I began to take an enormous amount of interest in females. Over time, it turned into a full blown addiction. Every woman or girl, or pictures of either, would get me excited. Unfortunately it led to masturbating and porn etc. B"h, I chanced upon this amazing website and that was the beginning of changing the course of my life. At first I managed for approx sixty days 'clean' but fell in again after that. I am on my second time around (hopefully be"h the last) and I am so far about 30 days clean. Recently, my anonymous "partner" (that GYE helped me find), who is going through the same problems as me, told me that he had gone to a sex-addiction therapist and that it had really helped him a lot, and he thought it would do a great deal for me too, if I would go.
I wanted to ask your daas torah, being that I am still skeptical about going. The surroundings I was brought up in, and my yeshiva too, don't hold too much of psychologists, therapists and the likes. But if it's the right thing for me to do, I'm fully prepared to go. I just do not want to go only on the basis of my partner's advice, since he is just a young anonymous person from the GYE website. What do you suggest?
From a real admirer (we've got basically every one of your books at home).
Rabbi Twerski Replies:
Because Freud was an atheist who was anti-religion, psychology got a bad rap years ago (which was well deserved). Modern psychology is generally not anti-religion.
A good sex-addiction therapist is not going to lead anyone off-the-derech. A person who is sexually addicted is, in that area, off-the-derech already, and getting help with the addiction can actually enable him to strengthen his Yiddishkeit.
Of course, I cannot vouch for all therapists. If he has a good reputation, that should be OK.
For a list of addiction therapists in both Israel and the U.S.A,
please see this page of our website.