Day 14 of Jewish American Heritage Month: Go to therapy

NMAJH

Esther Pauline Friedman Lederer, alias Ann Landers (Library of Congress).

According to a 2012 issue of the Journal of Religion and Health, American Jews are significantly more open-minded to therapy and more tolerant of the stigma associated with it than participants in other groups. Jewish openness to psychological treatment shouldn’t come as a big surprise, given Woody Allen’s love affair with psychotherapy and the groundbreaking work of such American Jewish psychologists as cognitive behavior therapy pioneer Aaron Beck and social psychologist Thelma Alper. There’s also the generations-long tradition of Jews dispensing shrewd and practical advice through therapy’s more accessible cousin, the advice column: examples include Esther Pauline Friedman Lederer (aka Ann Landers); Emily Yoffe’s Dear Prudence column on Slate.com; and the Jewish Daily Forward’s Bintel Brief, where editors for more than 60 years addressed the profound and humorous quandaries of the Yiddish-speaking immigrant population.

ADVERTISEMENT: Come explore the blessings and challenges of freedom at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. NMAJH.org

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