Rav Avigdor Miller on Choosing the Right Psychologist
Is modern psychology unacceptable to us now that some of the theories of Freud have been rejected?
And the answer is, I don’t want to be mikapei’ach the parnassa of the frum psychologists. I have no desire to undercut their income. If a frum psychologist will use only good torah common sense, so you pay him for his experience, and for his time and patience. But if any frum psychologist who still clings to the systems of the old timers – and they still do by the way – then you have to know that he is misleading you.
Now, I have to be careful what I say because some good ones are really not following the old psychologists. But in order to collect a good fee they have to talk in the same language. So they say that they’re psychoanalysing you – otherwise you wouldn’t pay him. Just to hear some good advice, you wouldn’t pay money. People pay money for bad advice, you know. As long as it’s big words, people will pay good money for bad advice.
Nobody pays money for good advice though. And therefore, when somebody goes to visit a rebbe who advises him, he doesn’t pay him the fee that the psychologists gets. He doesn’t give his rebbe seventy-five dollars for a half hour.
But you go to somebody, a wretched person, a wicked menuval, and that person gives you wrong advice and he soaks you a big fee that you have to pay. That’s your onesh! That’s your punishment for going to such a person.
So, in general, psychologists must be chosen with the greatest care. They must be recommended by talmidei chachamim. There was a case of a child psychologist recently, and he was discovered to be a child molester. A Jew with a beard and peyos! A child molester on a very big scale! He himself homosexualized many boys who were sent to him. A tragic story. And he had a very good name as a frum Jew and a good influence.
And therefore, the greatest care must be chosen. Do not send your child – and don’t even go yourself – to anybody unless you have complete confidence based on recommendations of talmidei chachomim muvhakim. Just as you wouldn’t buy meat if you’re a frum Jew unless you know it’s under the hashgacha of the management of a real yorei shamayim, this is even more, because food for the neshama is even more important.