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Religious & Spiritual Guidance
Can anyone recommend a therapist/conselor who works with intermarried couples? My spouse and I are not actually intermarried -- we're both Jewish -- but we observe at very different levels, and that directly affects our lifestyle and the way we raise children. We'd like to work with someone who can respect our individual religious values and help us manage those differences in day-to-day life. Thank you for any recommendations or advice you can offer.
I'm what I laughingly call an ''adult survivor'' of a Pentecostal upbringing. But, honestly, I need a counselor who is familiar with the Assemblies of God (or similar charismatic evangelical Protestant) subculture to figure out ways back to a more moderate religious or spiritual life. My husband is a non-practicing Jew, and we would both like to agree on ways to incorporate religion or spirituality into weekly life with our toddler. The counselor could be anyone from clergy to psycotherapist. Any suggestions? Sarah in Oakland
We are looking for a marriage counselor who specializes in interfaith marriages. Also, are there support groups out there or good books' We need help coping with the strains of having two different faiths in our marriage. We'd greatly appreciate any leads.
The best book out there is:
Mixed Matches: How to Create Successful Interracial, Interethnic, and Interfaith Relationships. Joel Crohn, PhD Excellent book with exercises couples can do to explore their own cultural and familial styles and assumptions.
As for support etc. in the east bay:
Jewish Family and Children's Services - offices in Berkeley and Walnut Creek in Berkeley ask for Cathy Diamond, 510-7475 x225 and in Walnut Creek ask for Carla Haimowitz, 925-927-2000. If you are having marital issues you probably want to start with a therapist as they can help with communication style and such.
Joel Crohn, author of the above book is in private practice here in the east bay with an office in Kensington. He is truly expert at interfaith therapy. He can be reached at 510-524-1707.
Building Jewish Bridges: Outreach to Interfaith Couples -- out of the Jewish Federation (Oakland office, but for both Alameda and Contra Costa counties) offers workshops and couples groups. The groups are not therapy, rather they are about clarifying values and deciding how to handle holidays, in-laws and kids. (510) 839-2900 x347
Individual synagogues have programs aimed at integrating and supporting interfaith couples as well as teaching about Jewish tradition. But I'm guessing that is not what you're looking for.
Finally, what about going to clergy that represent each of your faiths? They will be invested in helping you, supporting your marriage and easing the pain you are suffering.
Good luck, just know that you are not alone. Dckepler
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