• Stress, Anxiety, Social Anxiety, and Phobias
  • Depression
  • Shame, Guilt, and Low self-esteem
  • Personal growth challenges
  • Issues related to one's work environment
  • Loss and Grief
  • Healing from trauma
  • Relationships
  • Pre-Marital Counseling
  • Marriage / Couple Counseling
  • Recovering from infidelity
  • Separation, Divorce, End of Relationship Transitions
  • Parenting Issues


“How do you diagnose someone you have never met?” you ask….

I was reading an article in one of the psychotherapy magazines, over the weekend, that had me so riled up I probably spoke about it to anyone who would listen (at that moment the victims were my husband and kids). The article discussed the ethics behind bringing up politics with your patients. However, it quickly became obvious that the writer had an agenda. The main focus of the article was how damaging Presidential Nominee, Donald Trump, was for this country. The writer felt absolutely no qualms about providing a diagnosis for Mr. Trump, without ever meeting him. He felt that the APA was wrong in issuing their warning to therapist in just this regard, as he felt that he and other psychotherapist in the field were totally qualified to offer a diagnosis without ever meeting the patient. Furthermore, he urged therapists to ask their patients about the stress that they are experiencing from this election and to guide them towards making the “right” decision. Perhaps the worst part for me, was the way he persuaded therapists to join his cause. To add worth to his cause, he leveraged some of the top names in the field of therapy, who have come onboard with his agenda.

I feel that my political opinion is inconsequential in this matter, because who I am voting for this November, is of no essence to who I am as a therapist. My professional opinion is only in the area of mental health. I am not a political scientist and therefore I can offer no professional opinion in regards to the political candidates. When I make my decision to vote it is strictly a lay persons opinion. I believe this holds true for the author of that article as well. However, somehow he believes that his uneducated opinion should be of special value to his patients and the world at large. I wonder what diagnosis he would offer for this behavior if he saw it in someone else? Having said that, even in the field of therapy, where our professional opinion does matter, to diagnose someone based on third person subjective view, is unethical.

My family and I came to this country as political refugees, because we wanted to be free. In the former Soviet Union holding a political opinion was simply not an option if it contradicted the current political leader. The beauty of our country lies in the freedom of opinion and our ability to express it. However, what happens when you are told that the “BIG NAMES” in your field are in agreement that all therapists should be Anti-Trump? This article goes as far as to say that it’s our ethical obligation to be Anti-Trump, by comparing Trump to Hitler and pointing out that the therapists of that time stayed quiet.

In my humble opinion, this is nothing more than professional bullying. We must be ethical with all people and we cannot wield our professional opinion as a weapon, as that goes against DO NO HARM. A therapist is allowed to have a Donald Trump sticker on their own car and yet cannot diagnose Hillary Clinton as a sociopath and vice versa (The author claimed that its ok not to hide Hillary sticker, and with that I can agree).