Dr. Rachel Rokach, PhD.
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Psychotherapy with adults and
adolescents in Israel since 1983
Hebrew and English
Adress: 3 YISHAI ST., JERUSALEM
● The clinic is accessible to the physically handicapped.
● I work with the following medical insurance plans: Bikurufe, Elite, Harel-Shiloah, and Matan-Meitar, and with Kupat Holim Klalit.
IS COUNSELING NECESSARY? WON’T I NATURALLY OVERCOME THE CRISIS IN TIME?
You may very well. And if you feel confident that you’re moving in the right direction at an acceptable pace, don’t come for counseling. It’s normal and desirable to be distressed by a distressful event, and most people do cope on their own most of the time.
Deciding to ask for help is such an individual issue. Some people do it naturally, others feel uncomfortable. Only you can know how it feels to you. Even so, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the feedback you’re getting from those close to you. If several people are worried about you, it’s worth asking yourself whether you might benefit from counseling.
In addition, crisis counseling can help you use the crisis constructively and come out of it stronger and wiser than you went in.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY “IT’S DESIRABLE TO BE DISTRESSED BY A DISTRESSFUL EVENT”?
ISN’T DISTRESS BAD BY DEFINITION?
Distress is painful, but it is an integral part of emotional life. Imagine the person who is not distressed by bereavement or personal injury. That can only be achieved by totally disconnecting from one’s natural feelings—which is a very unhealthy way to live. Distress is a catalyst for growth and change. Short-circuiting it means impoverishing your inner world, in the long run.
HOW LONG WILL CRISIS COUNSELING TAKE?
You may have already guessed that I’ll answer “That’s an individual matter.” Sorry, but it is. You might feel after three sessions that you’ve regrouped, calmed down and are coping a lot better. You might find that important issues from the present or the past are coming up, and you want to take the time to explore them. You might find that paying attention to what’s happening with you has raised questions about how you’re living that you want to address. We can’t know in advance.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRISIS COUNSELING AND THERAPY?
It’s impossible to draw a definitive boundary between them, but there are differences. Crisis counseling takes its orientation and tools from therapy, and adjusts them to its particular goals. The goal of counseling is resolving the present perturbation and returning to one’s satisfactory, pre-crisis state, whereas the goal of therapy is personality change (leading to behavior change). Therefore counseling is characteristically time-limited, while therapy (as I define it) is open-ended. Because the goal is clearly defined and more limited, the counselor tends to be more directive than a therapist. Counseling will explore issues from the past with the express purpose of freeing up current coping energies; therapy will explore them for their own sake.
Counseling can be a prelude to therapy, when the process of self awareness leads to a desire for wider or deeper change. Or it can be a concentrated learning experience—a form of empowerment