If the psychologist believes that his patient’s symptoms, depression, conflicts, anger, guilt feelings, misbehavior, poor functioning, poor self image, etc., are a result of his parent’s inappropriate, unfair, inconsistent, insensitive and deletorious behavior towards him, can he-
1. make the patient aware of this;
2. assist him in acknowledging his anger and resentment toward his offending parent and verbalize them in the therapy sessions;
3. validate these feelings, and in certain situations,
4. encourage him to express his repressed and suppressed feelings toward the offending parent in a respectful and appropriate manner, since the goals of these interventions are for the purpose of enabling the patient to rid himself of his symptoms and conflicts and function better in life (“to’elet”) and not to degrade or embarrass the parent. Also, these interventions, according to the Rambam, will prevent the patient from continuing transgressing the prohibition of “Thou shall not hate your neighbor in your heart”.
S H, Ph. D.
This issue has been addressed in Sefer Asia in two articles:
טיפול פסיכולוגי: פיקוח נפש, איסור רכילות ומצוות כיבוד הורים, by Rav Yitzchak Zylberstein and Tzippora Shani (Assia vol VIII, pp. 205-211).
השלכות על טיפול פסיכולוגי של מצוות כיבוד הורים,by Rav Uriel Banner (Assia vol. XII, pp. 319-325).
You can see these links, meanwhile. IY"H, I will try to send a more detailed response in the coming weeks.
Rabbi Meir Orlian