Between the stress of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, the second (or third?) wave of the coronavirus outbreak, work, and navigating relationships right now, it makes sense that many of us feel overwhelmed. Trying to find a way to cope with the state of the world right now can also be the cherry on the cake of chaos.
One way that people cope with major life changes is through therapy. But, therapy is not always the most accessible to people who need it. This can be for many reasons, like if it’s too expensive, you’re from a culture where therapy is stigmatized, or you need a therapist who specializes in working with specific groups or issues.
Want to know what’s free? Instagram. While it’s no replacement for therapy itself, if you have ever considered or are in therapy, you may find that following therapists on social media can help you navigate some thoughts you are working through or just give you some grounded advice.
I know it can also be helpful to find a therapist who comes from a similar background as you, so here are 10 Jewish therapists that I recommend you follow on Instagram. They might not help you work through all your problems just while browing the app, but they could help you reflect on yourself a little better and gain more confidence. These days, many of us – including me! – need that.
1. Ashley M. Seruya, MSW
Ashley M. Seruya is a psychotherapist who specializes in trauma-informed care and eating disorder recovery.
Seruya, who is also an illustrator, posts about navigating eating disorder recovery, weight stigma, and complex trauma.
Seruya wrote a post in August where she asked her followers to “remember not only the pain of the Jewish people, but the joy.” She shared in the post that she was nervous about adding “Jewish identity” to her Instagram bio because it was a vulnerable decision for her.
2. Natalie Peikoff, MS
Natalie Peikoff is a clinical associate in Denver, Colorado who specializes in body image, disordered eating, anxiety, and relationship issues. Her feed is full of inspiring messages that focus on self-empowerment and body positivity.
Peikoff also loves to bake; here she is with some challah.
3. Shira Rose
Shira Rose is an eating disorder therapist and a body-positive style blogger based in NYC. On her website, Rose shared that she “love[s] the advocacy aspect of social work and ensuring that those that don’t have a strong voice in our society are heard and respected.”
In a tweet from this past summer, Rose, who grew up ultra-Orthodox, said as a teen, she prayed to lose weight every day, and the lack of support from her therapist hurt her.
I say that there was NOTHING I wanted more in the world than to lose weight. I grew up ultra orthodox & every day during prayer, I’d cry to GD to please please make me lose weight so that I could be loved.
The gaslighting +the inability for my therapist to hear me hurt so much
— Shira Rose (@theshirarose) July 31, 2020
4. Anna Sherman
Up north in Toronto, Anna Sherman is a psychotherapist who works with couples and families. Many of Sherman’s posts tackle relationship issues, both romantic and platonic.
Sherman also discussed jealousy in a recent post, which I find very interesting.
On Yom Kippur, Sherman wrote in a post “that just because we choose to grant someone forgiveness, does not mean we must allow them back into our lives.” Boundaries are good!
5. Rachel Tuchman LMHC
Rachel Tuchman is a licensed mental health counselor who uses her Instagram to increase access to mental health information and smash stigmas. Her posts are both informative and encouraging, like this one on self-care.
She also posted this important reminder about mocking those with illness, because if you’re struggling with something, you deserve support, not ridicule.
6. Aliza Shapiro, LCSW
Aliza Shapiro is a therapist based in NYC who writes encouraging posts that might help you work through that project you have been putting off.
Here is some advice from Shapiro on how to complete a task by redefining your goal and taking baby steps:
7. Aliza Tropper, LMHC
Aliza Tropper is a psychotherapist who posts about and specializes in helping others navigate life and relationships with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression.
If you lost someone during the coronavirus outbreak, this post might be of help to you as you work through your very valid grief:
8. Basya Pessin – Psychotherapist
If you are looking to accept the unfair realities that you have dealt with, Basya Pessin, a psychotherapist based in New York state, might be a good follow for you. Pessin’s posts validate the struggles that many of us face.
While following these therapists on Instagram might be helpful, Pessin has a fair point here on how therapy needs to involve a relationship, so Instagram can’t get you all the way there.
9. Yonina Kaufman, LCSW Ms Ed
Yonina Kaufman is a grief and trauma specialist, as well as a parenting coach. Kaufman’s Instagram posts are simple and remind us that our emotions and experiences are important.
Sometimes it might seem impossible to fix ourselves or situations which affect us, and this post is a reminder that that is normal.
10. Lily Thrope, LCSW
Lily Thrope is a therapist and yoga teacher based in New York City. Many of Thrope’s posts tackle self-love and the relationships that we have with ourselves.
Last January (somehow 10 months ago), Thrope wrote in a post that she is proudly Jewish and “religion is something that I have found healing and I know many others do too.”
This post from Thrope is a good reminder that we should be proud of how hard we work.
Header image design by Emily Burack. Header illustration via Getty Images / dickcraft