Standing in Two Worlds with Doctor Sam Juni -Episode 15 -Mental Health Fallout of Coping (and Mis-Coping) with Corona Anxiety


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Recent events of social and community upheaval in the USA and Israel are examined through the general lens of Ego Psychology. Misguided coping strategies with the anxiety spawned by the Corona Pandemic are seen as contributing to the unraveling of the social fabric globally, resulting in general discord, eruptions of violence, and vocal intergroup hatred.

Rabbi Kivelevitz suggests that the failure of these strategies has been the primary fuel for the destruction associated with BLM protests, election-related conspiracies, the erosion of civility in politics, and group-engendered dangerous health practices.

Prof. Juni spells out adaptive and disruptive psychological Defense Mechanism options which we all use to deal with in coping with personal, family, and prolonged crisis situations, and outlines specific stances which are most likely to protect individuals and families from decompensation.

He highlights extant American conspiracy theories, anti-mask movements, outrageous violence/looting protests, grouping these phenomena with extremist Israeli agitation of religious wars among certain sects, rock throwers, police baiting, and “Shabbes” or “Shiksa” yellers – pointing to such extremist behaviors as telltale signs of reactive defensive processes against intolerable threats of anxiety.

Prodded by Rabbi Kivelevitz to articulate a recipe for coping, Prof. Juni outlines adaptive strategies with Corona anxiety, stressing rational assessments of contagion chance based on accurate data and urging those with severe coping difficulties to request from their physicians prescription anti-anxiety medication to be taken PRN (as needed).

Doctor Samuel Juni is one of the foremost research psychologists in the world today.

He has published groundbreaking original research in seventy different peer reviewed journals, and is cited continuously with respect by colleagues and experts in the field who have built on his theories and observations.

Samuel Juni studied in Yeshivas Chaim Berlin under Rav Yitzchack Hutner, and in Yeshiva University as a Talmid of Rav Joseph Dov Soloveitchick.

Professor Juni is a prominent member of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists, and has regularly presented addresses to captivated audiences.

Associated with NYU since 1979, Juni has served as Director of MA and PhD programs, all the while heading teams engaged in important research.

Professor Juni's scholarship on aberrant behavior across the cultural, ethnic, and religious spectrum is founded on psychometric methodology and based on a psycho-dynamic psychopathology perspective.

He is arguably the preeminent expert in Differential Diagnostics, with each of his myriad studies

entailing parallel efforts in theory construction and empirical data collection from normative and clinical populations.

Professor Juni created and directed NYU's Graduate Program in Tel Aviv titled Cross-Cultural Group Dynamics in Stressful Environments.

Based in Yerushalayim, he collaborates with Israeli academic and mental health specialists in the study of dissonant factors and tensions in the Arab-Israeli conflict and those within the Orthodox Jewish community, while exploring personality challenges of second-generation Holocaust survivors.

Below is a partial list of the journals

to which Professor Juni has contributed over 120 articles.

Many are available on line

Journal of Forensic Psychology

Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma.

International Review of Victimology

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

International Forum of Psychoanalysis

Journal of Personality Assessment

Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Journal of Psychoanalytic Anthropology


Psychology and Human Development

Journal of Sex Research

Journal of Psychology and Judaism

Contemporary Family Therapy

American Journal on Addictions

Journal of Criminal Psychology

Mental Health, Religion & Culture

As Rosh Beis Medrash, Rabbi Avraham Kivelevitz serves as Rav and Posek for the morning minyan at IDT.

Hundreds of listeners around the globe look forward to his weekly Shiur in Tshuvos and Poskim.

Rav Kivelevitz is a Maggid Shiur for Dirshu International in Talmud and Halacha as well as a Dayan with the Beth Din of America.

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