Having a therapist or tutor of the opposite gender

Summary on conversation with the opposite gender

It is permitted to talk with the opposite gender regarding necessary subjects. It is forbidden to talk excessively, regarding unnecessary matters. It is Biblically forbidden to flirt with the opposite gender due to a negative command, and doing so is included in Yaharog Veal Yavor.  

 

Q&A

May a man be a woman’s therapist?

Being that therapy involves opening up one’s inner emotions, thoughts and feelings, it is highly inappropriate for a man to give therapy to a woman, even if the laws of Yichud were to be followed, and the conversation is purely work related. This is certainly included in the words of the Michaber that one is required to distance himself very very much from women, and certainly applies regarding therapy in which “Rabim Challalim Hipilu” Practically, each case is to be individually studied to determine whether the therapy required can lead to emotional dependence or closeness, and whether it is being done in a group or with an individual, and whether a female therapist of similar quality is available. One is to contact a Rav and make the necessary precautions when giving such therapy. This applies for both the therapist and patient.

May a male/female privately tutor a person of the opposite gender?

Although privately tutoring the opposite gender is work related conversation and is not a forbidden form of interaction, so long as the laws of Yichud are guarded, nevertheless it is not appropriate, and is certainly included in the words of the Michaber that one is required to distance himself very very much from women. Tutors should therefore place effort to only teach students of the same gender. Likewise, students in need of tutoring are to choose tutors of the same gender.

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