Seeking Mr./Mrs. “Perfect”: Denying Mr./Mrs. “Right”

Jonathan Schwartz PsyD

What is Perfectionism?

Chaim is what you might call a “professional dater.” Since he was 22, he always knew “exactly” what he wanted in a girl. A delightful person and conversationalist, a Ben Torah who learns daily and a successful orthodontist to boot, he was a matchmaker’s dream initially. He would sincerely and succinctly articulate to anyone who asked, exactly what he was looking for in a mate. “A person just like me in a girl,” he would say. But inevitably every date or two would end in disaster. Somehow, Chaim… Continue reading



Dr. Schwartz is currently teaching a course to professionals entitled:
The Treatment of OCD
With Special Focus on its Implementation in Religiously Devout Communities
Presenter:  Jonathan Schwartz PsyD,
Clinical Director of the Center for Anxiety Relief

Dr. Jonathan Schwartz will be providing a semester of intensive training in the use of cognitive behavioral treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with an additional focus on working with individuals within religiously devout communities.

If you’d like to bring Dr. Schwartz to speak to your group, contact us here.

Dr. Schwartz has designed and is currently teaching a course entitled: “Rabbinic Marriage Counseling: Defining Roles Enhancing Skills” to 42 rabbis around the world. The course is designed to empower the clergy  with  the  skills  and  techniques  to better assist them in the counseling of couples throughout all stages of marriage from dating and engagement, through marital crises and divorce. The course is co-sponsored by Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future.


Dr. Schwartz will be on the radio on 97.5 FM (radio hidabroot) with Dr. Jacques Doueck on Monday June 11th. Click here to listen.


Dr. Schwartz will be speaking in the following venues in the next few weeks:

February 21st 2012:  “Treatment with orthodox Jews” at Seton Hall University noon

March 14th 2012: “Looking for Mr./Mrs. Perfect, Finding Mr./Mrs. Right: Perfectionism and Relationships” at Mount Sinai Jewish Center of Washington Heights

April 29, 2012: “Clinical Panel”: Research Conference on Judaism and Mental Health, Center for Anxiety in NYC.

Contact Dr. Schwartz directly if you’d like to bring him to speak at your event.


Social Phobia: Giving a “SAD” Story, a Happy Ending

Rabbi Jonathan Schwartz, PsyD


Chaya hates going to simachos. Even when she “has to go,” she shakes violently and cannot talk because she’s afraid that everyone is watching her. She knows it isn’t true, but she can’t shake the feeling. She’s sure she’s making a fool of herself. Her self-consciousness and anxiety rise as she silently prays for her husband to agree to go home…

Dina just told her mother that she “is stopping shidduchim.”  She told her mother that she ”just needs a break from the first date… Continue reading

Did I do it right??: Mikvah with Tikvah

Jewish Rituals and OCD

By: Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Schwartz [1]

Center for Anxiety Relief


Sarah, a 30 year old mother of 2, is preparing for her trip to the Mikvah. She removes her nailpolish, cuts her nails, combs her hair carefully to remove all potential Chatzizot (separations) that may impede the path of the Mikvah water. However, instead of feeling a sense of wholeness and fulfillment at a job well done, Sarah dreads her mikvah experience. For as soon as she completes her preparations, she begins them anew, worried that she… Continue reading

Am I too Perfect?

Jonathan Schwartz, PsyD[1]

  • Have you ever been told that you spend too much time making lists and schedules? Do you think you do?
  • Have you been so involved in the small details of what you were doing that you lost sight of the main thing you were involved in?
  • Would you describe yourself as perfectionistic? Would others?
  • Do you have difficulty making decisions because no side of a particular issue is 100% correct?
  • Have you ever failed to complete a project on time because of your attention to organizing or your high standards for that… Continue reading

Jewish rituals and OCD

By: Dr. Jonathan Schwartz
Center for Anxiety Relief

Scrupulosity is a term given birth to in the 1600s. Today, it is a well-documented form of OCD. It is typically evident in people who believe that their religious behavior is in some way displeasing or disrespectful to Hashem. This preoccupation is often accompanied by the emotional experience of anxiety, common to all forms of OCD, as well as a presence of guilt which exacerbates the pain. The Teshuva from Fear or Fear of Teshuva?? The guilt in displeasing Hashem and the feeling that one can never “do… Continue reading