Wednesday, May 24, 2006

WARNING: Dr. Charlotte Schwab and The Schwab Institute

Dr. Charlotte Schwab, PhD
It appears that Charlotte Schwab is contacting everyone who has an e-mail address who identifies themselves as a Jewish Survivor of Sexual Violence.

I've gone to
Schwab's web page and found that she does not have a degree in counseling or psychology. She claims to have a doctorate in social psychology which is NOT a clinical degree. Dr. Charlotte Schwab is NOT a licensed mental health professional.

If you are looking for a therapist and need help, some of the information here might be useful.

FYI: to legally state you are a counselor you need to have a degree in a clinical field and be licensed as counselor. Charlotte Schwab does NOT fit this criteria!

When I sent a request to be removed from her mailing list I received the following note:
Are you sure you want to be removed? I am a survivor and counselor and advocate for survivors pro bono all over the country. My book, Sex, Lies, and Rabbis: Breaking a Sacred Trust has helped countless victims/survivors. You may read about my work and my book on my web site:
I sent the following note:
"I do not want to be on your mailing list. you state you are a counselor. I looked at your site and you are not licensed. I don't like people who falsely represent themselves like that."
Charlotte Scwab Responded:
Counselors do not have to be licensed. I practiced psychotherapy in Manhattan for 25 years. You sound like a very judgemental, uninformed person. It is tragic that you are so closed.

You are removed (from her mailing list).

According to Schwab's web page:

Education and Training

University of Michigan, BA Education, English, and Psychology

New York University, MPA Organization and Management

New York University, Ph.D. (NOT A CLINICAL DEGREE) Interdisciplinary Degree, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: Organization and Management, Urban Affairs, Politics, Behavior, Sociology.

Dr. Charlotte Rolnick Schwab, a psychotherapist for over twenty-five years and a former professor of social psychology, has spent most of her professional life in the New York Metropolitan Area, practicing in Manhattan and Connecticut. She now lives and practices in Delray Beach, Florida.

In addition to working in private practice, Dr. Schwab was a professor of Social Psychology, Women's Studies and Social Work at Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY). She is also a noted lecturer, seminar and workshop leader who specializes in helping women and men to communicate and negotiate effectively and to create healthy, successful personal and business relationships.

Dr. Schwab maintained a successful psychotherapy practice, and was a coach, mentor, and human resources development consultant in Manhattan for over 25 years. She is a noted public speaker, workshop and seminar leader for both private and public venues, including corporations, and non-profit organizations, and she appears on television and radio.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I called Dr. Schwab a few years ago while she was working on her book. There was a call out for survivors. After a few minutes on the phone with her I decided not to share my story with her. She was very demanding, and made me feel like she thought she was the only person who could help me.

May 24, 2006 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Charlotte. She's been helpful to me.

May 24, 2006 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I felt like I had to be a therapist to her. She went on and on about how horrible her life was.

May 24, 2006 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had some very helpful counseling from Dr. Schwab. Regardless of her official "credentials" hearing the stories of other survivors of RSM was the beginning of my recovery and for that I will always be grateful.

May 24, 2006 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know charlotte (though I don't like her response to the person who wrote to her and inquired about the counselor thing--sounds kind of defensive and stuff to me), but I think that until not too long ago it was NOT illegal to call oneself a counselor in New York State--anyone really could. What one could not do was to call themselves as psychologist or social worker if they didn't have a degree in those areas. New York State law changed the past couple of years and no it is no longer legal to practice counseling without a clinical degree in mental health. So again, I don't know her, but maybe there are/were States where it was legal to offer counseling without a clinical degree. I don't know about her calling herself a psychotherapist, though--not sure where that falls with the law and all that.
Personally, I don't think I'd like someone to push themselves on me or like, send me unsolicited emails, no matter their degrees--it would feel kind of intrusive to me.

May 24, 2006 6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also all of a sudden got e-mails from her. I felt like the e-mails were all about promoting herself.

Some how I also got a bunch of e-mail's from The Awareness Center. There was a difference in the mailings. I'm appreciative that I got on Vicki's mailing list. They have been extremely informative and healing for me.

May 24, 2006 7:14 PM  
Blogger Chavah5760 said...

I have known Charlotte for several few years now and she has actively advocated for me. I have never had a negative experience with her, nor have any of the other survivors I've spoken with who have had contact with her. I felt I had to speak up for her as I have no complaints about her nor have I ever personally heard any complaints.
Chavah Hogue
Rabbinic sexual misconduct survivor/advocate

May 24, 2006 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At one time several years ago I was given Schwab's phone number. I called her and was very dissapointed.

I thought we would just chat since we were both at one time married to abusive men. All she did was tell me what a great counselor she was, and kept pushing me to pay for her time. I didn't call to find a therapist. I called because she presented her self as someone who has been there and wanted to reach out to other women in a similar place.

I also picked up her book at the library. I'm so glad I didn't purchase it. I felt it was really a book about her personal anger. I didn't find it healing at all.

May 25, 2006 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Schwab'scomment to the person who asked to be removed from her E-mail list is judgemental and closed! Someone should find out if she is still counceling people in Florida against the law. It sounds like she has very poor boundaries.

May 25, 2006 3:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol... she accuses someone who states the facts that she's not a licensed counsellor of being "closed minded"... What a scam.

May 25, 2006 7:15 AM  
Blogger Chavah5760 said...

I continue to read all the anonymous postings about Charlotte Schwab and one questions stands out in my mind - why is no one signing there names to these comments. I see something quite odd in this and I wonder why it is that no one signs their name. If someone has a legitimate complaint about someone - at least sign your name to the comment. This is suspicious to say the least and I am quite skeptical of all these negative comments that are "unsigned" for all intents and purposes. I remain a supporter of Charlotte Schwab as I have had only wonderful experiences with her. I continue to sign...
Rabbinic sexual misconduct survivor and advocate

May 25, 2006 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you had a good experience with Charlotte Schwab. You are very fortunate.

My experience was quiet different. My first experience with Charlotte was prior to her publishing her book. I sent an e-mail to learn more. We exchanged e-mails to set up a time to talk by phone.

During the first phone call I found Schwab to be domineering, demanding and offensive. When we got off the phone I decided NOT to give her an official interview for the book. She wouldn't leave me alone.

One of the major reasons why I kept hanging up on her was because she was pressing me to pay for counseling sessions with her. I had a therapist at the time that I was quite happy with. I never called Charlotte for a counseling session. I called her in response to a call to interview survivors for her book.

Around the same time that Charlotte had a call out to talk to survivors, Rachel Lev also had a call out. The difference between conversations of individuals looking to interview survivors was the difference between night and day. Rachel was very warm and caring. Not once did she suggest I enter into therapy with her. If she did, I would have immediately hung up the phone. Because of the experience with Charlotte I decided not to give an official interview with Rachel. I felt the need to keep my life experiences more private.

I choose not to sign my name for personal reasons. I am a survivor of clergy abuse. I've had enough taken away from me already. I don't need you to demand I share my identity with the world.

My offender is the one who should be known and not me.

A few years ago Charlotte had me on her mailing list. I asked several times to remove me. It never happened. I finally blocked her e-mail address. I felt like I was being hounded and stalked by her.

May 25, 2006 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chavah, In case you haven't noticed, most people posting comments on this blog identify as anonymous, for varied reasons. Would it make a differece if I said my name was Miriam? You don't give your last name, so Chava5760 doesn't mean much more than anonymous. I'm not saying I have a problem with that, I'm just pointing out that we all have our reasons we don't want to identify ourselves over here, and that's ok.

May 25, 2006 1:05 PM  
Blogger Chavah5760 said...


May 25, 2006 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you know that when you write in all caps on a blog it means you are screaming?

I'll be honest with you, I don't like to be screamed at.

It's ok to have your views and your own opinions, but please don't scream them at me and everyone else who reads this blog.

May 25, 2006 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that we all have our reasons for remaining anonymous...I for one am new to all of this and am still trying to figure out who and what to trust. Personalities are what they are; we're all adults and everyone doesn't get along. But what happens when our perps get on here and we've given them reason to discredit us? I thought we were all in this together...???

May 25, 2006 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you ever think that maybe what you is people ganging up on "dr. schwab" is really people voicing their opinions on someone they did not find helpful?

It's obvious you are one of her fans. I'm glad she was helpful to you.

She wasn't to me at all. I felt that she lacked healthy boundaries. I'm happy you didn't experience her that way. I did, and my experience is just as valid as your.

May 25, 2006 10:27 PM  
Blogger Chavah5760 said...

I see that none of the valid concerns I have brought up about what is going on here with this thread have been addressed. All is see is someone complaining that typing in all caps means a scream (?) in "blogspeak" !!! This is called a red herring in the legal field - look it up.

Charlotte is an effective advocate who does a good job. Slander and defamation of character is just plain wrong and I will continue to say it's wrong - SHOUT it if I have to.
Chavah Hogue

May 25, 2006 10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to the state of Florida where Charlotte Schwab resides, she needs to be a licensed mental health counselor to be doing the work she's doing.

The Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling licenses and regulates clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and mental health counselors who meet the statutory requirements for safe practice in Florida. Chapter 491, Florida Statutes governs the practice of CSW/MFT/MHC, including interns, in Florida. Rule Chapter 64B4, Florida Administrative Code are the rules that define the Board’s policies.

May 25, 2006 10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand your concern about "perps" reading what's on blogs. But to be honest, I'm more concerned about survivors like myself being in therapy with people who have the credentials to provide treatment.

I know just because someone is licensed doesn't mean they are any good. But at least you know they hae the right education.

What concerns me most is that someone is falsely represents themselves as being something they are not.

May 25, 2006 11:00 PM  
Anonymous Shira said...

Just because someone calls them self an advocate for surviviors, does not make them a safe person for survivors to go to.

Just because someone calls themselves sensitive to survivors needs does not make them sensitive to the needs.

Just because someone says they are a therapist who specializes in sexual abuse, does not make them any good.

Just because someone says they are a rabbi who cares about survivors, doesn't mean they should be trusted.

Should I go on?

May 25, 2006 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez people, what is this: "The war to save charlotte schwabb"? No one is saying that she is a corrupt horrible person, but that the experience with her as a PROFESSIONAL was either helpful or decidedly NOT helpful.
I'd worry about ANYONE who wasn't presenting themselves in a completely open way professionally (as in, getting all huffy about someone asking about their licenses--I have a professional license in my field and I don't see it as an attack or closed-mindedness or whatever for someone to want to know what license I have, what it allows me to practic, how many years I'd had it, where I went to school, what my experience is, etc. etc. etc.).
Ms. Scwabb can take care of herself, it sounds to me, or maybe she can answer some of these questions that have been brought up...
I wasn't going to say anything about this and was just 'watching' the blog comments, but I feel like maybe now it is important that I do say something.
I also recieved emails from Dr. Schwabb--when I contacted her to find out why she was sending them to me (I didn't know where she got my email from!) she wrote back and asked point blank: "you are a survivor of sexual abuse, aren't you?" (and added links to her site, her book, and her workshops or something like that). I was completely shocked becasue I found the question incredibly intrusive, not to mention that it freaked me out because I had no idea how she'd have found out--I definitely DO NOT broadcast the fact to keep my privacy (and not, as Chava claims here, because of chickening out--I figure I had no privacy being abused but I can choose to keep my privacy nowadays about who I tell what, and posting my name on the internet isn't high on my privacy list). Anyway, I emailed her back that I didn't know who she got my information from but that I didn't like being asked things like that from strangers and that I don't want to recieve anymore emails from her. She replied something along the same lines of the reply to the other person on this blog, only in my case she wrote that I was clearly in 'denial' and 'anxious' and that that I 'needed help to deal with what happened to me' and went on and on about her experience (and her PERSONAL experience, and plugged again for the book, stuff of which I did not ask to hear nor wanted to at that point). She also "strongly recommended" that I call her for a phone consultation so that she can 'help me' and how she helps so many people and and and...
I was quite irked out. The whole thing was eerie--she still didn't tell me where she got my information from! Also it really felt to me like she was more about advocating HERSELF rather than advocating for me... I didn't feel it was her business to push herself on people. If I weren't a health professional myself (and thus familiar with bossy, all-knowing people...) I might have been intimidated into thinking that I SHOULD call if she held the one and only key for relief. She surely made it seem that way. By the way, I did have a therapist at the time, and when I shared the emails in session, my therapist voiced serious concern about Dr. Shwabb's approach and boundaries (or lackthereof?).

I'm very happy for those of you who had positive experiences with her--for me, it was creepy.
By the way, occasionally I still get emails from her--mass mailings for workshops or appearances or something. I don't contact her to be taken off her mailing list because I don't want another exchange with her--I just send the emails to spam or delete them.
Advocates are important, but like someone said, not everyone who claims to be one, is someone to trust.
Ok, signing off. My first name should suffice--Gabbie (a health professional).

May 26, 2006 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why Dr. Schwab is being villified in this manner. She went through a horrendous ideal with her abuser-husband and had the strength and courage to share her story with people in a very public way. Something not all of us are able to do. Her sharing of her experiences is helpful to other abuse survivors. Perhaps those who are so critical of her need to look within and find compassion within. I see no purpose in villifying and witch hunting someone who is trying to take their negative experiences and turn them around to help others. I see Dr. Schwab as an example of strength and courage and may HaShem give her strength and courage to withstand the new form of abuse she is now enduring in the form of this slander and villification. Sabra,

May 26, 2006 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Gary Schoener said...

Actually, in NY State where Dr. Schwab previously practiced, and in Florida where she now resides and practices, one can call onesself a counselor and do counseling without a license. This is generally true throughout the world. It is also true for the term "therapist." She has represented herself to me as an advocate and counselor and I have had positive feedback about her work.

May 26, 2006 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are not vilifying her, we are just exercising our right of free speech to share our opinions on contact we have had with her that made us uncomfortable- to give a heads up to other survivors. We have had similar discussions about Luke Ford, ie, he does lots of good, but is he really a safe person?

Her experiences with her ex-husband have nothing to do with the fact that her current actions are making some surviors uncomfortable.

May 26, 2006 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Schwab has never tried to "sell" me anything and has freely given her time on the phone and on e-mail. I found her compassionate and caring. She was the first person in my life (after several therapists) who suggested I research Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which led me to a new level of understanding I had previously lacked.

May I also state that many people with supposedly "legitimate" titles, such as RABBI....are the reason we are here in the first place! I don't see the point in going after Dr. is this helping us?

May 26, 2006 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't understand why Dr. Schwab is being vilified in this manner."

First of all I don't think we are "vilifying." Schwab at all. We are stating that she does not have the credentials to call herself a psychotherapist, or to consider herself the work she does as "counseling."

Charlotte would be better off calling herself a "life coach," anyone can be one of those. Even Rabbi Michael Ozair.

"She went through a horrendous ideal with her abuser-husband and had the strength and courage to share her story with people in a very public way."

Many of us went through horrendous ordeals and have had the courage to share our stories with the public. The majority of survivors of abusive spouses do not call ourselves "psychotherapists or counselors."

I've also helped other survivors. So I guess I should call myself an advocate too. I have a bachelors degree in history. I've also had several years of therapy. I think both of those things together should qualify me to call myself a counselor too.

"Perhaps those who are so critical of her need to look within and find compassion within."

I agree with what other people have posted here. I have a lot of compassion for a lot of things. I do not have compassion for people who falsely represent themselves as a therapist. I also have no compassion who falsely represent themselves as a brain surgeon.

"I see no purpose in vilifying and witch hunting someone who is trying to take their negative experiences and turn them around to help others."

Someone posted earlier that they felt the need to be Charlotte's therapist or advocate. It sounds like you are also falling into that role too. I think it's way past time for her to be accountable for her inappropriate behavior towards those of us who found her lacking healthy boundaries.

"I see Dr. Schwab as an example of strength and courage and may HaShem give her strength and courage"

I'm glad you found Charlotte Schwab helpful and healing. That was not my experience.

I keep thinking the more I read this blog that maybe I should send her the bills I received from my therapist for the sessions I spent discussing my interactions with Scwab. It took me several sessions of debriefing after a one hour conversation I had with her. It cost me at least $1,000.00 out of my pocket.

May 26, 2006 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Schwab is a FRAUD.
This was stated at the beginning
of this blog.
She has a Ph.D. in Urban Planning.
She has some kind of personality
disorder. Instead of seeking an
appropriate job with a city
government, she has pursued a
false "career" as a psycho-therapist for some 35 years. This
started with what was called the
Feminist Center for Human Growth
and Development in New York City.
How she has never been locked up
for this Fraud is amazing. What
she has done is the psychological
equivalent of the Madoff Financial
People post these things without
giving their names because they are
afraid of her.

January 03, 2012 1:31 PM  

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