In our life, we often face obstacles which hinder our self-growth and healthy functioning and hold us back from being our best selves and doing what we would like to. Over the past 30 years, clients have approached me with a variety of problems, including parenting difficulties, self-esteem issues, marital difficulties and traumas. Below is a sample of those challenges.
•“Our eight year old drives us crazy. The minute he comes back from schoolthe house turns upside down and there is constant crying and yelling all around. I can't take it anymore. Help!”
•“My sweet kindergartener has not been herself. She has become withdrawn and cries a lot. She’s been having accidents and she also comes to my bed every night because of nightmares. What's happening? What can I do for her?”
•“I am extremely shy in public; I don't dare say a word or express my opinion. I barely have any friends, and my self-esteem hinders me from dating. How can I help myself?”
•“I'm very disorganized, causing others to complain and make comments that put me down. I don't complete tasks and have difficulty succeeding in school. Is there any hope for change?”
•“I love my baby very much. However, since he was born regular tasks seem like a huge burden to me. I feel constantly drained and am not the same upbeat and spiritual person I used to be. I’m so despondent. Can I get my old self back?”
•“I grew up with an aggressive, demanding father and a critical mother, who were constantly fighting Now that I'm married with children, I find myself yelling at my husband and children, and I realize that I am making some of the same mistakes, though I had promised myself I never would. How can I change my behavior?”
•“My husband, my baby and I were in a car accident. Only I was injured. A couple of months have passed and I’m still traumatized. I have constant flashbacks and am over-concerned about the wellbeing of my children. How can I overcome this overwhelming anxiety?”
Issues such as these and other obstacles that people face can be overcome with professional guidance, where clients learn how to function as strong, upright and positive individuals.
Here are some general tips that could help navigate through challenging situations which will give you a taste of ideas that can be further developed in therapy:
Tip: Learn to be authoritativewith your kids; it’s your right and duty. The family framework is not a democracy—Hashem gave you the task of teaching your children to honor their mother and father. Giving children clear boundaries helps them feel secure and is essential for healthy development. Still, let us keep in mind that as parents we are not police officers, and that authority is an outcome of internal strength and should not be enacted as a power struggle.
Tip: Remember there is no such thing as a bad child, rather a child who feels bad. Children are inherently good, and as such, even when they behave inappropriately they really want to be good and please their parents. Sometimes parents will need guidance, and the child may need intervention, including taking medication to make him reach his potential.
Nobody likes the idea of taking medication, for themselves or their children.They may feel as if they’re poisoning the body, but in fact, very often it is supplying the body with something it lacks. In conjunction with seeing a therapist, when taking medication a person will often quickly feel better and be back to himself.
Tip: Learn to be assertive, ask for what you wish and stand by your opinions, without being aggressive. Remember, since it is of utmost importance to maintain shalom bayit—peace in the home, you should strive to achieve a win-win system within the family.
Tip: Learn to see the positive. Most stories in life have two sides, one positive and one negative. It is your choice how you decide to see a situation, yet often it is hard to make that choice alone. Professional help provides individuals with the tools to access their inner reserve of positive energy.
Mrs. Yehudit Kushelevsky is a psychologist who holds an M.A. in Child Psychology and Counseling, having studied under the world-renowned Swiss psychologist, Professor Jean Piaget. She has worked in Israel as a school guidance counselor for 26 years, has taught in Beer-Sheba University, run a course for school counseling studies in seminars, and maintains a private practice.
Mrs. Kushelevsky specializes in cognitive and narrative therapy and EMDR therapy, as part of the techniques she uses. She has developed her own unique and effective approach, customized for each individual. Mrs. Kushelevsky has vast experience working with parents, children, teens, and women in all stages of life. She offers services in Hebrew, English, and French. Her clinic is located in Bayit Vegan and she may be reached at: 02-6447505 (Messages can be left at this number).