Lovers Facing Each Other and the Beyond

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Working with couples, the most significant shift I get the privilege of witnessing is when husband and wife turn to one another and share intimate emotional space. She may share her loneliness and how her angry attack is really a fearful, fear laden attempt to try and find him. He may share his fear of failing and disappointing her (again) and how withdrawing is his way of protecting himself and not…

Why You're So Hard on Yourself and What You Can Do About it

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“What’s wrong with you?” “Why are you so lazy?” “Look at how much better and more successful he is than you.” If these judgments were lodged at a child, we would be up in arms in defense of his dignity and her sense of self. And yet, we routinely file these evaluations and many others….against ourselves. If you are not familiar with the inner judge that I describe, good on you, stop…

The Jewish Calendar and the Collective Nervous System

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A Trauma Treatment Perspective on the Jewish Calendar              Kabalah posits that we experience reality on 3 planes: space, time and soul. It therefore follows that internal human states and processes (soul) will be mirrored in the yearly calendar (time). The major 7 day holiday of Sukot is situated at the exact opposite end of the Jewish calendar from the other 7 day major…

The Longing of Tisha B'Av Afternoon

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As we move into the afternoon hours of this sad day our strength grows. With space to breathe, we consider the Eternal longing for intimacy and closeness and with that thought we reconnect with our own.   We begin to acknowledge our own loneliness and desire for closeness with God, our spouse, our parents, our children, our siblings, our neighbor.   We ask - "What's holding…

The Genesis of Couples Therapy

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The Torah uses very few words to say an awful lot. It's view on marriage is famously condensed into one brief verse: עַל־כֵּן֙ יַֽעֲזָב־אִ֔ישׁ אֶת־אָבִ֖יו וְאֶת־אִמּ֑וֹ וְדָבַ֣ק בְּאִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וְהָי֖וּ לְבָשָׂ֥ר אֶחָֽד׃ "Therefore, a man should leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, so that they…

The Genesis of Couples Therapy - Part 2

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Last post we were left with a question but first a little background. Genesis tells us that the goal of marriage is for a man to leave his mother and father and attach himself to his wife. I proposed that Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT), of which I am a strong proponent, finds its primary theoretical roots in this biblical source. Imago assumes that our subconscious is on a mission to find an intimate…

Cover Up and...Connect?

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“And she lifted her eyes and saw Isaac....she descended from the camel….took the scarf and covered herself.” (Genesis 24:64-65) To understand the Torah’s approach to any given topic, the place to start is by analyzing the first instance that topic appears. So, Isaac and Rebecca, which is the Torah’s first description of a meeting between husband and wife can help us understand the Torah’s…

One Matzah, One Process

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Matzah, fills you up and keeps you satisfied. Jews ate a lot of it as slaves in Egypt.  Strangely enough, God instructed the Jews to eat that very same food on the night before their long awaited redemption. One matzah, two experiences; slavery and freedom. But is it really? Can you experience victory without the pain of loss? Can you appreciate the sweetness of sunshine without the numbing of darkness.…

Of Hooves, Paws and the Play of Forms

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A ongoing question I ask myself: "Am I losing myself in everyday events and circumstances? Am I too immersed, too bound to the "forms" that never cease to occupy the space of my existence?" When situations hook me into emotional experiences that narrow my perspective and overwhelm my available resources, I know the balance is off. Looking for an appropriate lens to moderate this experience, I recently…

24 Hours of Presence.

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Jon Kabat-Zinn describing mindfulness... "...This is what stopping can do. There is nothing passive about it. And when you decide to go, it's a different kind of going because you stopped. The stopping actually makes the going more vivid, richer, more textured. It helps keep all the things we worry about and feel inadequate about in perspective. It gives us guidance." But he could have been describing…