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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘CPCTEAM’

In-Laws

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

A few years ago I was invited to be a guest on a talk show. An interesting question came up from a young man who wanted some information on the topic of in-laws. He wanted to know if I had ever known of a couple divorcing because of their in-laws. My response was that although divorced people may blame the in-laws for the marriage failure, in most cases this does not happen directly, but indirectly- YES!

Let me explain; it’s important to understand that every newlywed couple wants the same thing in their marriage. That is to have a relationship with their in-laws that consists of L.A. – something we call at T.E.A.M. (L)ove and (A)cceptance. The young couple needs to feel loved and accepted by their new set of parents, otherwise this often becomes a source of tension and strain on the couple’s marriage.

There are several reasons for the difficulties. Such as: 1. the wife’s mother may be very sensitive to the way in which her daughter is treated, because the daughter symbolizes herself, to some degree. 2. The son-in-law’s occupation or lack of it as compared to the father’s. 3. The difference in the husband or wife’s working style may tend to freeze social relationships between the households. It’s interesting to note that when in-laws feel grudgingly that they are forced to accept the new couple, it often has an effect on the young couple’s relationship.

When working with couples, I have a 1 to 10 Assessment Scale of the L.A. (level of the in-law relationship), 1 being lowest and 10 being the highest. If this level is too high I find that couples will blame and say hurtful things to each other and not even know why.

In-laws are often not aware of the transference that takes place if they show any signs of the 4 R’s Resistance, Resentment, Rejection and finally Repression. Repression is the most dangerous stage of them all, when it seems to husband or wife that the in-laws no longer love them. We call this stage numbing when the couple and their families no longer feel anything towards each other.

Over the years in analyzing the cause and effect of in-law friction, I have come to the realization that the individual’s reaction to his/ her parents indirectly affects the way spouses communicate with each other. The process takes place in unconscious or semiconscious motive.

What takes place is that the self-directed hostility directed toward an in-law may shift toward a spouse who is a safer target or less dangerous adversary.

In plain English what this means is that the relation to one’s in-laws may rest on frustration or substitute reaction toward a new stimulus.

It is of the greatest importance for in-laws to have an understanding that Happy in-laws = happy relationships, then happy relationships = much joy and Shalom Bayit in the young couple’s marriage.

T.E.A.M. is endorsed by many prominent Rabbanim. If there are any topics you would like me to discuss in my articles, or have any questions, please feel free to contact me at CPCMoishe@aol.com or at 718-435-7388. You can also log on to CPCTEAM.org to download past articles and for more information about the T.E.A.M. approach.

Moishe Herskowitz MS., LCSW, developed the T.E.A.M. (Torah Education and Awareness for a better Marriage) approach based on 20 successful years of counseling couples – helping them to communicate effectively and fully appreciate each other. As a licensed clinical social worker and renowned family therapist, he developed this breakthrough seminar to guide new couples through easy-to-accomplish steps towards a happy, healthy marriage. Moishe Herskowitz holds a certificate from the Brooklyn Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis in couples and marriage therapy. He is also a graduate professor in Touro College’s Mental Health Program.

Money Values

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

In marriage, money tends to mean different things to different people. Unfortunately, for some, money repre­sents more than economic security. It becomes a symbol for CPR — Control, Power and (self) Respect. In so many of the cases I work with, money is related to unresolved childhood issues — childhood needs and yearnings that were not met. In many cases, children who had a problem­atic childhood will enter into an adult relationship with a powerful need for control. This is often played out through money. Issues involving money will often mask deeper core issues for the fulfillment of childhood yearnings.

As adults, some people feel they must handle the fi­nances in order to preserve their sense of importance and dominance in the family. In my own research with couples, I have found that if a man or woman’s position in the fami­ly can be maintained only by power, he or she wields control of the money. As one man said in my office, “As long as I hold the purse strings, I have the last word!” What is sad is that after the divorce, his family wanted nothing to do with him or his money. The fact that he felt he was controlling the money for their own good was of little significance.

How does this process begin? Many psychologists feel that the early stages of childhood, ages birth to six, are the most crucial years in developing positive self-es­teem. During these stages, the child needs to feel secure and connected to his caregivers. The important parental task is to notice and acknowledge the child’s needs. The child wants to be visible and be recognized as an individual. This visibility is very much needed so that he/she can feel control of his/her life.

When my children were younger, they would often play dress up. They would put on our clothes and make believe they were mommy and daddy. Once, they got hold of some of my tools and played Bob and Prim, two mainte­nance workers in the building we lived in. Back then, when we had a TV, they would dress up as Batman or Power Rangers, and my wife and I would say “Wow! You are Power Rangers!” It was fun and they felt good to be in control as they got lost in their make believe world. They did this because they wanted to be somebody. They wanted to feel special and have recognition.

Many parents only take the opportunity occasionally, for example on Purim, to acknowledge how cute and spe­cial their kids are. It is not that they are neglectful par­ents. It is just that they are too tired, too stressed, too angry, too worried about what school to send their kids to, etc. Parents today are running on overdrive to make sure that they are always available! Instead of acknowledging the children for who they are, they criticize and judge them for who they are not! In time the child will start a process called negative self-esteem. The child does not feel good about himself or in control of his life. Without positive self-esteem, the child’s emotional growth is affected.

Nothing they do will ever be enough for them.

As they move into adulthood, they will do whatever is necessary in a relationship to obtain CPR — Control, Power and self-Respect, in hopes that it will make them feel better.

“Money” and “Self-esteem” are two of 21 topics that I discuss with the brides and grooms in my Pre-Marital En­hancement program, using the T.E.A.M. approach (To­rah Education and Awareness for a better Marriage).

If there are any topics you would like me to discuss in my articles, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at CPCMoishe@aol.com or at 718-435­-7388. You can also log on to CPCTEAM.org to download past articles and for more information about the T.E.A.M. approach.

Moishe Herskowitz MS., LCSW, developed the T.E.A.M. (Torah Education & Awareness For A Better Marriage) approach based on 20 successful years of coun­seling couples – helping them to communicate effectively and fully appreciate each other. As a licensed and highly certi­fied social worker and renowned family therapist, he devel­oped this breakthrough seminar to guide new couples through easy-to-accomplish steps towards a happy, healthy marriage. Moishe Herskowitz holds a certificate from the Brooklyn Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis in couples and marriage therapy. He is an active member of the New York Counseling Association for marriage and family counseling. Mr. Herskowitz can be reached at 718­-435-7388.

Paper Cuts

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

Q: Dear Moishe : Why do some couples need marital counseling and others do not ?

A: I have been asked this question many times in many e-mails. The answer has a Part A and Part B sequence, so let me begin with an introduction taken from the T.E.A.M. (Torah Education and Awareness for a better Marriage) curriculum.

As well-intentioned and loving as our parents are, the fact remains that nobody is perfect. Just as we all make mistakes, so do they. But for some children, these mistakes are like paper cuts. At first you don’t feel them, but later you feel the pain.

In childhood, the usual treatment for a wound is a bandage. The deeper the wound, the more bandages you put on. For some couples, these childhood wounds were never healed, and they remain hidden under lots and lots of bandages.

In marriage Hashem provides each and every one of us with a partner to remove those bandages, so that that these paper cuts can finally heal. For each of us, there exists a particular recipe for healing, and the ingredients can only be the couple themselves. Now, here is where it gets interesting! When you meet someone and start to fall in love, those bandages that you kept on for so long start to fall off, and those wounds that were so well hidden will start to open up. The pain that was so long forgotten will start to surface. Even though this is a good thing, because you found someone to love and share your feelings with, that person may not perceive it this way. Now that these wounds have been exposed, they are no longer safe and protected behind all those bandages. Those bandages of protection that served a purpose in childhood are now shutting out your partner in adulthood. In most cases your partner may not be ready to give them up, and in fact may fight to put them back on!

At this point, we have two choices: Part A – Couples Committed in a Relationship, and Part B – Couples in Need of Commitment in a Relationship.

A. Trust your partner enough to allow him/her to get closer to you. By doing so, you can heal each other and provide the specific needs that can only be met by the partner Hashem has chosen for you. You make a commitment in this marriage to give unconditional love.

B. Distance yourself so that those bandages will never come off. Some of the best methods used are: angry outbursts, lack of trust, resentment, being critical, fighting, yelling, being chronically busy on the computer, being a workaholic, drinking, eating, watching TV, shutting down and giving the silent treatment or staying out late.

If a couple becomes aware that new love heals old pain and is willing to make the T.E.A.M. Commitment, that couple can make a relationship work!

* * * * *

T.E.A.M. is endorsed by many prominent Rabbanim including: Rav Pam zt”l, Rav Belsky, Rav Dovid Goldwasser, Rav Herbst, Rav Lehrfield,Rabbi Pikus and Rav Ralbag. If there are any topics you would like me to discuss in my articles or have any questions, please feel free to contact me at CPCMoishe@aol.com or at 718-435-7388. You can also log on to CPCTEAM.org and download past articles and more information about the T.E.A.M. approach.

Moishe Herskowitz MS., LCSW, developed the T.E.A.M. (Torah Education & Awareness for a better Marriage) approach based on 20 successful years of counseling couples – helping them to communicate effectively and fully appreciate each other. As a licensed clinical social worker and renowned family therapist, he developed this breakthrough seminar to guide new couples through easy-to-accomplish steps towards a happy, healthy marriage. Moishe Herskowitz holds a certificate from the Brooklyn Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis in couples and marriage therapy. He is an active member of the New York Counseling Association for marriage and family counseling.

The Power Of Love (Part II)

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Going Home

Marriage, by contrast, is an institution of close, complementary cooperation. Its success or failure depends upon the the couples, ability to work together as a TEAM. However, in order to accomplish this, we first have to understand that in marriage we carry our own emotional baggage along with us — some good and some, not so good. The not-so-good seems to stand out a lot more.

In fact, our unconscious minds guide us to relationships that replicate childhood experiences, but most couples are unaware of this. Couples often tell me that the closer they get, the more they argue. Keep in mind, this is not a bad thing; this is emotional healing trying to take place. Hashem is giving you a second chance to heal unresolved issues and childhood pain. With a little “detective” work, perhaps if we can find the place where the person’s childhood pain came from, then perhaps we can heal it.

Let me explain how this process begins. Your childhood experiences of “home” — regardless of whether those experiences were positive or negative — will not surface until you get into a relationship. This is because, as a child, you have a mental association that love = home. Unconsciously, your mind will equate what associations you have with home, with what love is “supposed to feel like.”

For example if Home = fear and danger, Love = fear and danger; Home = tension and criticism, Love = tension and criticism; Home = abandonment and anger, Love = abandonment and anger.

If you remember your high school math, if A = B and B = C then A=C.

It is the same thing in relationships, as the two of you start to get closer with each other. You will begin to love each other, and therefore you may start to fight with each other. Childhood pain and old baggage from home will begin to surface, seeking a partner to heal them, with new love.

Many couples break up at this stage and tell everyone they were not compatible. They are just not aware of what is happening to them. They think if they fight harder, the pain will go away. They are not aware of just how close they were to finding emotional healing and safety. Love also provides the emotional safety so that the walls you put up to protect yourself from being hurt start to come down, and pain you placed in your baggage will start to open up. This is because your heart wants to love someone and have someone to share this pain with, and thus complete childhood unfinished business.

In order to understand this fully I will use a metaphor of a fictitious, young newlywed couple — Yossi and Brindy. They are on their honeymoon, ready to check into a state-of-the-art, Love Fitness Resort. The first-floor honeymoon suite offers new love and a Jacuzzi in every room. Each floor has something special to offer. However, on the second and third floors they will find a love that will make them feel safer than they have ever felt before. The manager of the resort greets them as they enter: “Mazel Tov! Welcome Home.” They both look at each other, and wonder, “Is he nuts? Welcome home? We just rented an apartment in Flatbush!”

When all is said and done, the manager escorts the young couple to their room. “I hope you have a pleasant stay and, oh, by the way, don’t go up to the second or third floor, and take care!”

Once again they look at each other, “What’s on the second and third floor? I’m going up to the second floor”, Brindy says. Our instructions were not to go,” Yossi argues. “Then he shouldn’t have told us not to go. Besides, now that were married we can do stuff like this.” As the couple ascends to the second floor, something begins to happen. Brindy says, “Check out the wall paper, it’s so warm and inviting.” Yossi then says, “You’re right! There is something about this love floor that makes me feel safe and secure.” Once again, love provides the emotional safety, so that the wall you put up to protect your heart from pain can now feel safe to come out. What Yossi and Brindy may not be aware of, is that new love will bring to the surface old pain. At this stage Yossi and Brindy may become critical of each other and even get angry. The flashbacks of their pasts are necessary if emotional healing is to take place. Brindy then says, “This is so cool, let’s go up to the third floor.”

Self Awareness. ‘Who Am I?’ (Part IV)

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

As we come to the end of our series of articles titled “who am I”, I would like to devote this last set of preferences, Judging Vs Perceiving, to singles. If you recall, about a year ago I wrote an article titled Commitment Phobic (www.cpcteam.org). It was based on the fact that people are not the same. We have different energy levels, make decisions based on different criteria, depending on what makes us most comfortable. The focus was on Perceiving types a personality that likes to keeps their options open as long as possible.

I would like to focus our attention on the Judging type. This is a preference that often gives us the most tension. Judging types like things to be settled; finished and out of the way; the complete opposite of the Perceiving types. They want the tension off their minds. Everyone uses both Judging and Perceiving at least some of the time, but the one that’s used most automatically and naturally is the one preferred.

Judging people prefer to live in a planned, orderly way. They make decisions, come to closure, and move on. Their lifestyle is structured and organized, and they like to have things settled. Sticking to a plan and schedule is very important to them, and they enjoy their ability to get things done.

Characteristics of most judging people:

Scheduled Organized Systematic Methodical (all or nothing) Plan Like closure-to have things decided

Most people are balanced between Judging and Perceiving, somewhat like a ratio of 50/50 or 60/40, that we use naturally. But when the Judging type is not balanced and the scale is tipped too much to one side, the ratio will now reflect a balance of 90% Judging to 10% Perceiving. What this means in plain English is that meeting new people will not be easy for this Judging Single – a term often used for some one who is not flexible and may come to closure much to quickly. They are split in their decisions in an “all or nothing” out look on who they want for a possible mate.

When I was single my friends and I would go up to the country for Shabbos to meet other singles. Friday night at the Hotel made us nervous, because after the meal we were expected to just start talking to every body we wanted to meet. Which by the way was ok, except for the fact that most of the girls were in pairs of two which, for my friends and I was a problem. How could we talk to one girl and not the other? How would she feel, and where would she go? So we decided as a group, that we would wait until the next day when things would calm down. Our plan was that during the Kiddush we would have more of an opportunity to meet the other singles. But the next day to our surprise, the other singles were gone and no where to be found. What had happened was that many of the girls that were there Friday night decided that there was no one at the hotel to meet. With that thought in mind they stayed in their rooms the entire day, and went home Sunday morning after breakfast. These Judging singles left without a clue as to how many people wanted to meet them. In working with singles and married couples, an awareness of type preferences creates the greatest challenge for rebalancing and satisfying relationships. I feel that any single or married couple that is willing to put forth the effort, will be Zocheh to build a Bayis Ne’emon B’yisrael.

Questions and comments are welcomed. Please forward them to CPCMOISHE@aol.com, or call 718-435-7388. Please visit us on the web at www.CPCTEAM.ORG.

Moishe Herskowitz MS., LCSW, developed the T.E.A.M. (Torah Education & Awareness for a better Marriage) approach based on 20 successful years of counseling couples – helping them to communicate effectively and fully appreciate each other. As a licensed and highly certified social worker and renowned family therapist, he developed this breakthrough seminar to guide new couples through easy-to-accomplish steps towards a happy, healthy marriage. Moishe Herskowitz holds a certificate from the Brooklyn Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis in couples and marriage therapy. He is an active member of the New York Counseling Association for marriage and family counseling.   Mr. Herskowitz can be reached at 718-435-7388.

Self Awareness. ‘Who Am I?’ (Part III)

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

The Jewish community has never been as challenged as it is today. I believe that many of our problems could have been avoided if we took a more proactive approach. I recently met with a doctor who had just married off his first daughter. He wanted to know what exactly pre-Marital enrichment is. I responded by explaining the concept of self awareness, that it’s not possible to know someone else if you don’t know who you are!

In pre-marital enrichment I discuss a topic I refer to as “Who Am I?” with couples before and during their first year of marriage. This way they can learn the communication skills needed to enhance understanding, appreciation and respect. Once this information has become available to the couple, they now have the awareness to give what the other partner needs. He then responded that his daughter and her husband communicate very nicely, ‘thank- you very much’. As I was leaving his office I could not help but laugh. He was not listening to a word I was saying, yet he was talking about communication skills. Communication between a husband and a wife is not the same as with a friend or even family. The relationship comes with enormous responsibility to attain self perfection and self fulfillment.

Let us now begin with the third set of preferences called Thinking Vs. Feeling. Some people prefer to think about things and others prefer to feel about them. If you are making a decision, which is more important-your head (Thinking Type) or your heart (Feeling Type)? Every one uses both thinking and feeling at least some of the time, but the one that is used most automatically and naturally is the one preferred.

Thinking Types:

People who prefer to use Thinking in decision making tend to look at the logical consequences f a choice or action. They mentally remove themselves from a situation to examine it objectively and analyze cause and effect. Their goal is an objective standard of truth, even if that occasionally may hurt someone’s feelings. Their strengths include figuring out what’s wrong, so that they can apply their problem-solving abilities.

Thinking Types are:

Analytical Logical problem-solvers Use cause-and-effect reasoning Tough -minded (can be blunt) some times they may come across as insensitive Strive for impersonal, objective truth Reasonable-Fair

Feeling Types:

People who prefer to use Feeling in decision making tend to consider what is important to them and to other people. They mentally place themselves in a situation and identify with the people involved so that they can make decisions based on person-centered values. Their goal is harmony, and their strengths include empathy, understanding and supporting others. They are careful not to hurt others. If they themselves get hurt they will often remember these feelings for a very long time;

Feeling Types are:

1  – Sympathetic and empathic (can put themselves in the other person shoes) 2  – Assess impact on people, and how others are affected by their decisions

3  – Guided by personal values

4  – Tender-hearted

5  – Strive for harmony (want to be liked)

6  – Compassionate

7  – Accepting

A good example of Thinking and Feeling people is best described in the decision making process of children in crisis or other wise known as “Youth at Risk”.

Thinking Administration: Case A

Problem: The child does not fit into the yeshiva system.

Solution: We have a responsibility to the school; it’s not fair to the other children. The child should be removed from the school. It’s not logical to hire a separate Rebbe/teacher and start a new class for these children based on the possibility that things may work out. It’s war out there and in war you have to make sacrifices. Besides, we have no money. They need to be out of the mainstream and in to an alternative school. It stands to reason that they must leave so we can be the best that we can be.

Feeling Administration: Case A

Problem: The child does not fit into the yeshiva system.

Solution: Hire a Rebbe/teacher and start a new class for these children. We have a responsibility to the child, as much as we have to the school. Sorry, but every nashoma is special. If the child is removed from a mainstream school who will take them? As a result they will feel rejected and hurt and will most likely be candidates to meet the wrong people. What about the parents- how must they feel about what is happening to their son/daughter not being in school? If they are put in to alternative school who will be their roll models? No peers to even look up to! How is it that in the past we had money to fund a Rebbe/teacher and create such a class? These children should stay in the mainstream, so that they can be the best they can be.

Self Awareness. ‘Who Am I?’ (Part I)

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

Almost every profession has what we call the tools of the trade, and with marriage it isn’t any different. If you’re single, engaged or a newlywed, you need to have the tools it takes to build a successful marriage. Yet for many of us even when the chosen and kallah classes are over, they still find it difficult to use the tools that they have just learned. This is because marriage can bring out the best in us, and it can also bring out the worst in us. A person’s self is a complicated energy source with great potential for interpersonal and emotional growth. But if you don’t know who you are, how can you know some one else? It stands to reason that the more tools you have to obtain self awareness the more possibilities you have for a better and more satisfying relationship.

How do you acquire the tools for self-awareness? Interestingly enough you don’t the tools acquire you! At birth, Hashem provides each and every one us with four sets of tools, which we call preferences and non-preferences. Preferences means the way we naturally prefer to do things. Non-preferences means the way we naturally prefer not to do things.

Noted psychologist, Carl Jung, explains that the four sets of tools are set up like a scale:

Extravert vs. Introvert

Sensing vs. Intuition

Thinking vs. Feeling

Judging vs. Perceiving

Everyone uses both sides of the scale from time to time. Yet the side of the scale you feel most comfortable with will determine an important aspect of your personality.

It’s interesting to note that when we choose a mate, we often have an unconscious attraction to our opposites. The chemistry or friction that happens between opposites is often a desire to complete the missing parts of ourselves.

Rav Shternbach, shlita, states that an ‘ezer k’negdo’ is the man’s opposite and that if the woman’s nature is different from that of her husband, then she complements him. She is his helper. If, however, their personalities are similar, if their character traits are alike, then they will end up maintaining the same weaknesses and, in all likelihood, their opportunities for individual growth will be stunted. In a marriage, the ideal is for two people with contrasting or differing characteristics to join together and build upon one another’s strengths, very much like a puzzle where each of the pieces fit into place to form a complete mosaic.

As a four part series, “Who Am I ?”, I will begin with Preferences 1. Extravert vs. Introvert.

Extravert: People who prefer extraversion tend to focus on the outer world of people and external events. They direct their energy and attention outward and receive energy from external events, experiences, and interactions.

Characteristics of most people who prefer extraversion:

Attuned to external environment

Prefer to communicate by talking

Learn best through doing or discussing

Breadth of interests

Tend to speak first, reflect later-(thinking out loud sometimes get them into trouble)

Sociable and expressive

Take initiative in work and relationships

Introvert: people who prefer introversion tend to focus on their own inner world of ideas and experiences. They direct their energy and attention inward and receive energy from their internal thoughts, feelings, and reflections.

Characteristics of most people who prefer introversion:

Drawn to their inner worlds

Prefer to communicate by writing

Learn best by reflection

Depth of interest

Tend to reflect before acting-they are often reserves, quiet and need time to think things over (they may get annoyed by the extravert need for verbal communication)

Private and contained

Focus readily

A good example is a past case study of mine regarding an extravert married to an introvert. Breindy and Naftoli*, a young couple married for just over a year, tried to talk about their frustration, but their inability to reach each other only led to more frustration and misery. At 2:00 o’clock in the morning, they came banging at the door of their rav’s house. Breindy, in the heat of anger, insisted that he should prepare a Get (divorce) right there and then! When the rav finally calmed the couple down, Breindy stated, “I can’t live with someone who never says “I love you”! Naftoli then responded, “Must I verbalize everything? It should be understood.” Breindy did not know that Naftoli’s personality type tends to be reluctant to share inner thoughts and feelings. Naftoli did not know that Breindy’s personality type needs verbal communication to establish closeness and intimacy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/self-awareness-who-am-i-part-i/2004/12/29/

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