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December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘CSW’

The Bum Class

Wednesday, September 24th, 2003

When Rov Pam, a”h, gave me the go ahead to do Pre-Marital counseling, I knew in time I would add more topics to my curriculum. But I never dreamed that I would be talking about teenagers at risk to a couple that just go engaged! But the fact remains that I do. Couples are getting nervous about what is happening to our youth and how it will affect their future. It seems as if a war has broken out, and our youth is under attack. At present, yeshivas are at a loss about what to do and have a “zero tolerance” approach to dealing with the problem. Once the child is asked to leave the yeshiva he/she will find it difficult to gain entrance to another. This will start a cycle of rejection, anger, rebellion and finally teenage depression – an “at risk” cycle that our sages were quite aware of, and avoided at all costs

Many years ago, I received a phone call from a Rosh Yeshiva in Brooklyn who stated that he needed my help with one of his staff members, who had once been a student of his. I was working for an agency called The Federation Employment and Guidance Service that provided career testing and guidance. As we spoke, he explained that this rebbe’s class was just completely out of control. He continued to tell me that the rebbe’s wife was having a hard time dealing with all this stress and wanted a divorce. Perhaps being a rebbe was just not for him. He then told me that he had contacted a contractor that he knew who would be willing to hire this young man as an apprentice installing ceramic tiles. “If you feel that he has the potential to do the job, I will make the call” he said, “but first I have a confession to make. In yeshiva there was always a feeling of defeat, on the part of the rebbe, with the boys who were not ‘into’ learning. These boys were different from the rest. So, rather than expel them, we separated them and gave them their own rebbe to work with. As the years went by, these boys graduated and married. Some went to college, others went into business and became very productive in the community. The point is that I was wrong about them! The very same boys we wanted out became the baal-batim of today! They not only support us, but they also support several other yeshivas!” I did not dare interrupt him as he spoke, but I knew he was talking about the bum class-a system class that saved hundreds of youth from becoming teenagers at risk. The Vilna Gaon cites a talmudic passage on the famous pasuk, “educate each child according to his ability.” It was a time in history when the yeshiva world ruled with their heart and followed the words of the Vilna Gaon. It seemed as if the yeshivas gave over the responsibility of the bum class to the yetzer hara, who just took control and changed the name to teens at risk. A week later, I met with the young man, as we reviewed his test scores. He seemed to have some disabilities, but they were manageable. But with time and patience he could learn the tile business. Today, this very same rebbe has his own tile business and helps support the yeshiva in every way.

Because this rosh yeshiva followed the words of the Vilna Gaon and put the children’s priorities even before his very own, he was zoche to save hundred’s of boys from becoming teens at risk, and in turn keep shalom bayis within their homes.

Moishe Herskowitz MS., CSW, is a marriage counselor and maintains his private practice in Brooklyn as founder of CPC. He is an educator, lecturer, consultant and adjunct professor at Touro College. He is the counseling coordinator for Career Services at Touro College and the At Risk Center in Brooklyn. Moishe is presently working as a licensed guidance counselor for the NYC Board of Ed. in Special Education.  For more information or to obtain a free brochure, please contact Moishe Herskowitz at 435-7388 or at CPCMoishe@aol.com.

Starting All Over

Wednesday, July 16th, 2003

When searching for a partner in marriage we are often attracted to people who are different than we are. Sometimes the very same qualities we find charming and exciting are the ones we find ourselves trying to change after marriage. Rather than understand, accept and appreciate our partners for who they are, we turn the differences into the source of our frustration, irritation and dissatisfaction. Many couples try to change their partners to be more like themselves. These couples sincerely want things to be better between them, but because they don’t understand the problem they can’t figure out how to fix it. They start criticizing, complaining and blaming each other. This blame is the downfall for most couples. Instead of negotiating, they demand change. But without counseling this change is not always for the better.

About one third of the divorced people who re-marry tend to repeat and to carry over the same or more complicated personality and relationship problems into their second marriage. When I council couples who are divorced and now want to get married we start all over, once the couple understands each other’s personality type they can have more compassion and support for who they are and nurture the qualities that the other partner values, not just the ones that they value.

The curriculum I use is the same as in Pre-Marital Counseling. We cover twenty-one topics in seven sessions. But the difference is that each person comes into the marriage with wounded pride, and a lot of pain. Loyalty issues may arise for the children since they often hope secretly that mommy and tati will get back together again. As bad as the home situation was, many of these children still grieve for the previous family structure.

The role of the Pre-Marital Counselor is crucial. The complications of couple conflict are such that distortion of perception by one or both prospective mates can often affect the marriage. As the couple will start all over, Pre-Marital Counseling will hopefully change harmful habits, relieve emotional stress, clarify issues and develop insights which will result in personal and spiritual growth so that the couple can once again achieve shalom bayis, and a build a makom kodesh.

CPC – Center for Pre-Marital Counseling, is endorsed by Rabbi Pikus of COJO of Flatbush, and leading rabbonim and Torah authorities in the NY community.

Moishe Herskowitz MS., CSW, is a marriage counselor and maintains his private practice in Brooklyn as founder of CPC. He is an educator, lecturer, consultant and adjunct professor at Touro College. He is the counseling coordinator for Career Services at Touro College and the At Risk Center in Brooklyn. Moishe is presently working as a licensed guidance counselor for the NYC Board of Ed. in Special Education.

For more information or to obtain a free brochure, please contact Moishe Herskowitz at 435-7388 or at CPCMoishe@aol.com.

Forgiven But Not Forgotten

Wednesday, May 14th, 2003

There is something about an approaching wedding that can cause a state of emotional upheaval. This should be of no surprise. In most cases, marriage reflects two sets of personalities; the chassan’s and the kallah’s. The parents too are involved. They produce a relationship that is more than the sum total of themselves. This relationship includes their family, and yet a separation is about to take place for both parent and child.

In working with many couples, I find that one parent or sometimes both sets of parents cannot adjust to the “loss” of their child. They may accept the union at the conscious level, but not at the unconscious level. As a result, communication misunderstandings between the future in-laws begin to develop. Statements like “who pays for what?” and “you promised this!” become heated discussions for both the couple and the parents. Parents frequently ventilate their dissatisfactions to their children in hopes for some support, which makes the separation so much more difficult.

But in time, parents do achieve a degree of detachment and adjustment and all is forgiven. But for the chassan and kallah, all is not forgotten.

As Rabbi Shmuel Dishon, shlita, states “the engaged couple is sensitive to the environment and people around them.”

What the chassan and kallah had hoped for was an affectionate alliance between families. But what they got was years of resentment towards their in-laws.

Pre-marital counseling helps prevent misunderstandings. The couple understands themselves and their partner’s family so that issues of the past do not become issues for the future.

When I met with Rav Pam, zt”l, regarding pre-marital counseling at CPC, he stated that this program should be an extension of every chassan and kallah class.

Moishe Herskowitz MS., CSW, is a marriage counselor and maintains his private practice in Brooklyn as founder of CPC. He is an educator, lecturer, consultant and adjunct professor at Touro College. He is the counseling coordinator for Career Services at Touro College and the At Risk Center in Brooklyn. Moishe is presently working as a licensed guidance counselor for the NYC Board of Ed. in Special Education.

For more information or to obtain a free brochure, please contact Moishe Herskowitz at 435-7388 or at Ladino23@aol.com.

A Lesson In Self-Control

Wednesday, September 12th, 2001

The objective of Pre-Marital Counseling is for couples to learn new skills on how to improve commu­nication, and resolve conflicts creatively. It would seem logical that the parents of these couples have learned from being together and through a lot of tough times that good communication is the single most important aspect of a satisfying relationship.

Take the case of Yoni and Dina, ages 22 and 19. The couple was referred to me by a leading rav in the community. Both Chassan and Kallah came from excep­tionally fine families and yeshiva backgrounds. Yoni was accepted to dental school and Dina was still in school. The wedding was only weeks away and the couple was getting a little nervous. As with all couples, I did a short intake and assessment in our first meeting.

Yoni’s personality is easy going — he likes quiet, uninterrupted time alone for reflecting, reading and studying new subjects.

Dina’s personality is outgoing — she likes people, she’s warm and friendly, and she likes organizing projects and events.

After the fifth session, I wished the happy couple Mazel Tov and off they went into the “sunset”!

It wasn’t until three months later, as I was rush­ing to get a haircut, that I met Dina standing outside the barbershop waiting for Yoni to finish his haircut. The timing was perfect. With every couple I do a three-month follow up. As we talked about married life, Dina explained that “Yoni is very busy in school and I knew how hard he was studying, but since he started school we never talked! It was just Yoni and that book! We didn’t go out anymore be­cause that would be a waste of study time.” But, as time passed, Dina said “I started feeling lonely. Yoni noticed that I was get­ting moody but said noth­ing, and with time, I started getting angry at him. The loneliness scared me, all I wanted to do was to release this rage of anger. But if I did, Yoni could no longer study. As I was just about to breakdown and cry, Baruch Hashem, I noticed that refrigerator magnet you gave us in our last session. It stated that ‘It’s not what you say, but how you say it’ and with that, I remembered what we talked about. At that moment, with all my strength, I stopped myself. I needed to talk to Yoni, not yell or cry. I did the most difficult thing I had ever done in my life, I waited until the next day. At that point, I was calm and relaxed enough to talk to Yoni. We took turns talking and listening to each other, as you taught us. We discussed our preferences and what I was feeling, and for the first time I felt that he was listening, which made me feel so much better!”

In the spring of ’76, Rabbi Moish Chait, shlita, stated in one of his lecture series at Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim that “Hashem held back a part of Himself in order to create the world. When a spouse holds back anger as a form of self control, that couple merits the Shechina to rest upon them.”

Moishe Herskowitz MS., CSW, is a marriage coun­selor and maintains his private practice in Brooklyn as founder of CPC. He is an educator, lecturer, consultant and adjunct professor at Touro College. He is the coun­seling coordinator for Career Services at Touro College and the At Risk Center in Brooklyn. Moishe is presently working as a licensed guidance counselor for the NYC Board of Ed. in Special Education.

For more information or to obtain a free brochure, please contact Moishe Herskowitz at 718-435-7388 or at Ladino23@aol.com.

CPC — Center for Pre-Marital Counseling, is en­dorsed by Rabbi Pikus of COJO of Flatbush, and leading rabbonim and Torah authorities in the NY community.

Pre-Marital Counseling: To Go Or Not To Go

Wednesday, May 16th, 2001

What is the difference between pre-marital and mar­ital counseling? People come to marital counseling with an existing problem. Each partner in the relationship is now occupied with getting his/her needs met, not the partner’s. They have forgotten how to share, solve, and support each other in their relationship.

At The Center For Pre-Marital Counseling, CPC, couples come for pre-marital counseling to learn how to optimally relate. There are no problems, no therapy, no psychological testing, and no groups. This counseling is educational in nature. The couple learns about the importance of anticipating each other’s needs, and that good communication skills are the single most important aspect in a good marriage.

Take the case of Yossi (not his real name), a 21 year old graduating senior at Touro College. He was an excel­lent student, had just gotten married, and was still learn­ing in Yeshiva. Yossi came to my office at Touro College where I work as the counseling coordinator, asking for help with his resume. When Yossi became engaged, I had asked him to consider pre-marital counseling. Yossi just laughed it off as a cute idea.

As we now talked in a friendly, joking manner, I asked Yossi how married life was treating him. At this point, Yossi got very serious and said, “I’m not sure. My wife Rivky cried most of the night.” Yossi explained that his Rosh Yeshiva had told him of a position that was now available in a small, out-of-town yeshiva. He could start out as a Rebbe and, in time, possibly become the Menahel and principal of the school. “I was so excited,” said Yossi, “that I couldn’t wait to tell my wife the good news! I was ready to move.”

Although they tried to talk about it, communication between Yossi and Rivky was not good. Their inability to reach each other only made things worse. Yossi was feel­ing hurt and unsupported. Rivky withdrew, which made Yossi feel undermined and angry.

I asked Yossi to bring Rivky to my office so that they could talk as a couple. At first they were both a little ner­vous, but as we spoke, they soon relaxed. I explained that two individuals could develop the potential and skills to understand themselves and each other’s needs and expec­tations. When they returned the next day, I did a short intake and assessment on both of them.

Rivky’s preferences were realistic, practical and re­sponsible. She wanted a more stable, predictable life style where she could first settle down, save money, and raise a family in the community she grew up in. Yossi, on the other hand, felt that, “I like things that are open and flexi­ble with visions of possibilities.”

Rabbi Shmuel Dishon stated in one of his lectures to new grooms: “Each one of us is a unique personality whom we have to understand, accept and appreciate.” Good communication is essential for problem-solving, sharing infor­mation, and mutual support. For Yossi and Rivky we be­gan with the technique of Understanding, Acceptance and Appreciation as a key factor in becoming sensitive to the other spouse.

Yossi and Rivky began to have more insight, compassion and support for each other. They started to appreci­ate and understand what each other’s uniqueness and personality had to offer, and how to work together to achieve the same goals.

The Torah (Bereishis2:24) states that a husband and wife are considered “one”. Understanding, acceptance, and appreciation for each other’s personality will enable a hus­band and wife to communicate as a harmonious team.

Prevention Insurance

Yossi and Rivky regretted that they had not gone for pre-marital counseling. It scared them to think what could have happened if Yossi and I had not met. A prob­lem that could have taken years to correct could have eas­ily been avoided in just a few sessions at CPC.

The Center for Pre-Marital Counseling offers a tre­mendous opportunity for learning and growth with a wide range of related topics, helping couples to achieve mean­ingful relationships.

I recently met with Rav Pam, shlita, and he expressed that, “This program should be part of the curriculum of every chassan and kallah class.”

For more information or to obtain a free brochure, please contact Marty Herskowitz at Ladino23@aol.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/pre-marital-counseling-to-go-or-not-to-go/2001/05/16/

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