Learning to Cope

One vital ingredient in the psychotherapeutic process: Just talk.

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Comments (16)

(12) Anonymous, May 17, 2015 5:04 PM

Re: Learning to Cope

I began Counseling 40 years ago, and along with my Spiritual Faith and a few reliable friends, it has kept me stable. Until that time, I had been happy and successful in every area of life; on my 13th Wedding Anniversary, my husband left me for someone else. It sounds odd, but I had No warning, and I couldn't even comprehend what he was saying. I shattered into countless pieces, like a fine, fragile vase smashed on concrete! He was in the medical field and realized how much I needed help; he found a wonderful Psychiatrist for me, and at one point, she literally saved my Life by saving me from suicide. (That is a Major story in itself, and I recommend that it be a topic for discussion one day!)
In the beginning, I had to go every week, but gradually I was able to go less frequently. I am very Blessed because she is now semi-retired but still sees me whenever I call her. This is important because when someone has been listening to you for decades, they can quickly help with a current problem -- you don't have to repeat yourself. One day I asked her, "Why do I have to keep getting counsel after all these years?" and she responded, "You don't have to -- when a new problem appears, you would eventually work it out, but why not let me help you? We can probably resolve an issue in 60 minutes, and by yourself, it might take 6 months or more." That gave me great relief. Because of my counseling, I am able to recognize when I need help, and I ask for it right away. In recent years, I have probably gone a couple of times a year.
Counseling has been highly successful for me: I became a professional in the financial field, raised a wonderful child, traveled, survived cancer and a serious genetic condition, won a Federal discrimination lawsuit and am in a battle with the IRS as a result of the lawsuit! When the smoke clears, I will still be standing!!
Thank you Rabbi for providing this opportunity to speak -- I hope it encourages others!

(11) Anonymous, February 2, 2014 2:48 PM



(10) SusanE, August 1, 2013 11:20 PM

You are right. People long for someone to listen.

Rabbi, For whatever reason people talk to me. Strangers in stores, restaurants, at gatherings. When my kids were teenagers they used to say "Mom! why do people come up and tell you stuff? I really didn't know then. The stories are of an achievement or a happy time or of a sadness, or of an unexpected event in their lives. They just needed to tell it. And I was nearby. - - - - - - - I am a mouthy person and many times a know-it-all as you know from my spouting off here on Aish. But, it's different when a stranger walks over to me and begins talking.... I listen. I can feel what they are feeling. Rabbi, there are so many of us who are desperately lonely. We have family and we have friends, but we don't have any one who listens to us. Every living being needs a safe place. After 40 years of these experiences I think that is why they share their stories. I must look safe. Thank you for this article on coping and and the need to talk.

(9) Chaim, July 23, 2013 1:55 AM

Would love to speak but my chavrusa doesn't show up

Maybe my "speeches" are too boring? Perhaps Dr. Salomon can suggest a "speech coach" to improve my oratory skills?Anyway, it's something to think about....and speak about...if allowed.
Love this Aish feature!

(8) Mati, July 19, 2013 1:57 AM

There is nobody for me to speak to

and it wouldn't help anyway. There are some things you cannot change....and the wisdom to know the difference

(7) Richard Price, July 18, 2013 10:30 PM

Yes but..

We do need others who are willing to listen, but thye must be genuine and ideally have gone through some psychotherapy themselves, there is nothing worse than a listener who is trying to be a counsellor and not coming from a genuine space, my last pyscho analyst was brilliant and I have been priviledged to undergo and be part of intense group work and one to one for over 10 years , therapy when it is working right and the client want to make progress is a real God send , God Bless you Rabbi

PS it was my raison detre but sadly due financial problems loss of work and complex dental issues have been forced to abandon it .

(6) Anonymous, July 18, 2013 7:56 PM

I personally always feel better if I talk over my experiences and express myself to someone who cares. That is my way of processing my emotions. Talking to G-d also helps me a lot. Crying out my heart to Him and remembering that He created me and everything that is making me experience the difficulty that I am experiencing helps me feel I am not so alone.
I find that letting oneself be vulnerable (not needy) by being real, by being the first to share and open up (past the How are you? Good.) helps others feel closer to you and develops real relationships which gives a person a sense of connection and happiness, and opens the road to being able to really talk and really listen. Each person really has the ability to make a difference in many lives, not just those he is clearly connected to.

(5) Anonymous, July 18, 2013 7:40 PM

You are over simplifying the issues

Often talking to others makes you feel more exposed and foolish. At best it has a very short therapeutic effect.
As far as taking medications are concerned you need to emphasize the danger of a person relying on the medication and avoiding taking personal responsibility. As an educator, I have seen this time and time again with parents blaming there child's behavior on the wrong dosage etc.

(4) Lisa, July 17, 2013 9:54 AM

Just One Word......

Coinsedences....we say there aren't any....I went to many lectures, yesterday , on Tisha B'Av & the underlying theme was just one word....one kind word....one phone call.....to just listen. Yes, lets bring back the art of talking/listening!

(3) Anonymous, July 16, 2013 8:37 PM

Not all therapist are created equal

Unfortunately, I' ve seen many therapist over the past few yrs, and some did me more harm then good, one even suggested separating w my husband (after only seeing him few times)
It floors me that because of her incompetence as a therapist, she 's suggesting splitting a home when both partners are willing to come to therapy... And talking to friends is great if its someone u can trust not to spread your problems around town.

(2) Yehudith Shraga, July 14, 2013 6:05 PM

Before we may really speak about about our problems, we must learn a lot

Most of our difficulties in this life stem from the fact, that we don't know what this world is about, why we come to this world for a short visit, and why the life isn't about what we wish, but always about what we must, and if ever THE must comes to be THE wish.

When person learns the Jewish point on the above questions, he/she may hope to be able to speak about his/her problems, because before we do learn the Wisdom of our Sages it seems to us that the problem is with others and we are just the victims of the circumstances.

When we learn that it is all about our personal correction, and that we have to learn the ways of coping with our duties and roles for the time being on this Earth, some of us prefer to go for the medication with the hope that it will help them to manage without personal correction, or at least when it doesn't help, we will have what to talk about...

Before the person speaks he/she has to learn to listen, because the answers he/she is going to get from the Sages may not be the answers he/she is wishing to hear, and that is why, suppressing the disagreement with the help of medication won't help for a long time, as well as just talking about one's problems without doing something small, but everyday towards the solution.

The more we learn, the less we feel the need to speak about our problems, because it turns out that the Sages new them all, and have left us all the answers, all we need is to reveal them, if we wish it strong enough.

Baal haSulam reminds us that those of us who don't study the Wisdom of Kabbalah have to reincarnate.

(1) ross, July 14, 2013 4:52 PM

Lack of listeners

That's one of the biggest problems in the world today...a lack of listeners. Someone who isn't hired (no offense), and someone who really cares to give up time. ("Give up time?! Are you psychopathic?! Give me ten more hours in the day and I'll donate one to you!")

Anonymous, July 14, 2013 10:17 PM

you're right, no one has time

Everyone has to make a living nowadays and take care of their family in the remaining time.Some don't have the financial resources to hire someone and the problems get deeper. Unfortunately, there are also "snitches", even so-called 'professional" people who betray the trust although this is probably rare in the real professional world but becomes more common with spiritual guides. This betrayal of trust only further isolates the sufferer and leads to paranoia. Unfortunately,in my experience, walks and music were better, less expensive, and less threatening, although they did not lead to any permanent solution but a temporary alleviation of the pain, like many drugs aim for.

Esther, July 18, 2013 3:19 PM

Anonymous July 14 you are correct

people need to be very careful who they talk to, and take into account that some of what is said may be repeated & taken out of context. Sometimes its an accident, sometimes on purpose. Either way once that bell is rung, sometimes impossible to unring it! I agree walks and music can be cheaper and safer, & less chance of betrayal.

Mordechai Shuali, July 15, 2013 1:54 AM

Deleted comment

This comment has been deleted.

Anonymous, July 15, 2013 8:34 PM

I'm glad that your experience was so positive

Unfortunately, mine was not. Kol Tuv.


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