Thoughts from Neal
I am particularly committed as part of my practice to working with clients who have some connection with a Jewish background. I have worked with individual and couples clients in the United States and Israel where one or both identified with being Jewish. The challenge is often integrating or finding a way to create a “flexible boundary” around oneself in relationship with a world that supports “sameness” or a partner who demands us to “be like me.” Here is a story about from my own life as Judy Gotlieb's husband to give you a sense of what I mean.
All families and individuals experience and transmit trauma from “generation to generation.”
I work with young people and adults at a deep level on freeing the client to explore and live from more of their potential. Being born Jewish brings with it a historically transmitted base of anxiety, fear and sometimes depression. Here is some background on what I see related to inter-generational family trauma and what it takes to build resilience and a new sense of life’s possibilities.
Part of my commitment as a therapist who identifies as Jewish and was brought up as a white man in the United States is an interest in supporting social justice, particularly for populations who experienced stress because they were identified with one or more cultural, religious, secular, or racial groups or perspectives. The family therapist Kenneth Hardy speaks about how we all have “tasks of oppression” and “tasks of privilege” with which we must grapple if we hope to live satisfying and connected lives as the relational beings we are.
One result is that I've been led to Ethiopia where a remnant population with Jewish roots is struggling to survive. See more about how this relates to supporting us to find meaning as we choose what to bring forward from our families of origin in building an authentic life.
Click Here to read Tefillin Tracks #1 by Neal H. Brodsky