Ilana, an intelligent and creative ten year old girl tried to be perfect in her middos. It was somehow found out that she had been giving away most of her snack during recess because she felt guilty saying no. Ilana was taught to decide whether or not she wanted to share her snack and then to tolerate the feelings of guilt she felt when saying no.
Avrumi, a sweet and sensitive 12 year old boy was refusing to go to Minyan. Matter of fact, he was showing resistance regarding davening at all. We soon came to realize that davening was becoming a painstaking experience for him. Every few minutes he was feeling a need to repeat words in case he didn’t say them correctly. He was afraid if he didn’t say a word correctly Hashem would punish him. We worked out a plan with Avrumi’s Rebbe and Avrumi practiced reading straight through the davening without repeating words. Avrumi learned to tolerate the uncomfortable feeling that came up when he felt the urge to repeat a word and saw it would pass. Avrumi is back in shul again and doesn’t put up a fuss about davening.
Rebecca, a young mother of four was running to the doctor at least once a week, convinced that she was suffering from a serious illness. She was so consumed with her fear of getting sick that she couldn’t enjoy the present. Together we made guidelines of when Rebecca would check out symptoms with the doctor. We picked a person in her life who took her health in a stride and took guesses of whether they would visit the doctor for those symptoms. Most importantly, though, we worked together on accepting the uncertainty of life. We discussed that all any of us really have is the present, and none of us know what tomorrow will bring. This was a painful realization, but one Rebecca eventually came to terms with. Rebecca learned to stop pushing away the scary thoughts and just letting them be there. Eventually she was able to start living again and get back into her life. She is forever grateful for this realization.
Yossi, a man in his fifties taught overseas Yeshiva students about Emunah and Bitachon. He was a sincere and dedicated Mechanech. However, he was plagued with thoughts that questioned the existence of G-d. He read every book he could regarding Emuna and spent hours and hours trying to prove to himself the existence of G-d. We consulted Yossi’s Rav and then began practicing thinking the bad thoughts on purpose. At other times when the thoughts popped in to Yossi’s head he learned to let them be there. We discussed that we don’t have to like all of our thoughts and the harder we try to get rid of them the more they stick around. Yossi has stopped fighting with his thoughts and just lets them be. Yossi’s Emuna and Bitachon class became the most popular class in Yeshiva.