Rav Abraham Silberberg, from Torat Hamishpacha, wrote to Dr. Friedman in Hebrew about the first meeting for the Haredi men workshop at the Rimon Center. We are sharing it here.
B"H after the success in the women's groups accompanied by Rebbetzin Sarah Sweibel, we yesterday opened a support group for men.
I would like to share with you a summary of the first meeting - (which was held without the psychologist)
The meeting was attended by ten young Kollel students (Avrechim.) Sefaradi, Lithuanians (Litaim.) All kollel scholars - most of
yeshiva students do not even live in Jerusalem. They came from Beitar, Beit Shemesh, Kiryat Sefer, and even two from Bnei Brak.
I started by presenting the work of Rimon and the Torat Hamishpacha. Then I asked them to present themselves. I asked them to give ideas on what they need to focus on in the workshop with the psychologist.
The group shared ideas from their personal experience about what is important to work on and these points were raised:
1. Envy – when a younger brother or brother in law has a baby.
2. Stress during treatment.
3. Tension and anxiety when awaiting results.
4. How to fill your life with more satisfaction - feeling that something was missing
5. Blaming each other, and blaming yourself (guilt)
6. Recognizing emotions - sharing your partner's feelings
7. Loneliness - sometimes friends talk about their children and Talmud Torah etc. and we are left out of the conversation
8. How to deal with friends who are trying to encourage us with all kinds of tips and Sgulot.
9. Whether and how to share (struggles) with parents
10. Humiliation - hear others say about us ‘poor” or ‘he has no children’, etc.
11. Eruptions - how to relax and make my partner calm in times of outbreaks
12. Mercy - I don’t need people to feel sorry for me.
I explained to them how advanced medicine and technology is and that what we have this year we did not have last year. I gave them some examples of new medical treatments that came out recently, and encouraged them to access treatments that can help [many of them are put off for all kinds of reasons.]
The benefits were enormous and the yeshiva students came out with a sublime feeling. Some said they were waiting for such a meeting for a long time...
With G-ds help we will work together to help the emotional as well as the medical sides.
P.S. A big thank you to Rebbetzin Sweibel, for her advice and guidance for the meeting.
Director of Medical Advice
Torat Hamishpacha Center