I consider it my privilege to express to you some of the enormous gratitude I have towards Ezer Mizion, and in particular, to Ophira Taylor and the entire staff of the chareidi Cancer Patient Support Division, headed by Blumi Willner. After already having lent your support to my family during my husband’s illness, you went on to help me personally by funding emotional therapy. Over the last few months, I underwent two series of therapy based on the “Journey” approach with Ayala Garbi, as arranged by the trusty intervention of Ezer Mizion’s Donald Berman Rehabilitation Center.
The offer to receive therapy in itself, after my husband finished his course of chemotherapy and reached a “hiatus,” moved and heartened me very much. Due to my financial situation, I did not even consider taking such a step at my own expense; for me, it was like seeing an impossible dream come true. Today, I can say that from my standpoint, the therapy was a significant success, so much so that I intend to keep it up at my own expense (in greater intervals) in spite of the financial strain.
The therapy contributed to me personally in many areas. The very fact that I was able to share the personal problems that bothered me so openly with Ayala, the therapist, was a great achievement for me. Without a doubt, a major contributing factor to that was her accepting and empathetic personality, the pleasant atmosphere that prevailed at our sessions, and the personal experiences she herself shared with me.
I came into therapy hoping to rid myself of the unhealthy response pattern of escape from dealing with troubling situations. I yearned to arrive at a deeper sense of calm, expand my self-awareness, improve my coping abilities, and in short – get myself some more “breathing space.”
I definitely feel that I did not yet get all I could from the therapy, and, as I mentioned, I intend to continue. But already now I can sincerely say that the therapy helped me greatly and even changed my life for the better to a significant extent in several areas. Today I definitely feel more relaxed. I learned to listen to the inner voice within me and to connect to my inner self, instead of continuing to silence it and ignore it. I got to know myself better and I learned how important it is to allow emotions a chance to be, not to immediately seek an escape hatch.
Encountering the “little girl” within me in various situations helped me accept myself and the people who were around me in prior periods of my life, to understand and forgive them. In general, I learned that forgiveness does not mean sanctioning the wrongs or mistakes that were done, but rather purging myself of the bitter feelings that accumulated within me.
In therapy, I received tools that help me respond more effectively to stressful or painful situations. Also, the knowledge that Ayala is accessible and even encourages calling her between sessions gave me a feeling of security and strengthened me, even though in practice, I never took advantage of this option.
I learned to interact better with those around me, both closer and further away. In the context of my husband’s illness, thanks to the therapy, I feel I have received new hope and the feeling that a path has opened for me to move ahead and improve things, even after more than 20 years of marriage. In this respect, the therapy helped me transform the challenge of cancer into a springboard to an even better place that we were beforehand.
The hope and the new gates that were opened to me in therapy give me the vital courage I need to continue releasing emotional blocks in deeper and deeper areas. In addition, perhaps thanks to the fact that I accept myself in a better way, I also find myself having more patience and tolerance for my husband and children, both the marrieds and the ones at home, and even more important – for myself.
I learned many important fundamental principles from Ayala’s therapeutic approach, from the personal thoughts she shared with me, and from the personality she radiated. These principles help me live a spiritual life and fulfill Torah and mitzvahs in a more rational and correct way. For example, in the framework of the therapy, Ayala helped me let go of the fears and guilt feelings that were always with me during the Yamim Nora’im. This year, I was able to experience Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as a positive opportunity, a heartening experience – and I regard that as a major achievement.
The therapy with Ayala also helped me connect to Hashem in a healthier way, to stop feeling that he is seeking me out in order to punish me and to begin feeling his love for me.
It is my honor to wish Ezer Mizion continued success in your holy work. May you be zocheh to be a help to the Jewish people only for happy occasions!
Yours, with deep appreciation,