NEFESH: The International Network of Orthodox Mental Health Professionals
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Zahavah Column
Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
Click here to view my clinical profile
Every day life can be tough. I will be posting on different topics to help you through your days. Who can't use a little extra direction?
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Showing Results 1 - 31 (31 total)
GROAN, NOT ANOTHER NEW YEARS RESOLUTION
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
January 2nd, 2018

Goals are not easy to keep. But it's not just about the goals! It's about the reason behind the goal. Social media has been taking over with weight-loss coaches and dietitians. So now, as someone who feels overweight and not happy with their body is just seeing all these images of before and after pictures. Diet pills, health drinks and personal trainers each have millions of dollars spent on advertising. Why?

People are always looking …
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Eyes All Over
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
October 8th, 2017

I am happy to announce my NEW LOCATION in FLATBUSH. I want to hide. Weddings. I want to skip the wedding. I don't want anyone looking at me as I enter the room. I want to disappear as everyone dances. Holidays. Everyone will look at my clothing and judge me. If I go pray, they will stare at me the whole time. I don't know what they really think. Social scenes. I cannot speak for fear they will think I am stupid. What if I become flustered. …
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Is that me in the mirror?
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
July 24th, 2017

Seeing bulges of fat all over. Avoiding mirrors at all costs. Skipping social events because you are not satisfied with your appearance. Recently, there has been more of a trend to use “plus size models” which in actuality is the size of the average American. Society has been led by Hollywood, setting many trends and dictating the way we should dress and look. If you take a closer look at the famous people who many idolize, you will s …
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Winning by Losing
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
May 28th, 2017

This is a follow up to “One Recipe to Sabotage Relationships.” There is a time and place for everything. There is also a proper way to go about it. By committing to a relationship, you are agreeing to the former. When there is a disagreement, you will usually get past it. What remains with you and becomes a part of the relationship is how you communicated during that time. Words do not heal just because the issue was resolved. Childho …
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One Recipe to Sabotage Relationships
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
March 26th, 2017

If you are in a committed relationship with someone, do you forget you need to work on it continuously? Are you aware that some behaviors are not okay? Even when feeling upset at someone or frustrated at a situation, you still need to be respectful towards others. Do you insult your partner or threaten them, force them to do what you want because they are scared or don’t want to deal with your reaction? It is easy to rationalize any of thes …
2 comments
Resolutions that last
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
December 27th, 2016

FAILURE!! Do you often hear your brain yelling that awful word? This is where perception is so important. Every so-called failure can be turned into a success. If something negative could be used to help you move forward, is that actually something that we want to avoid it? There were so many successes over time that only came about because of effort. But only because they had a positive perspective and they were able to turn the "failure" into s …
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Lonely with Others
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
November 19th, 2016

Lonely with others Nobody likes to be alone. Unless they have experiences that puts them in that direction. There's different kinds of being alone. Sometimes we tend to think that if somebody has a lot of friends they are not lonely but it's not necessarily the case. There are people out there who you would never guess are lonely and you may be one of them.

Spending quality time by yourself is a good thing. Spending most of your time a …
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Sorry Is Not Easy
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
October 29th, 2016

Recently, a day of asking for forgiveness passed. During that time, many made public appeals for everyone to forgive them if they wronged them and vice versa. Is the apology valid?

Why wait until a specific day to ask for forgiveness if you mistreated someone? How many days passed between that day and the day to ask for forgiveness? How would you feel if someone came over after 5 months of wrongdoing knowing that they were motivated …
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What if it was you?
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
October 2nd, 2016

I am taken aback every time I see video clips that are "funny" because others hurt themselves. What is funny about someone crashing through a glass door, falling off a trampoline or getting laughed at for a mistake they made? Is humor funny if it is at someone else's expense? I try imagining how embarrassed they will be when they realize they are the latest social media joke. How do you tell someone that the world really has not been laughing at …
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Trouble making decisions?
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
September 13th, 2016

Choosing what to wear, deciding what to order from a restaurant and debating how to address an issue with someone could be difficult. Why is it so easy for others and not you? It doesn’t seem fair, but that in itself won’t change it. Let’s try to understand where it could come from. In order to need to make a decision you need something important. It is called trust. You need to trust yourself. You need to trust you will make th …
1 comments
The Reality of Escaping
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
August 29th, 2016

We often hear about abusive situations that are obvious. Someone has a black eye that never seems to go away. Someone covers their body as much as possible even when appropriate to wear less clothing. That is physical abuse. There are other kinds of abuse that play with our psyche. There are other kinds of abuse that can be harmful too. Emotional abuse, being neglected or abandoned, holding finances over someone as well as sexual abuse that does …
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Tags: abuse, bruise, confidence, support
Can't Someone Just Live?
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
August 17th, 2016

She didn’t stand up to cheer, she didn’t place her hand on her heart during the national anthem, she didn’t smile. We are talking about a world champion, Gabby Douglas. She accomplished so much by working for hours a day to perfect her skills. It is true that putting yourself in the public spotlight opens you up to be scrutinized by others. What is the limit though? The last Olympics were about her hair. Does this end? On the ot …
2 comments
Too many suicides
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
July 17th, 2016

TOO MANY SUICIDES The fact is that suicides do occur. Often we try to remove ourselves from situations we are uncomfortable with. Suicides are one of them. As we have seen publicized more frequently, suicides could be carried out by those you could envision following through as well as those who will shock you. There are so many myths and then we interpret information in a way we understand it. There could be a variety of reasons for someone to e …
1 comments
The 4th and drinking
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
July 3rd, 2016

You’ve packed up water coolers, grills, sandwiches and drinks. Who will go out and get drunk this weekend? Isn't everybody supposed to do it? Your friends will be making barbecues and going to the beaches. Are you going to be the one to just sit there on the side watching them, saying “I don't drink?”

What happens when they offer you something and they say “Come on what's a little drinking going to do?” …
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Who would run away?
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
June 26th, 2016

Who would run away? Why would someone begin therapy only to stop shortly after? It is not really about why but rather what kind of personality they have. Some people like to avoid. Avoid confrontation. Avoid being assertive. Avoid being vulnerable. Avoid being outside their comfort zone. Being a patient in therapy could be all the above. The good news is that if you are able to keep on going to therapy, you can work through each of these rea …
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I give up
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
June 17th, 2016

You have a to do list and it is longer than your week. And then, when you’re at your wits end, you remember about a deadline you completely forgot about. Now it is time to hide because you can't face your potential failure of not being able to complete your responsibilities.  STOP, drop and roll. Well, not the drop and roll part but stop, breathe and breathe again! The example I like to use is a rubber band ball. You add one at a time …
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Decisions are not easy
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
June 7th, 2016

Sometimes you need to make a decision that you know is right even though it doesn't feel good at the time. Logically you know it is correct but it doesn't make it any easier. This could involve situations with relationships, jobs.

Like many other things in life there is a conflict between two choices. You can go back and forth for hours but usually know what the best choice would be. There is truth to that gut feeling. Sometimes you ma …
2 comments
Standing your ground
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
May 27th, 2016

First published in Nefesh Jewish Press, Mind, Body and Soul. What do you do when you have a friend going through a difficult time and is relying on you too much for support? It could be difficult letting them know this because you want to be there for them, yet your tolerance slowly dwindles until you get to the point where you are so frustrated, you remove yourself completely from the situation.   Being on either side is not comfortable. So …
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Could your child tell?
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
May 17th, 2016

What is the secret to raising confident children? There really isn’t any. Children live and breathe what happens in their home. They absorb everything. They may not understand in a logical sense but they will feel. Those feelings translate into behaviors. Those behaviors could begin by withholding their feelings for fear of disrupting the already unfriendly environment. They don’t want to think they will be the cause of continuous ten …
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Uncomfortable silences
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
April 28th, 2016

Fidgeting, sitting at the edge of their seat and “I don’t know what I am supposed to say” is how sessions often begin when starting therapy. If you were in your home or around good friends, would you be feeling the same way? There could be many reasons for discomfort but they all tie back to one thing; Confidence. Whether in therapy, an interview or social gathering you want to fit in. You want to be the person everyone else wan …
3 comments
The fight on the train
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
April 14th, 2016

The other day I was taking the subway and as I was getting off I heard a commotion. I turned around and saw two women. They were approximately forty and sixty years old. They were literally clawing at each other and then some men got up to intervene. Someone called out to a police officer who was standing on the platform and when he went over to them, one blamed the other for the fight, saying she was pushed. This had me thinking about what it is …
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High before the low
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
March 25th, 2016

Celebrations will bring a different kind energy to people. There is a certain happiness circulating and you feel it. Shabbos, Yom tovim, weddings etc. bring a feeling of togetherness with family and friends. Unfortunately, there are those that dread these times and they are not alone. For the purpose of this article, I am referring to those who do feel that high. Purim just ended. It is this morning after waking up from your hangover and 24 hours …
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Am I my mask?
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
March 15th, 2016

I want to acknowledge Sara Schapiro-Halberstam, M.S., CASAC previously wrote an article on this topic. I am writing this in addition to hers:) not in place of it. There are times throughout the year where we get dressed up during the holiday or to party, such as worldwide carnivals. Why do people get dressed up? To be somebody they’re not, to be someone different. Why do people drink alcohol before socializing? To be more relaxed so they co …
4 comments
Win with confidence
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
March 10th, 2016

Confidence plays a large role in everyday life. It begins when you wake up each morning and worry about how you look leaving the house to breaking up relationships. It comes down to vulnerability. A healthy self-esteem is accepting your strengths and weaknesses. It is also knowing that just like everyone else, you have areas of improvement. Like everything else in life, you need to invest to see results. That could mean telling yourself you don&r …
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Am I crazy
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
March 1st, 2016

Am I crazy? Is the word crazy overused? When did different, emotional and struggling evolve in this way? Who is the “normal” person we are comparing them to? Unfortunately, there is a stigma affiliated with any mental health diagnosis. Is there anyone who could say they have never experienced a bout of feeling anxious or depressed? These are commonly heard words. Being able to name a diagnosis could be positive and negative. Knowing y …
1 comments
Power, or not?
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
February 14th, 2016

Martin Shkreli is an infamous name heard over the last few months. In his latest appearance, he was seen smirking and smiling as others begged him to reconsider his choice of hiking up the price of a lifesaving drug. Hearing the pleas on behalf of the people didn’t seem to faze him. This is an example we did hear about, of someone in a powerful position with money trying to abuse their rights. Oftentimes, situations stay silent for exactly …
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Boundaries
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
January 23rd, 2016

Your mind is repeating the word no. Your mouth is communicating otherwise. Shortly after, you find yourself resentful towards a situation you didn’t want to be in. Setting boundaries has to begin with being okay with someone feeling upset towards you. It is okay to have different thoughts and opinions then others. That is part of what makes you into who you are! You don’t always have to be available to help others. Often, we could bec …
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Managing Anxiety
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
January 14th, 2016

I like to define anxiety as a big question mark. There is so much in this world that is unknown to us. That leaves us with many questions. We could spend hours speculating but that will drive us mad. We will never know what should and will happen until it becomes part of the past. At that point we need to continue moving forward with more questions, only this time they are a different set of questions.  We have questions because we want to k …
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The runaway train
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
January 6th, 2016

Often, as I stand on the train platform, I see many heads turning to watch the train that just passed by. I turn and look the other way and see if there is another train approaching. Many of us have the tendency to look back and let the past impede on our future. That is not to say that you should let your past fade away. Past experiences could help shape your future for the better, if you learn from them. We make mistakes, we hurt people intenti …
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A cry for help
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
December 30th, 2015

*Details have been changed to maintain confidentiality Steve, a middle aged male has recently been arrested for vandalizing someone’s car. There was no connection between the two of them, other than they both wanted the same parking spot and had been circling the lot for over twenty minutes. To avoid jail time, Steve agreed to attend anger management classes. When he came in for the intake, he was adamant that he didn’t need help and …
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Beginnings
Author: Zahavah Selinger-Fishfeld, LMHC
December 26th, 2015

Any change or beginning has to start with a small step in order to be successful. At the same time, it is important to have an end goal in sight. End goals constantly change based on many factors. Choosing to take steps to benefit yourself will help determine what to do next. A good starting place is putting yourself in a positive frame of mind which will change your attitude towards your day, even if you can’t change what is happening arou …
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