How Well Do You Sleep?

How well do you sleep ?
How many hours a night?

If the answers to the above questions are less than good and less than 8 hours, reading this book could change your life and even SAVE your life:

Why We Sleep? By Matthew Walker. 

This is my book recommendation of the day 

It’s not an easy read at times, but the author says he will take it as a compliment if you fall asleep while reading it. 

Some of you might find it easier to start with Matt’s short talks on YouTube, such as this one: , or this one:

In the book you will learn some interesting facts, such as:

  • What happens and what doesn’t happen when you sleep 7 hours, or 6 or 4 hours instead of 8?
  • Did you know that sleeping is not just turning off, it is actual certain processes that happen in the brain and body?
  • Did you know that taking sleeping pills is NOT creating a state of sleep, it is just sedating.
  • This means these processes that we need as sleep do NOT happen while we ‘sleep’ with the ‘aid’ of sleeping pills.
    That suggests why people that use sleeping pills tend to dramatically reduce their life expectancy. 
  • What happens when people drink alcohol to help them relax and sleep?
  • How to sleep better? discover the answer to this important question in this book, on this YouTube, and in coming to sessions with me.

Happy reading, watching and sleeping,

* You are also invited to come for a session/s to get some help to make your sleep very sleepy.
Learning about what you can do to sleep well, addressing the stresses that prevent you from sleeping, and getting some hypnotherapy can really help.
For sessions availability and cost click here.

As Seen on TV!

As seen on TV!
A Netflix series featuring Family Constellations workshops  

Are you looking for something to watch on Netflix?…
Did you hear about the Netflix series Another Self???
They base it on Family Constellations!!!
And they actually do a great job, considering it’s just a TV series and not a documentary!

So if you’ve ever wondered what are these weird Family Constellations workshops, here’s a chance to get an idea, and enjoy the series at the same time.
Everyone I know who’s started watching it were immediately hooked, including my mother-in-law!

Here is the trailer:

(It is in Turkish, and you have subtitles and audio options in English and other languages)

Is It Shameful to Go to Counselling / Psychotherapy?

Is it Shameful to Go to Counselling / Psychotherapy?
I say that having a problem is not a problem – the problem is not addressing the problem.
Having problems is a part of life and it just means you’re alive.
Not addressing your problem is when problems expand to affect too many areas or people in your life.
We are a social animal and were not designed to deal with everything unaided on our own.

 In modern society people are often shamed or feel shame for seeking help.

Traditionally, in every society there are people whose role is to be of emotional help and guidance: the shaman, the rabbi, the priest, the mentor, etc. Nowadays it’s also counsellors, mentors and different psychotherapists.

Don’t shame yourself for being responsible and seeking help for your emotional problems.
Just like when you build a house and you look for a good builder, a good tiler, a good plasterer and a good plumber – when you build your life, your relationships and confidence – you can look for a good professional.
Enjoy the guidance you can naturally benefit from as a human being who is going through different times in your life.


The Unwritten Law of Genuine Goodness

By Yael Reiss

The Unwritten Law of Genuine Goodness

Over the years of my own life and years of working with others on their personal lives, I’ve found an unwritten law of life, an observation, about doing what is genuinely good for one person.

When you choose to do something that is genuinely good for you,
sooner or later, 
it will be good for everyone else.

And vice versa:
When you do something that is genuinely NOT good for you,
sooner or later, 
it will NOT be good for everyone else.

Don’t work out of guilt,  don’t try to please others or second guess what others expect, do not abandon yourself.
Doing what is genuinely good for you isn’t selfish.
Doing what is genuinely good for you is always eventually the best choice, for everyone.

Going against this unwritten law of life can bring pain to you and to others.
Systemic Family Constellations workshops are a great way to observe this, and enable lifting inner and systemic family blockages that block you from doing what is genuinely good, for you, and so also for others.

Working in the Garden of Your Relationship

Working in the Garden of Your Relationship

Couples Therapy Now Helps Generations to Come

By Yael Reiss

When I was 7 years old my parents split. Although it was a painful shock, it did not come completely as a surprise.
In my 20’s, I remember saying to my Dad that one day I’ll find a man and I’ll find the way to live happily ever after with him.
My father’s childhood with his parents as well as his relationship with my mother didn’t bring him to be a great believer in the reality of ‘happily ever after’. Still, he wished me behatslaha, which in Hebrew we say to mean: may success be with you.
And so, from early adulthood I somehow scanned the world around me to notice people who seem to enjoy their relationship. When I found such a person, I stopped and asked them ‘How do you do it? How do you make your relationship work so well?’ I did it while chatting to random people I met along the way, as well as in my research thesis for my Masters degree at uni.

In my early 20’s, while staying at a guest house in Holland for professional training, I heard an older colleague on the phone to her husband speaking in a very loving way. Of course I asked her if she was happy in her relationship, and how  she achieved that. She replied: ‘A relationship is like a garden. You always have to water it, to weed, to fertilize, to pull something out and put something else instead, etc. It’s being willing to put this effort in continuously throughout the years‘. Also, she said ‘That is what helped us go through the first 30 difficult years, so now it is in a good flow, a bit like a mostly self-maintaining garden‘.

Well, I believe that one of the most important things in life is a couple’s relationship.
When a couple’s relationship is strained, when the ability to be relational with others in a healthy way is strained, life is impacted in many dimensions: physical health and general well being, quality of sleep, employment and more. Not only the person themselves have their life impacted by lacking ability to be relational and connected, but also everyone around them will be burdened by it: children, partner, ex-partner, students, employees, customers etc.

Children who grow up with parents that are caught in a dysfunctional relationship do not only suffer from being around their parents while they engage in this relationship. They learn and model this dysfunctional way of relating to others and will engage in it as children as well as duplicate it in this way or another in their couple relationships when they become adults. And so they pass it to their children and on it goes…

Hence, by working on their relationship, people are helping not only themselves, but also the generations to come. As most relational problems are “learnt” in childhood, couples with children do a great service to their children later on in life, as well as to their grandchildren to come, providing them a healthy role model and a healthy relational environment to grow up in and develop healthy ways of being relational from childhood onwards. (It’s a “pay for one, get four for free” kind of thing…)

I had to do this work myself as my parents didn’t work on their relational dysfunctionality and skills. I have been doing this work for myself, for my partner and for my children and grandchildren to come.

Relationality is my passion. I study and learn about it constantly and am passionate about becoming a champion at it in my own private life. And it is also my most important responsibility.
I believe one of our main responsibilities in life is to better ourselves as partners. (And after that to better our relational skills with our children and then with all others). I know it might sound big: I deeply believe it’s our way to make the world a better place. Imagine what would happen if all adult humans on our planet would be dedicated to better themselves in their relationship. Wouldn’t the world be a much better place? 

My approach and the ways I work with couples and individuals on their relationships is refreshingly different from the mainstream. This work tends to start a shift quite quickly in many couples, and even cases in which a longer period of time is required for mending and healing the relationship, an important shift is likely to start form the first session.

Make great relationality your hobby and your passion
You are invited to start by coming to sessions to learn, explore, heal and better your relationality. 
To know more about my approach to couples therapy visit my Couples Therapy page.
Information about my working hours and sessions cost is on my Contact page.

Feedback from Couples Therapy

Yael, our intimacy guru!
My partner and I contacted Yael after trying other psychologists for four years. We learnt a lot in that time but nothing close to what Yael taught us. She is a highly skilled professional who is incredibly knowledgeable. Yael helped us to unpack some really important parts of ourselves that we weren’t aware of, so that we could approach our relationship in a more loving way. Her magic has worked many times and we are so happy to be communicating really well and enjoying intimacy together, for the first time in a long time. I’m sure we will need her assistance again one day, but until then she has given us great tools to work on our relationship together. Yael saved our relationship and we are so grateful for her.

For  more Testimonials click here

Book Recommendations

Book Recommendations

Tao Te Ching:
This is a little book that can go a long way in it’s beneficial effects.
You can open it at any page on any day and find the guidance or comfort you needed on that day. 
 It comes from ancient Chinese wisdom, a few thousand years old, and it comes in many translations. 
The translation I recommend the most is by Timothy Freke. This is out of print and can be found only if you have the energy to hunt it down preloved, but any translation that you can find in the shops today will do. 
This is my to-go-to book that both me and my teenaged children love to read a couple of pages daily. It talks to leaders, bringing you back in each page to be the humble leader in your own life. 

Facing Codependence, By Pia Mellody:
This is a book I recommend for anyone who has experienced childhood trauma, as well as to partners of people suffering from childhood trauma.
The book is tremendously helpful in understanding yourself and others in your behaviours and pains of today. It also offers concrete ways to work towards healing in your daily life, ways that don’t require extra time in your day, but just focuses on offering new ways to look at and experience your everyday.

Excellent books that help understand trauma, focusing on the body-brain facets of trauma:
Peter Levin’s books, especially In an Unspoken Voice
The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel Van Der Kolk

Resources for couples relationships:
Here I choose to recommend Terry Real‘s books / audios / videos for couples. They are all great at helping you thoroughly understand what you’ve been doing that isn’t effective AND at the same time very hands on in helping you figure out how to make it better.
Choose one of the below, as these are just different modes that cover the same topics: 
The New Rules of Marriage – Book
Fierce Intimacy  – Audiobook
Staying in Love – Online course

Systemic Family Constellations
Understand how generational issues in our family affect us and how to view them in radically different ways. Very helpful in realising, and releasing from, generational issues you may have or haven’t been aware of, as well as family issues at present.
Here from the many excellent books available I chose a couple:
Love’s Hidden Symmetry, by Bert Hellinger
Family Constellations Revealed, by Indra Torsten Preiss

A (different) book about Grief:
The Smell of Rain on Dust, By Martin Prechtel
It it quite a different book, which brings insight about grief to people in modern society.

I have chosen only a few of many, many excellent books, in order to not overwhelm with choice.
I hope this helps, and please feel free to contact me for recommendations about other subjects, additional books on the above subjects, or with any other questions.

Developmental stages of life and its generational impacts

By Yael Reiss

The pioneering psychologist Erik Erikson observed that from birth in each stage in life we have a developmental task to accomplish. Once we accomplish this task it gives us the emotional, cognitive and motor abilities we need to build upon to move to the next stage and go through and accomplish the challenge to acquire another ability, and so on. It’s as if by acquiring this new found strength, a gate opens up and now we can move on, well equipped for what’s to come next. 
If we fail to learn and develop the emotional, cognitive or motor skill in any developmental stage, we still grow old in age, but we don’t really grow up, as we are unequipped for the challenge that the older age naturally brings with it.
That is when we find ourselves stuck and repeating problem patterns and getting nowhere.   
Traumatic events can have enormous impact, challenging us on our way to learn and develop the new set of skills that will enable us to mature and live a full life.
Also, simple and common parenting mistakes can block a child from accomplishing their age-appropriate tasks. It doesn’t have to be traumatic. One of the most common and most destructive examples is ‘helicopter parenting’ – bubble wrapping  children from having to go through a challenge in life (such as learn how to deal with a difficult social upheaval). 
Most parents do this out of a need to protect their child from a pain they themselves experienced as children and weren’t equipped to deal with, because their own parents were hindering them as children, etc.
This is a good example of how generational trauma is created and passed down to the next generations, and an example to how generational problem patterns continue descending down the generations.

Over more than 20 years of working with people I witness again and again how important and effective it is to address the different aspects of a person. I like to call it “the different sides of the same elephant”:  Addressing the individual traumas a person has gone through; addressing the generational traumas that were experienced by the predecessors; addressing patterns and burdens passed down to a person; addressing the unconscious levels of our being; the conscious thought process and conscious understanding; addressing the nutritional side of things; the physical aspects; the time perception and organization, and even more, depending on the case at hand.

Attending a Systemic Family Constellations workshop is a most effective way to address the generational trauma and unresolved patterns that have been passed down to you from previous generations.
It is a most effective way to do the work so your children grandchildren and next generations will not have to find themselves stuck in the same rut that you found yourself in.
Perhaps now it’s easier to understand how attending a Systemic Family Constellations workshop is a great and effective way to ‘catch up’ on a developmental challenge that your predecessors couldn’t accomplish. For you and for your next generation’s sake.

Permissions in Our Life

By Yael Reiss

Who do you need permission from in order to thrive?

When I see people that suffer or are stuck in some way in their life, young people, old people, I often see the biggest shifts happen when people receive the permission they need.

Permission to live life fully and thrive from someone who died.

Permission to lean on them from someone bigger or equal.

Permission to like everything about yourself from oneself.

Permission for self care from knowing it will eventually benefit others.

Permission from your mother to be like your father, and permission from your father to be like your mother. 

Permission from those who have suffered to enjoy, and permission from those who have lived with lack and scarcity for abundance for yourself.

Permission from those who were harmed to honor their suffering by living in peace, and permission from those who have harmed to not carry their guilt.

Permission to go from those who have stayed behind, and permission to stay from those who have left.

Permission to ask for what you want, and permission to pause and relax from Mother Nature herself.

Movements of Reaching Out and of Turning Away

By Yael Reiss

It sometimes take courage to reach out to others. Even something simple as catching up with a family member or a friend can be challenging for quite a few of us. Some people find in difficult to reach out to their own partner. We sometimes need courage to allow ourselves to be who we are while with others. We don’t always feel safe doing that.

Sarah came to a Family Constellations workshop that I once participated overseas.
I couldn’t not notice that she was a beautiful woman.
The problem she wanted to address was that she couldn’t feel really loved as a woman. It was hard for her to let go of the tremendous sense of rejection she felt when the father of her child left her, even though they stayed good friends all those years after the separation, and he was always supportive in any way he could be.
The facilitator asked her to choose a representative from the workshop participants to represent the father of her child. Then she asked Sarah to stand a few steps in front of him. She was then asked to say to that man in one sentence what she felt.
As she said “I feel you never loved me as a woman”, tears were quietly running down her cheeks.
The representative of the ex-partner was very sad when he confirmed that this is true.
The facilitator asked a man and a woman from the workshop participants to come and stand a bit behind and to the sides of the representative of the ex-partner.
She then asked Sarah to look at these people, as representing her own parents, and to say the same sentence to the parent that it felt right to say it to.
A bit shocked or amazed Sarah turned and looked to the representative of her own father, and said, now with more tears: “I feel you never loved me as a woman”.
After a long pause in which Sarah softly cried, she said she was the youngest of four loved daughters, and that when her mother was pregnant with her, her Dad was desperate for a boy, especially since her parents did not plan to have any more children. She realized that since she can remember, in order to get his attention, in different unconscious ways she was trying to be the boy her Dad would never have, and not letting herself just be ‘Daddy’s little girl’…
The representative of her father was struck with sadness once he’d known how this had such an impact on his youngest daughter. A few sentences were exchanged and within a few minutes this constellation came to an end. All the participants seemed very moved by this constellation (I was in tears too…).

When a baby or a child tries to reach out for a parent, and repeatedly or consistently finds herself or himself denied, that is so painful, that the child makes an unconscious decision to stop reaching out. The child will turn away, typically very quietly and without a struggle. Out of sense of helplessness the child will no longer expect to be met with love. The initial pattern of turning away versus reaching out is something we usually adopt early in life, and it will determine our approach to the world and to others in some or in most areas of life. Those of us with a good Reaching Out Movement installed in early childhood, generally have an interest in the world, naturally turning towards life and others in an open way. Those of us suffering from a Turning Away Movement, or An Interrupted Reaching Out Movement, will be pulling back in an inside withdrawal, closing up and finding it difficult or unsafe to connect with people as well as with loved ones.
Different childhood experiences are prone to interrupt the child’s reaching out movement. Some common ones happen when a parent or child are hospitalised or for another reason are away from each other for a long duration, or when a parent is emotionally unavailable to the child for a long period. Sometimes a very loving parent, for reasons beyond their control or awareness will be emotionally unavailable.
In Sarah’s case above, her father was unavailable for her as a female child. Unaware, he probably only met her boy-ish efforts to reach out to him and ignored the girl-ish attempts at reaching out. Sarah then gave up reaching out as a female, applying it later on in life with men, unconsciously keeping her femininity from men. In Steve Biddulph’s famous book ‘Raising Girls’, he writes and brings research evidence of how important fathers are not only in their daughters life in general, but also specifically how important a father is to his daughter’s own confidence as a woman later on.

If you are curious about how it implies to you, you can ask yourself a couple of questions:

  1. Is your main movement in life a Reaching Out Movement, or is it Turning Away?
  2. If you have a problem with someone or with typical people, find what is the sentence you can say to them that reflects most accurately what you feel in regards to them. (In Sarah’s case it was “I feel you never loved me as a woman”). Then, in your imagination place your own parents behind the representation of the person you have a problem with. Check out what you feel and what happens when you say the exact same words to one of your parents.

Family Constellations workshop is one of the best ways to address and help heal issues stemming from an interrupted reaching out movement. From now on the workshops will be held on Saturdays, to make it easier for you to attend.
Join us in the coming workshop.

Participating More In Life

By Yael Reiss

I hope you enjoyed the festive season, and I wish you a happy new year and an easy time landing back into “normal”… or maybe step out of “normal” this year? Maybe add something exciting? I call it “to participate more in life”.

Depression as well as anxiety limit the extent to which we enable ourselves to participate in life. Being busy or just embedded in our routines have the same tendency. Life has so much to offer. How much of that do we allow ourselves to take in? That depends on us really. Stop and smell the roses, if you will. But do we?

For example, I have jumped into the water this week starting Jiu-Jjitsu martial art which I have contemplated doing for quite a few years. Although I have painful bruises and getting to know some muscles I didn’t know existed, it’s nice to wake up with a feeling of renewal, excitement and curiosity this week 😉 Even if I only try it out, I know I’ve tasted something that life has to offer that I was curious about.

What for you might be something you can add to your life now (or take away…) that would mean that you participate more in life? For one of my lovely clients it was to say “yes” when she was invited to a New Year’s Eve neighbourhood party with neighbours she didn’t know very well, and discovering that her dread was unjustified, as she had a lovely time. For one of the Family Constellations workshop participants it was a decision to apply for a new job where she will feel excited to come to work everyday, and for another it was feeling whole about trying for a baby.

Small, tiny or big, what can be one thing you want to do to participate more in life this year? I invite you to try it out, even just start with one little thing, or with a new routine for a week or two, in which you experiment with participating more in life. If you like it, continue another week, continue with another small step, until you feel safe to be a person who participates more in life.