Breslov Coaching-Counseling with Chaya Rivka Zwolinski
“Life’s obstacles are sent to increase desire.” Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
“I believe that this work we do together should be effective in helping you live a more joyful life, gain more insight into yourself, and develop personal spiritual awareness.” Chaya Rivka Zwolinski
Breslov Coaching-Counseling Recommendations
“In a relatively short time, Chaya Rivka, with genuine love and concern, took me from despondency to high-achievement capacity.”
Sara Y, Bet Shemesh
“Chaya Rivka’s insights into human behavior show she is a master teacher and coach. She expertly incorporates the wisdom of our sages to shed light on our fears, foibles and strengths. I believe she is a natural healer with a generous spirit, who hones in gently on the work we need to do, yet understands the intra-personal and inter-personal dynamics of our struggles. She is always kind, yet honest and gently guides you to be your best self. Working with Chaya Rivka touches your soul…” Stephanie Roth, LCSW , Clinical Psychotherapist
“Chaya Rivka teaches us “how to get there from here.” Rachel Weiss, Graduate Student
“Within a few months of beginning what I think of as “therapy for the soul” with Mrs. Zwolinski, my life began to improve and my depression began to abate. I even brought a lot of what I was learning into my work with my own clients.” P.L., Licensed Psychotherapist
“I have gained a tremendous amount from my learning with Mrs. Zwolinski. She has shown me real depth and meaning in Azamra[which has]benefitted my “relationships with others, with myself, and with Hashem.” I also have brought the concepts that we have learned into my classroom and feel it enhances my teaching.”Yonina Schlussel, Teacher, Torah Academy, Milwaukee, WI
“In the past ten months I’ve seen an improvement in my ability to handle conflict. I feel much less anger and sadness and I’ve grown in spirituality.” Debbie S.
A Note To You
Talking to another person from the heart, without a script, is an unpremeditated path of personal growth rich in serendipity and Hashgacha Pratis (Divine Providence.) Freely traveling this path can help us reach new places of insight and development. Whether it is called counseling or coaching (or something else entirely), focused yet flexible discussion within a framework of Torah, illuminated by Breslov insights, can help us develop both spiritually and emotionally.
You are here for a reason. Your life is precious and your one-of-a-kind neshama is beloved to Hashem. My mission is to share Rebbe Nachman’s tools of Breslov Chassidus which can help you on your path of self-discovery. Joy-building is a binding thread that runs through this work we do together.
I invite you to join with me in the healing work of self-discovery, growth, and joy, I”yH.
Chaya Rivka Zwolinski
Reach me at crzbreslov @ gmail.com.
Breslov Coaching Q and A
Chaya Rivka Zwolinski
What is Breslov Coaching?
In brief, Breslov Coaching is an individualized, honest exploration of one’s self and one’s relationship with self, Hashem and others. (As per the modus operandi of Torah Judaism in general and the hashkafa of Breslov Chassidus in particular.)
What is the basis for this work?
Breslov Coaching is rooted in the psycho-spiritual teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. The tools the Rebbe offers to each individual person are profound. His wisdom, insight, and knowledge of the psyche touches the mind, heart and soul. I believe that no other course of study or practice is as rich in opportunities for personal growth and soul-healing. The Breslov approach is unique for each person and is rich in opportunities for discovery and spontaneity.
Can Breslov Coaching help me set and reach goals?
Yes. We may begin with a discussion of what issues you’re struggling with. If you want more clarity on what your goals are, together we can discover and define them. We may also work with a less goal-oriented approach, which can be helpful in many cases. Each person’s needs are unique to them.
What issues will I be able to focus on in Breslov Coaching?
The focus of the work we do together is about understanding and connection. Topics that we can address together from a psycho-spiritual perspective may include self-esteem, interpersonal relationships, marriage and intimacy, family and children, building a healthier emotional life, self-knowledge and self-image, finding your true calling (career development and personal), middos development, addiction-related issues, fears and phobias, anxiety, depression or other emotional issues, achieving balance, and more.
How is Breslov Coaching different from other coaching programs?
Unlike other programs or credentials, Breslov Coaching is not a program, nor is it a system, formula, or set path. I borrow the term “coaching” because it is a term everyone recognizes, however, the work we do together is unique to you. If you are looking for a system, method, or formal game plan, you might prefer another type of counseling or coaching. You must choose what’s best for you.
Is Breslov Coaching therapy?
Breslov Coaching, like all good counseling, is therapeutic, but it is not psychotherapy. My professional experience as a teacher, communications specialist, consultant and writer, especially in the field of behavioral wellness, has been enhanced by training in kosher evidence-based psychotherapy and holistic healing techniques. When appropriate, the work we do may borrow from *kosher techniques, but only within the framework of Torah and Breslov Chassidus.
* I do not work with or condone any of the coaching techniques based in NLP.
Are you a therapist?
I am not a therapist, although I have worked with some clients in therapy and I do consult with therapists. I have also worked successfully with clients who have not had success with traditional psychotherapy. I’ve found that the wisdom of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov has proven extremely helpful to people who’ve struggled with a variety of issues including generalized anxiety disorder; social anxiety; phobias (flying phobia, social phobia, agoraphobia, phobias related to intimacy); borderline personality disorder; PD-NOS; depression; and addiction (substance abuse as well as behavioral addictions), and more, B”H. I’ve also coached couples and taught classes and workshops on mental and behavioral health topics, sometimes together with my husband who’s a licensed professional with over thirty years experience.
How did you get involved in coaching?
My work began as an organic outgrowth of being a mashpia/mentor to women and girls. As my work in this area became more complex, I began to study motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology, and client-centered therapy. Previously, I had taken graduate level classes in TCM, and studied numerous holistic health topics, including nutrition. I have been writing about emotional well being and behavioral health for nearly a decade, holistic health and mind-body topics for three decades, and Breslov Chassidus for many years. I am also the co-author of the best-selling Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better and Move On (HCI), a patient-centered therapy book which has been used as a text in both undergraduate and graduate programs.
What’s your motivation?
Coaching and counseling others is something I feel is a mission. It is something I only do part-time, often by referral. At this time, I only take a limited number of clients. I believe that this work we do together should be effective in helping you live a more joyful life, gain more insight into yourself, and develop stronger relationships with Hashem, other people, and yourself. If I take too many clients, I know I cannot be as effective. For every hour of coaching with a client, I often spend additional time reviewing notes, researching (usually Chassidic texts but occasionally consulting with professionals), and responding to emails. I also daven for each client, particularly during hisbodedus. I am motivated to help others, and know that by helping others I learn a tremendous amount and help myself.
Do you sell coaching packages?
I do not sell packages of appointments. It’s possible that buying a package of sessions might be beneficial to a client, but it is definitely true that it is beneficial to a coach. Although in some cases there may be certain parameters I might outline for our work together, and certain times I advise that without a minimum commitment, progress will be slower, there is never any pressure to continue working with me. I believe the only deciding factor for you should be is if our work together benefits you. I also believe that you are the best judge of that.
Do you teach Breslov Coaching?
Breslov Coaching is unique for each client. I don’t believe there is one way for a counselor to do this kind of work—others can and should have their own approach. Also, I personally have never found one-size-fits-all systems or methods appealing—in any healing discipline. However, if you benefit from systems or methods, and they work for you, go for it. Each person is an individual. Do what works!
Why is Breslov Coaching unique?
One of the most important lessons Rebbe Nachman of Breslov teaches us is that each person is unique and each person’s way of being in relationship with Hashem is unique. This is obviously reflected materially and spiritually in the practice of hisbodedus. While serving Hashem as Torah prescribes, we must never forget the individuality of each soul. The Rebbe encourages you to believe in yourself and believe that you have a unique mission in this lifetime, a mission that only you can complete.
When we start to explore the psycho-spiritual insights of Chassidus, we begin to realize that the breadth and depth of Breslov wisdom is mind-boggling. There is literally nothing like it in Judaism, let alone in the secular world. As we learn and live our psychospiritual truth, we find our perception unfurls into an ongoing spiral of understanding. Although systems for learning Breslov Chassidus can be effectively taught, Breslov Chassidus can’t fit into a system, especially since the ever-changing practice of hisbodedus is so fundamental to the Rebbe’s practice.
How can I try Breslov coaching?
You can email me at crz1 @optonline.net and I’ll send you a more information setting up a session together. Or, just feel free to email me your questions.
Note: If someone is experiencing a debilitating emotional, mental-health, or addiction issue, I recommend getting an evaluation by an experienced, qualified, therapist with a solid Torah perspective and if possible, a background in Breslov Chassidus. Any professional should be able to tell you what their successful outcome rate is. For help finding an effective therapist, it might be helpful to use the tools in Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better and Move On (Without Wasting Time or Money); HCI Books, 2009. At the same time, working on the spiritual aspect of recovery from emotional problems or addiction is absolutely vital.