Kesharim (Connections) is a center for treating addictions in a warm and accepting atmosphere.
Our unique program offers hope of a new life for addicts and their families. It provides tools for dealing with addiction, stress, pressure. It encourages cognitive and behavioral changes in the lives of addicts and their family.
At its core, addiction is a misguided response to deep emotional stress. Hence, although our first priority is to stop the addict from using whatever it is he is addicted to, that it is not enough. We need to indentify the underlying cause of the addiction and to encourage cognitive and behavioral change that will free the addict from his dependence on self-destructive behavior and allow him to build a healthier and happier lifestyle.
We believe that involving the addict’s family in the treatment process is the key to recovery and, more significantly, long-term sustainability. Therefore, we offer the addict’s spouse/significant other, parents, and adult children programs where they receive support and tools for coping with the situation in which they find themselves.
We offer treatment for men and women over the age of eighteen who suffer from addiction or pre-addiction to gambling, sex, pornography, food, codependent relationships, computers or the internet.
Our clients are intelligent and reputable individuals who are capable of taking responsibility for their treatment and making changes in their own lives. The programs are structured to be as nonintrusive as possible and to allow participants to maintain their daily and weekly routine.
We have proven experience in treating addicts from religious backgrounds and do so sensitively and discretely, while taking into consideration their particular needs.
Our experience has shown that involving other members of the addict’s family in the recovery process is crucial. Therefore, we offer support and guidance to spouses/significant others, parents, and adult children of addicts and to parents of addicts: those who feel distress and helplessness in the face of the addict and the addiction. In addition, Ksharim offers guidance to parents to enable them to deal effectively with young children living in the shadow of addiction and to couples to assist them for reestablishing their damaged relationship.
Our professional staff
Our staff consists of highly experience social workers and psychotherapists, along with recovering addicts who have themselves undergone treatment and who provide guidance and support during the healing process. Friendly and empathetic, our staff treats clients with the utmost sensitivity and discretion and establishes the trust and acceptance that are crucial for the recovery process.
1. The Addict:
Addiction is symptomatic of deep psychological distress. Searching for a means to numb his pain, the addict turns to gambling, food, pornography, the internet, or some other outlet. At some stage, the “solution” becomes the problem. The addict no longer gets relief from his pain, and the addiction constitutes an additional source of suffering.
In order to free the addict from his addiction, we need to identify and treat the underlying cause of the addiction. Although stopping the use is of immediate concern, addressing the more fundamental issues is necessary in order to prevent a return to the cycle of addiction.
2. The Spouse/Partner of an Addict:
Spouses/partners of addicts often describe themselves as living with a person who is physically present but emotionally absent. In some cases, the person with whom they are living appears to the outside world to be a well-functioning individual, dedicated to his family and successful professionally. In other cases, economic anxiety caused or exacerbated by his erratic behavior may compound the emotional stress. However, what most spouses/partners seem to have in common is profound loneliness. They also tend to feel that it is their responsibility to conceal the problem from friends and relatives and to protect him by explaining or justifying his embarrassing behavior. This can lead to further isolation and further loneliness.
For the spouse/partner of an addict, learning that others are in situations similar to hers and sharing experiences with them in a mutually supportive environment can ease her loneliness. Discovering that others have overcome situations similar to hers can provide her with hope. Acquiring tools that have enabled others to turn their situations around can allow her to do the same.
Addiction can have a corrosive effect on a relationship. An atmosphere in which suspicion, fear or resentment lurks in the background will tend to undermine trust, which is an essential component of a healthy relationship. When the situation deteriorates into actual cheating or violence, the relationship is in serious jeopardy. Furthermore, in many instances the spouse/partner becomes the “educator” who reprimands the addict and devotes a great amount of energy following the addict around, taking care of him, and saving him from the addiction.
When the addict receives treatment, for his addiction, there is often the illusion that once he is “fixed,” the relationship will flourish. The problem is that, over time, the unhealthy behavioral patterns caused by the addiction leave their marks on the relationship. These need to be addressed and treated in order to restore the relationship and allow it to thrive.
Couples counseling can provide the tools necessary to create a relationship based on independence and mutual respect.
The Religious Addict:
Every addict experiences a conflict between his behavior and the value system of the world to which he belongs. This conflict is particularly stark for the religious addict, who is devoted to religious law that often expressly forbids his conduct.
Moreover, because the religious community is by its nature conservative and insular, there is a tremendous fear of discovery,which can damage the reputation of the addict and his family and lead to social ostracization or even to expulsion from essential communal institutions. In some cases, discovery of the addiction can harm the marriage prospects of family members. This complicated reality can intensify the distress of the religious addict and make it difficult for him and his relatives to seek help.
Of course, all addicts who seek treatment are entitled to the utmost sensitivity and discretion. However, to treat the religious addict, we need to devote extra effort into making him feel safe. We need to understand and respect his traditions. We need to be certain that the treatment does not conflict with his beliefs and lifestyle, but rather that they complement each other.
4. Adult Children (Aged 18+) of the Addict:
Children of an addict live in a disturbing atmosphere of instability, cycles of euphoria and depression and feelings of fear and loneliness. They are exposed to a negative role model of an uncaring and distant parent, self-involved and uninterested in their welfare. They may suffer from neglect and are exposed to explosions of anger, parental fighting, and even violence. Sometimes they lie to cover up their parents’ dysfunctional behavior.
During treatment we connect to the internal problem of the child, and provide guidance and tools to deal with the various problems, pressures, and stresses with which he or she must contend.
5. Guidance for Parents of Young Children Living in the Shadow of the Addiction
Addicts and their spouses/partners face special challenges in raising their children. Children of addicts may display an unwillingness to listen to figures of authority – such as parents, teachers, and principals – an attitude that can show up in inappropriate behavior or speech. Often, they do not function properly in school due to ADD or disciplinary issues. Occasionally, they simply refuse to go to school. At home, they may have difficulty sleeping or may wet their bed.
This type of family is in particular need of guidance to ensure the healthy upbringing of their children.
Parents will receive effective child-raising tools and techniques: understanding children and their needs, encouragement, effectively setting boundaries, fostering parental authority, and improving the family atmosphere.
6. Guidance for Parents of Children and Adolescents at Risk of Addiction
If you suspect that your child suffers from addiction or pre-addiction to the computer and/or the internet, gambling, pornography, and so forth, contact us for counseling and professional advice.
Studies show that parental awareness and early identification of problems among youth are invaluable in preventing addiction and stopping the situation from deteriorating.
Children at risk for addiction include:
- Children with a parent or other family member who is an addict
- Children whose family atmosphere is too strict or overly permissive
- Children who are recent immigrants
- Children who were exposed to stressful situations
- Children who experience failure and frustration as a result of learning disabilities or ADD