Newsletter – May 2021

Dear CCW supporters, we began working on our latest newsletter before the unfolding of recent events that erupted in Israel and Gaza. We pray for peace and quiet for both sides and hope that violence will come to an end as soon as possible.

CCW Therapist Karen Shachar Fernandez Amar Retires After 27 Years

CCW therapist Karen Shachar Fernandez Amar was a familiar face to many CCW donors and supporters over the years. Apart from being a senior therapist at CCW, she was an active member of the CCW fundraising team since the beginning and represented CCW on many occasions and trips abroad.

After 27 years, Karen recently retired from CCW as a therapist. She joined the CCW staff in the 90s after finishing her MSW degree in the US and coming back to Israel. The fact that CCW is a grassroots feminist professional therapy organization where women learn from each other, attracted Karen to the Center.

We spoke to Karen about just two of her numerous clients, whom she helped significantly over the years and how feminist therapy changed their lives for the better.

Story of M.

M. in her 40s and mother of three came to CCW when she was pregnant with her 3rd child. She turned to CCW for therapy because she realized that she did not love all her children equally, something which caused her extreme distress. She had looked for a place that could really help her without being judgmental about her situation and thought that CCW’s feminist perspective would suit her world view as a woman.

During her therapy, M. examined the reasons behind why it was difficult for her to be close to one of her children and what that child represented for her. Therapy at CCW created a safe space for her where she could speak openly about her issues and eventually, over time, she found the capacity to love all her children equally and for who they are.

Story of R

R., married and mother of 3, was a client at CCW, and after Karen decided to retire, she continued her therapy digitally through Zoom. According to Karen, accommodating the conditions of therapy to the clients’ needs is one of the most important aspects of feminist therapy.

R. came to CCW because she was feeling extreme anxiety and having panic attacks. She was overweight and struggling with a compulsive eating disorder.  In addition, she had a difficult family history as her mother had passed away from breast cancer and her father had died of AIDS.

When she began therapy at CCW, she was working in an abusive work environment where her two male bosses were always putting down women at the office. They frequently commented on her weight. R.’s husband was also condescending towards her, and R. felt that she did not have control of anything in her life and that she ‘just wasn’t good enough’.

With the help of therapy that R. received at CCW, R began a new journey where she left the company to establish her own business. She said that this would not have happened were it not for CCW and Karen, who helped her find her strengths.

Being in therapy for many years in various places, she had mentioned to Karen, that no one had been so supportive of her. When R. began therapy at CCW, she was paying full fee. While she continued her sessions at the Center, her husband got fired from his work. To enable her to continue therapy and change her life for the better, CCW offered her a subsidized therapy fee.

We wish Karen the best of luck with her future endeavors and there is no doubt that we will be keeping with close ties with her in the future.