Last month I was at an event for women where the main speaker asked the audience if they were every asked the question: “What do you want?” or “What do you want to do?” Only a few hands in the room were raised. I looked around at the women who shared my table; none of us raised our hand. We started to laugh. For the majority of us, to hear this question was a personal revelation. It is such a basic question, but most never hear it. Reflecting back, there were times in my life where I had to fight to be able to do what I wanted to do instead of what others wanted me to do, or thought I should do. Asking yourself this question – “What do I want?” can start an inner-journey of rediscovering the voices in you that have been suppressed for many years. This journey is not an easy one, and it requires help and guidance. In the Seattle area there are two psychotherapists, Geri Dube' and Galit Kedar, who took on themselves the mission to empower women by helping them get in touch with those forgotten desires and needs that were never addressed before. I have met with Galit to discuss their work and to learn more about the meaning of the term “Women’s Empowerment” and how each woman can get in touch with the hidden wonders within herself. If you live in the Seattle area and would like to work with Geri and Galit, see details about their upcoming workshop at the end of the interview.
Galit kedar has been working as a psychotherapist in the Greater Seattle area for the last 20 years. Galit's treatment approach is holistic and dynamic. By using her broad experience and multicultural & international perspective she is able to help clients of diverse backgrounds identify their needs and discover their strength so they can move forward in life. Galit believes that we are all capable of living a fulfilling life, and we actually owe that to ourselves. Galit Her motto is: “Always know in your heart that you are far bigger than anything that can happen to you.”
Geri Dube' is a psychotherapist practicing in the greater Seattle area for over 25 years. Her style is highly interactive and motivational, helping people move beyond feeling "stuck" to the excitement of growth and new possibilities. Geri lectures, facilitates groups, and conducts workshops on relationship issues, career development, and personal growth. Her motto is: "If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you always got... maybe its time for CHALLENGE AND CHANGE!"
What is Women’s Empowerment?
Women’s Empowerment is teaching women to get to know themselves, identify their needs, and find their potential in life. Our society teaches women to give and care for others, and as long as women serve their environment they are considered to be good women. An empowered woman is a woman who is able to see herself beyond social definitions or parental expectations. She is able to connect with her authentic needs and act upon them, whether she wants to be a full time mother or a career woman. She is able to manifest her true nature and feel good about who she is. Each woman is something special and unique. If we, as a society, could help each woman to connect with her deeper place, women will flourish and we will have heaven on earth here.
There are many women who are very successful in their professional life, but feel a failure in their private life, especially due to their difficulties finding a life partner. How can Women’s Empowerment help women with their intimate relationships?
Many career women have been training themselves to be strong, independent, and to hide their weaknesses in order to survive and promote themselves in the masculine environment of their jobs. These skills, which are very helpful at work, are the very skills that sabotage any attempt to build an intimate relationship.
We start by teaching women to look at life through a different pair of glasses. To be open and vulnerable does not mean to be weak, it is rather a source of empowerment; and that to be able to build intimacy there is a need to be vulnerable and emotionally exposed.
The second step is to identify women’s needs from a relationship without any judgment or shame. We are all-different and have different needs. There are women who are more masculine and men who are more feminine – and it’s OK. It’s important to honestly acknowledge who you are and what your needs are and communicate them. Good questions to ask during this process are: “Why do I want a relationship?” “What kind of a relationship do I want?” “What are my fears regarding having a relationship?”
We also help women to identify and get rid of negative self-talk. We train women to listen carefully to their inner messages and become aware of them. A single woman might tell herself things like, “I’m too stubborn,” “I’m too complicated,” “I’m not warm enough,” “No one would want me,” or “I can’t contain other people in my life.” Releasing type of negative self-talk should be with gratefulness and respect: acknowledging the fact that it may have served us well in the past, but we no longer need it today. For example, a woman who was sexually abused as a young child might have become obese to protect herself and not to attract sexual attention from men. But now that she wants to have a relationship she needs to acknowledge that her compulsive eating habits that served her well in the past, no longer serve her to achieve her desires. She can thank the extra weight for protecting her in times of need and be ready to release it from her body.
We continue this process by exchanging negative self-talk with positive self-affirmations, like “I’m a loving person and I’m open to having a relationship.” If you find it too hard to believe such a statement, you can adopt a softer affirmation such as, “I can learn to open up to people.” When a woman finds it hard to believe that she can change, we encourage her to hold on to a small thing that she did in the past to instigate a mental change. For example, if a woman says, “I can’t compromise,” delving into her memory we can find that when going out with friends, she agreed to go to a movie that she didn’t want to. It’s a small thing, but proves to the woman that she has it in her to compromise.
We love to remind women that being in control, and being judgmental are learned behaviors that we adopted in the past to shield ourselves from getting hurt. We encourage women to identify the source of these behavioral patterns and consider how they help them, or not, to achieve their desires.
Geri and Galit believe that all women are Wonder Women. To help women get in touch with the wonder in them, they created a group workshop called "What's Next Wonder Women?" During this program they provide women the support they need in their journey of self-awareness and fulfillment. This is a lifetime journey of empowerment to help each woman become all that she can be. Their next workshop starts on Friday, November 17, between 9:30am - 12pm in Bellevue. Registration fee $65. Space is limited.
For more information call or email Geri or Galit:
-Geri Dube'- 425-3580083
- Galit Kedar- 425-6815761