An introductory evening with Aviva Serenge, MSW, for marriage-minded singles is taking place on Thursday, May 8, 2014 in Jerusalem. I asked Aviva to tell me a bit about what she does and why, and what people could expect from the upcoming event and six-session workshop.
Deena: First, why do you believe in the work you do with singles?
Aviva: I so often see singles in my practice lost in the dating maze. They are hearing conflicting approaches about how to date and end up feeling confused. The beauty of the approach that I use is that it empowers people to access their inner voice and make the necessary changes within themselves. Once achieved, they become more focused and able to reach their desired goals.
Deena: Can you tell me about yourself?
Aviva: I am originally from London, made aliya 24 years ago. I studied social work, and worked in the field until fairly recently. Over time, I felt that it became harder and harder to really facilitate change as a social worker, and this started to frustrate me.
This frustration was one of the catalysts for me studying a two-year course in guided imagery and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). I liked the fact that this approach allowed for dramatic changes to take place within a relatively short period, and it really seemed to get to the core of the issues.
On a personal level, at around the time I started studying, I was feeling very disheartened about the dating scene. I was going on numerous dates, but nothing was coming of all my effort.
While in the course, we were encouraged to test the techniques we were learning on each other. Since NLP focuses on working towards a tangible goal that is in our control, I used it to help me be active in understanding what I needed in order to achieve my goal of finding a suitable partner for marriage and creating a long-lasting relationship.
These techniques ended up helping me make important changes in my life and by the end of the first year of studying I was engaged to be married. Thank G-d, I have now been married for almost five years, and use many of the techniques that I have learnt to enhance my marriage and other areas of my life.
My personal experience with the therapeutic techniques I studied and my belief in their effectiveness make me passionate about helping others in similar situations using these methods.
I firmly believe that every marriage-minded individual should have his or her dream realized and that it’s possible to realize it.
Deena: OK, so what exactly do you do?
Aviva: I help people create change through workshops and individual sessions by combining guided imagery and neuro-linguistic programming techniques with twenty years of more conventional counseling skills.
Neuro-linguistic programming is a goal-orientated approach to helping us tune into our hidden strengths and use them to help us succeed in life. Guided imagery allows us to relax and imagine change taking place with the belief that once we imagine something, the change in reality is not far behind.
Deena: What can people expect from your event?
Aviva: First what not to expect.
A few months ago I went to an event about singles and one of the speakers gave guidelines for dating “properly.” I sat there thinking that if I was still single, I’d have felt like I’d been doing it all wrong!
This event isn’t about telling people what to do. Many singles question themselves a lot and what I do is help them learn to cancel out all the noise around them (for example, being told what you should be doing in order to get married) and figure out what is really good for them.
On Thursday I will explain about the methods and then let you experience them. Through the NLP you’ll be learning how to focus on your strengths and through the guided imagery you’ll learn how to let go of baggage from past relationship experiences.
There will be time to talk about the experience for anyone interested in discussing it in the group.
What I hope for people to get from the evening is a feel for how these powerful methods could contribute to their lives by helping them be more relaxed and in touch with themselves.
Afterwards, I’ll speak about the upcoming six-session workshop I’m offering of a similar nature. People who sign up that night will receive a 100NIS discount.
I’ll be available at the end of the event to talk to people more privately.
Deena: Let’s say someone is hesitating coming to your event. They might wonder what they’re going to get out of it or be concerned about feeling uncomfortable. What would you say to them?
Aviva: Some people might hesitate because they’re worried they’re going to get a pep talk and be told what to do. The work I do is about helping people figure out for themselves what works for them.
Others might be concerned about sharing in a group setting. It’s important to me that no one does anything they don’t want to do. The evening is for the benefit the participants and this should be an enjoyable process.
I look forward to seeing you Thursday!
What: Tap into your imagination and unlock your potential – for marriage-minded individuals
When: Thursday, May 8, 2014, 8:00 pm
Where: Shir Chadash, 4 Cheyl Nashim Street, Katamon, Jerusalem
Entrance fee: 30NIS
More information: Aviva Serenge – 054-803-2427, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.thepotentialme.com/, the Facebook event