Having Meaningful Conversations

By Caitlin Rife, LMSW

What does it mean to be a part of a meaningful conversation? When I think of conversations that I now look back on as meaningful, I think of a time when I felt truly heard and seen by the people I was speaking with, and reciprocally, those people felt heard and seen by me.

Whether we have just met someone, or we have known them our entire lives, connecting with others through conversation is a major part of the human experience and we all benefit from that connection.

The phrase, meaningful conversations, is also how Jewish Community Services refers to our support groups, normalizing the need to connect and share challenges and making them feel accessible and welcoming for all. We want anyone interested in participating to know that these are opportunities for people to come together to share experiences, resources, and questions in a non-judgmental and understanding space. Just as importantly, these conversations provide participants with the opportunity to build relationships and community with others who may be able to relate to their circumstances, whether it be grieving after the loss of a loved one, being a caregiver, or living with a chronic disease.

As a mental health professional, I understand the stigma associated with talking about the challenges we face. Our hope is that these conversations will help break down some of those barriers by allowing participants to be in control of setting the goals of each conversation, week-by-week or month-by-month, with JCS simply providing a safe and consistent space to achieve them.

Currently, JCS is offering the following conversations:

When Your Loved One has Dementia
1st and 3rd Monday each month; 10:00 – 11:30 am

Living with Parkinson’s Disease
2nd Tuesday each month; 2:00 – 3:00 pm

When Your Loved One has Parkinson’s Disease
3rd Tuesday each month; 10:00 – 11:00 am

Good Company
1st and 3rd Wednesday each month; 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Healing Conversations: A Group for Suicide Loss Survivors
2nd Thursday each month; 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Living with Low Vision
2nd and 4th Thursday each month; 1:30 – 2:30 pm

Let’s start talking!

Jewish Community Services (JCS) is dedicated to providing programs and services that help people of all ages and backgrounds achieve their goals and enhance their wellbeing.

To learn more, visit jcsbalt.org or call 410-466-9200.

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