Ilana Rachnaev – her story

Being a first generation American born to traditional Bukharian family came with many beautiful yet challenging experiences. As a child I grew up having pride in my identity and empowered by my grandparents and parents to overcome hurdles along the journey of development. I find much of the cultural conversations within our families stem from differences in inter generational views and how to overcome those barriers is the challenge. My personal journey to joining the mental health profession stems from exploring cultural family systems as well as my own experiences related to anxiety.
I am proud of being a licensed clinician with over 10 years of experience as a behavioral health specialist. My subspecialty fields in mental health are ABA-working with children with special needs, sex education/sex therapist, and addiction counselor. My passion is working with both populations related to child/adolescents and geriatrics struggling with mental health crises and substance abuse disorders. As a social worker my life’s mission is to advocate, empower, assess, and foster a better system delivery to those most vulnerable in our community. Our children are our future and we need to invest in their mental health and secure their identities. Yesodot believes strongly in community advocacy and collaboration with community leaders to implement much needed programs and various services to our community.
In relation to mental health, I would like to share my journey with overcoming the barriers and stigma surrounding anxiety and have a open discussion about post partum anxiety. Many women suffer in silence with the challenges that come from motherhood and are culturally told to just suck it up and deal with the problems alone. As a first time mom post partum anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks and I was not ready for the challenges that laid ahead. I felt overwhelmed, anxious, afraid, constantly worried, and always wanted to be there with my baby. It was as if I was unable to even put him down for a second because of feeling a sense of anxiousness. I was self aware and understood that I was not functioning in a manner that was wholesome and independent from others. I decided then and there to seek help from post maternity counseling at The Motherhood Center of New York and it was the best decision I ever made for me and my family. I explored on areas I needed to work on as well as learned to be more centered, present and live in the moment. Thankful to Hashem by my second baby I felt more prepared and had the tools to help myself relieve my levels of anxiety and be more transparent with how to meet my needs as well as express myself constructively.
My future ambitions along with Yesodot are to achieve acceptance to a doctoral program to further my career. I want to strengthen and congratulate the amazing reputation of our strong Bukharian Jewish women, who work endlessly and tirelessly to support their husbands and children and bring honor to their family. We are strong, we are wise, we are beautiful, and we are women.
” Come as you are”