Counselling Associations

All Professional Bodies, National Associations (e.g. Mental Health, School, Guidance, Addiction, Faith-based etc.) and Accrediting Organisations.

Israel Psychoanalytic Society (IPS)

Israeli Association for Marital and Family Therapy and Family Life Education (ITA)

Israeli Association of School Counsellors

Association for English Speaking Mental Health Professionals (GHI)

Universities and Other Education and Training Institutes

The PATH Center

Haifa University

Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres

There were not any that could be found.

Background & Context

Barak and Golan (2000) explain that in 1977, Israel established the Law of Psychologists, which “recognized five distinctive areas of specialization, including clinical, educational, social/vocational, rehabilitation, and developmental psychology” (Barak & Golan, 2000, p 101). Counselling was not recognized as a distinct area, although in the 1980’s and 1990’s failed attempts were made to add this to the list (Barak & Golan, 2000). Furthermore, the law also states that psychotherapy is only allowed to be practiced by clinical psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists (Barak & Golan, 2000).

School counselling, however, is thriving, even having its own association. There is the Israeli Association of School Counsellors and a proposed Law of School Counsellors (Israelashvili & Wegman-Rozi, 2012). They are also one of the countries pioneering in preschool counselling, where teachers and parents are guided in working with young children (Israelashvili & Wegman-Rozi, 2012).

Another thriving division of counselling is family counselling, with multiple centers available throughout Israel. Israelashvili and Wegman-Rozi (2012) further explain that family counsellors in Israel complete their certification “by the Israeli Agency for Family and Couples Counseling” (Israelashvili & Wegman-Rozi, 2012, p 230).

Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:

The Israeli Agency for Family and Couples Counseling allows for certification and regulation for family and couples counselling only. As for other areas such as counselling and school counselling, there has been little to no recognition of these two specializations, therefore there is no regulation. Counsellors practicing in Israel are typically licensed under foreign counselling associations, or they are a licensed psychologist practicing under the Israel Ministry of Health. Israel’s National Health Insurance (NHI) provides mental healthcare and covers psychotherapy, medications, inpatient, and outpatient care.

Practice Settings

Counselling services in Israel are available in settings such as:

  • Online tele-counselling
  • University counselling centers
  • Private Practices
  • Government centers
  • Marriage and family counselling centers
  • Schools

Challenges & Trends

In 2010, the Israeli parliament redefined the meaning of psychological treatment in the Law of Psychologists to mean more general psychological treatments rather than psychotherapy alone (Israelashvili & Wesman-Rozi, 2012). Therefore, there is a possibility that counselling itself can be included and seen as a legitimate approach in the near future (Israelashvili & Wesman-Rozi, 2012). 

A challenge that comes with the counselling profession not being recognized by the country is that there are limited university programs dedicated to counselling in Israel. According to Israelashvili & Wesman-Rozi (2012), the only counselling program that was offered at Tel Aviv University had no choice but to discontinue because their graduates from the program were not credited by the Israeli Psychological Association. However, there is now a Department of Counselling and Human Development at Haifa University that provides both undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs. 

Another challenge according to Israelashvili & Wesman-Rozi (2012) is the Israeli tendency to give advice. They explained that because advice is seen to be a free and relatively easy way to receive help for personal issues, counselling has had the tendency to be labelled as just giving advice and deemed unimportant (Israelashvili & Wesman-Rozi, 2012).

Additional Information & References

For a deeper exploration of the counselling profession in the country, interested readers are recommended to read the following journal & website articles:

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