Ask the psychotherapy expert

Vol IV: Does Israel recognize doctorates of psychology earned through a PsyD degree or only of a PhD degree?

dr mike 88 (photo credit: )
dr mike 88
(photo credit: )
Dr. Mike is a licensed clinical social worker (USA and Israel) in private practice in Ra'anana. He recently wrote a column called "Psych-Talk with Dr. Mike" in which the feedback from readers was excellent. He has decided to shift gears and invite readers to submit their questions concerning a wide range of topics: child development, adult problems, addictions, ADHD, adjustment problems, crises and transitions, trauma, phobia, mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and bi-polar. He also welcomes questions concerning your marital or couple relationship, family issues, parenting, problems at work, self-confidence, shyness and much more. "I take pleasure having the opportunity to answer your questions in what I hope will be an informative and exciting weekly column in the Jerusalem Post-online edition. Look forward to hearing from you soon." Dr. Mike Gropper, DSW Send your questions for Dr. Mike. * * * Psych-Talk with Dr. Mike: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 * * * Vol IV Q: Dear Dr. Mike, B'H I'm not seeking out psychological help for myself at this point. However, as a person interested in making aliya, I thought your expertise in the field of psychology could guide me there sooner. Does Israel recognize doctorates of psychology earned through a PsyD degree or only of a PhD degree and, are there any institutions that offer a PsyD program? Jeremy A: Dear Jeremy, First of all, I hope that you will succeed in your dream to come live in Israel. As for your questions, the old boy scout motto, "Be prepared" is the name of the game in Israel. Your question is the first step in fulfilling this rule preparedness. PsyD degrees are recognized in Israel, but this doesn't guarantee that your PsyD will be automatically accepted. All higher learning degrees need to be independently evaluated by the Ministry of Education. Their requirements are spelled out at their website at The following information taken from the NefeshbNefesh website summarizes the steps:
  • Dissertation: You must submit a printed copy of your dissertation. The offices will not accept it on CD. If your dissertation was not written in English, Hebrew or Arabic, officially, it must be translated into one of these languages and submitted with a legal declaration from a lawyer stating that the translation is accurate and does not include any additions. Note: Before you translate the dissertation, check with Misrad Hachinuch (Ministry of Education) if this is really necessary. If an expert on the review committee happens to speak the language of your dissertation, you won't need it translated.
  • Original version of the Ph.D (Psy.D) diploma or a notarized copy provided by an Israeli notary. It is worthwhile to bring a photocopy as well. Note: If you have a doctorate in psychology, you will need 2 notarized copies for Misrad HaBriut (Ministry of Health) plus one notarized copy for Misrad HaChinuch Ministry of Education).
  • Original diplomas & transcripts for your undergraduate degree and Master's degree. It is worthwhile to bring a photocopy of each. If you studied in a direct Ph.D program, you are required to provide a letter that you received before beginning your Ph.D studies, indicating that you were accepted into a direct Ph.D program, and that this is an option in the institution where you studied.
  • Official letter indicating that you fulfilled all of the requirements for your Ph.D. This letter might include information about the requirements for receiving a Ph.D, entrance exams (if relevant), necessary coursework, number of credits completed, the scope of your doctoral work, etc.
  • Official letter indicating the language of instruction in the institution where you studied. If your dissertation is in a language that differs from the language of the university, you must submit a letter indicating that this was approved by the university before you began your dissertation.
  • Official letter indicating the title and position of your mentor and your Ph.D members of your doctoral committee.
  • Official letter indicating that your dissertation was approved by two dissertation committee members. One member of the committee must be on staff at the institution that granted your degree. The second member of the committee should not be a staff member; but rather should be from outside the institution.
  • If you completed your dissertation in less than 3 years, and did not work during your studies, you must submit documentation providing that you did not work during this time, such as income tax returns, social security documents, etc.
  • Official letter describing the extent of your interaction with your mentor, including the number of meetings, number of email or phone interactions, etc.
  • Letter from an Israeli lawyer indicating that all of the above is accurate and that to the best of your knowledge, you are submitting all of the documents requested by Misrad HaChinuch (Ministry of education). Good luck! Dr. Mike * * * Vol III Dr. Mike Gropper offers advice on how to lower anxiety for the New Year, following a tense summer. Read: Getting back to the lighter side. * * * Vol II Q: Do you know of any support groups for English speakers going through Breast Cancer treatment in the Haifa area? A: Call up Miri Cohen, social worker at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. Her telephone number is 052 3 688623. They have two types of groups for patients. One group is a breast cancer support group that provides emotional support and teaches coping skills and relaxation exercises to participants. They only run this group twice a year for 10 sessions. The second group, while not specific for breast cancer patients, teaches patients with any illness how to relax and reduce stress. These groups are six weeks long and are on-going all year around. I also learned that Kupat Cholim has at the Lynn Center support groups for breast cancer patients. Their phone number is 04 8568568. Ask for their social work or oncology department. I hope this helps you. Questions about coping during the current war Israel is undergoing a major battle for its survival and future. I have total confidence in our capacity to win this war and achieve our goals. The emotional front also requires special skills in dealing with our anxieties and feelings and behavior during the crisis. This is especially true for Israelis both in the south and north who have had to spend time with family members, children, friends and neighbors in bomb shelters. I welcome any question that you may have concerning any aspect of how to deal with the emotional side of this situation. You may have questions about your own fears, the reactions of your children, worries about soldiers who are family members and loved ones directly involved in battle. I will try to answer these questions and hopefully my answers will also give support to many others. Dr. Mike * * * Vol I Hello Dr. Mike, I have a bi-polar daughter who has caused me and the rest of our family terrible pain and suffering. Today she is married with 2 children and another on the way and her husband is a recovering alcoholic with many problems. Everybody tells me to stay away from them and yet my heart is torn. When I do see them, problems always follow afterwards. From your experience with such a problem, what advice can you give me? I thank you. Liza A:Dear Liza, First of all, my heart goes out to you. It is indeed very painful to be torn between wanting to visit your daughter or adhering to the advice of others to stay away from her and her husband.. Bipolar disease affects about 1% of the population. Some experts have described the disorder as a disease of the drives because the moods are swinging from extreme highs to extreme lows. Bipolar individuals can go from extreme depression to mania very quickly. Both sides of this pendulum swing can manifest irritability and opposition with argumentativeness directed at loves ones. In mania, thinking and talking can be very excessive and high-pressured, and this person may not even want to sleep. When depressed, your daughter may feel very sad, numb, or even suicidal. The person suffering from bipolar doesn't have control over his/her moods; instead they seem to drive the individual. From what you have described, it sounds like your daughter, if taking medication, may not be getting the proper medication and dose required to reach a therapeutic level in order to offset and prevent mood swings and the irritability which is a core feature of the mania. It is of course very hard to know from your brief description. It may be a good idea to tell her doctor (the prescribing physician or psychiatrist) what her symptoms are like and how her behavior is affecting you. The doctor needs this type of feedback in order to evaluate progress of treatment and to decide upon adjustments and changes during the course of treatment. It is nevertheless, very important that you take care of yourself or risk becoming too enmeshed in the negative fallout surrounding her illness. First, be sure to see things correctly. Do not personalize her behavior and don't look for fault in yourself for her having her problems. It is probably a smart thing to avoid getting into disagreements and arguments with a person whose irritability is out of control. Keep your expectations realistic if you do go to visit (don't expect stable behavior), and be clear about your own boundaries. You need to get clear and set strict boundaries about what you will and will not tolerate regarding your daughter's bipolar behavior and then stick to what you say. You may in fact decide that you need to create some distance and see them less frequently. It may be that you will have to tell her and her husband that you can be with them only if she continues to take the medications and see a therapist. Only you can decide how often to visit her, but I would make visiting contingent on how she behaves towards you when you do visit. It's not going to do you any good being upset or getting sick yourself as a result of her behavior. You can't force her to get her act together and seek proper treatment, but you can lay out the ground rules for how and when you will see her. Keep the door open but make your daughter realize that you're not going to be an object for her abuse. Try to get some support for yourself. Seek out a counselor or therapist to talk to and maybe join a support group in your community for parents of bipolar individuals or mentally ill family members. The internet has a lot of chat sites that are easily located using a search engine. All the best, Dr. Mike
    This column is intended solely to educate and is not a substitute for personal diagnosis or treatment. If you have a difficult problem, please seek advice from your own doctor or mental-health professional. * * * Send your comments >> Cafe Oleh experts have been chosen for their knowledge and reputation. Cafe Oleh does not take responsibility for any advice they offer.
    Cafe Oleh is the place where you can join in and be published. To send us your comments, article ideas, suggestions and community listings, click here. In the meantime, check out our comprehensive listings and calendar services.