Addiction therapy is a specific area of expertise within mental health that requires appropriate training.
Every tenth Israeli suffers from a substance or behavior addiction, and estimates in the world, and also in Israel, are that after the corona year, the number of people dealing with addiction even increased.
A new survey now shows that an absolute majority of therapists – 85% of them, are interested in acquiring tools “that will help them specialize in the field.”
According to the survey, conducted by the Israeli Center for Addictions (ICA) among therapists of various types in the field of mental health (psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, etc.), 90% of therapists testified that they encountered a patient who at least once in his life had to deal with some addiction. Half of the therapists (46%) said that about one-fifth of their patients are currently dealing with addiction.
In a conversation with Maariv, Prof. Shauli Lev-Ran, co-founder and academic director of the Israeli Center for Addictions, explains that “this survey does not surprise any of us, who train therapists on a daily basis.
There is a real problem here and it is a cross-sectoral problem that has hit almost every home in Israel. “Training therapists in addiction treatment should be part of a national effort, not just of individual organizations.”
Avital Friedman, director of the ICA Campus for Therapist Training, adds: “There is hardly a therapist who has not encountered a person suffering from an addiction at work, and yet many of them have not undergone appropriate training for this.
“The therapists who come to us for the training programs come with a lot of motivation and very little training in the field, and for that we are here – to know how to identify and diagnose the addiction early and recommend different treatment methods.
Even the most talented therapists cannot do this without learning. I hope that training in the field of addictions will become part of every mental health curriculum. “