EHPS National Delegate
Support the EHPS to deliver its aim of helping individuals, families, and societies to better cope with life challenges related to illness and health, by promoting rigorous science, health promotion interventions, and close collaborations.
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Previously, even mainstream organizations representing psychologists failed to adequately acknowledge the importance and uniqueness of health psychology, a shortcoming that forced psychologists in the medical system to fend for themselves in terms of their careers and professional struggles. However, in 1980 a group of psychologists in the field worked together to form an "association of health psychologists" in an attempt to fill the void and establish a community for learning and research in the field.
Then, in 1988, the Israeli Ministry of Health established a division for health psychology that was comprised of psychologists from a variety of subspecialties including health psychology, as well as researchers and university professors. The main goals of the division were threefold: 1) to contribute to the field of health in terms of understanding the role played by psychological issues in physical illnesses, diagnosis of these psychological issues, and the prevention of medical issues via attending to psychological issues,, 2) to advance clinical research in the field,, and 3) to provide formal and continuing education for those who work in the field. In 2001, The Israel Psychological Association recognized health psychology as a unique subspecialty of psychology, a decision with legal backing. An official curriculum was established, and the guidelines and requirements for the residency in order to receive certification as a health psychologist were defined.
Health Division, The Israel Psychological Association
The first and only accredited graduate level health psychology (referred to as Medical Psychology) program in Israel was established by Professor Rebecca Jacoby at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo. The core curriculum of the program includes courses on the basic principles that a clinician must be well-versed in, such as psychopathology, psychotherapy, and how to conduct an interview. The curriculum also emphasizes the medical aspects of the field, such as physiology, anatomy, and pharmacology. Lastly, the curriculum includes courses unique to the field of health psychology, such as health and illness behavior and sociology of medicine. Beyond the coursework, students are required to take part in a number of practicums in a hospital in both inpatient and outpatient clinics. Further information about the program can be found on the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo's website: www.mta.ac.il
Israel Science Foudation; The German Israeli Foundation; The U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation