Danny and Gafnit SmallCognitive Behavioral Therapy has been recognized as the leading treatment method for individuals suffering from simple and complex trauma. Our unique training course, which is taught in Hebrew, combines classic evidence-based CBT methods and embeds them in a three-stage treatment model.

In our first year, we teach specific trauma related diagnostic tools, CBT treatment structuring and case conceptualization, and the three stage trauma treatment model, including emotional regulation, various exposure methods and cognitive interventions for simple trauma and PTSD. During the second year, we focus on complex trauma, which often engenders anxiety disorders, depression, complex personality disorders such as PBD and dissociative disorders, impulse control difficulties and decompensation. The second year provides the theoretical framework for understanding these disorders from a trauma and non-trauma related perspective while providing practical training and state of the art skills for use in a mental health practice, including mindfulness, DBT, schema therapy and ACT.

Our trauma-focused CBT course is recognized by the Israeli Association for Cognitive Behavior Psychotherapy.

For more information, contact Gafnit Aghassy, Training Coordinator, Gafnit@metiv.org, 02-6449666

First Year: Simple Trauma

Course Duration:            30 weekly 4.5 hour sessions, three 3-hour workshops, two seminar day (216 academic hours)
Time and Dates:              Mondays, 13:00-17:30 pm, October 2020 to July 2021
Lecturers:                        Prof. Danny Brom, Gafnit Aghassy, Dr. Ehud Rahat, Prof. Ruth Pat-Horenczyk, Dr. Martin Auerbach and other guest speakers.
Costs:                               9,700 NIS

Participants will acquire the skills necessary to diagnosis and treat using cognitive exposure therapy according to the three phase model. The course will focus on treating Simple Trauma- i.e., trauma induced by exposure to a one-time traumatic event in adulthood.

Second year: Treating Complex Trauma

Course Duration:                         30 weekly 4.5 hour sessions, three 3-hour workshops, three seminar day (226 academic hours).
Time and Dates:                          Mondays, 13:00-17:30 pm, September 2021 to July 2022
Cost:                                             11,000 NIS
Lecturers:                                     Prof. Danny Brom, Gafnit Aghassy Prof. Onno van der Hart, Sheri Oz, Dr. Ehud Rahat, Dr. Oded Ben-Arush, Dr. Danny Derby, Prof. Ruth Pat-Horenczyk

First year Content:

  • Phenomenology of trauma
  • Cognitive effects of trauma
  • Identification and diagnosis of trauma victims
  • Healthy coping and the development of PTSD
  • Acute stress disorder (ASD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Cognitive behavioral treatment models
  • Treatment and the three phase model:
  • Stabilization Phase: diagnosis, psycho-education, functional analysis, building a therapy plan, learning self-regulation techniques
  • Processing: verbal and nonverbal methods
  • Integration: Building a continuous narrative, using of cognitive interventions according to Ellis (REBT) and Beck (CT)

Second year: Treating Complex Trauma

Complex PTSD is caused by exposure to many or prolonged traumatic events, such as captivity, prolonged battle, domestic violence or childhood abuse or neglect.

Many therapists recognize in symptoms such as difficulty trusting, self-destructive tendencies, Alexithymia (difficulty expressing emotions in words), chronic depression, and symptoms related to borderline personality disorder or dissociative symptoms. Many of these symptoms may be attributed to complex trauma and are often resistant to conventional therapy.

Pierre Janet developed the three-phase model for treating such disorders in the 1800s, and his model, which has since been adapted and revised by modern day clinicians( e.g. v.d. Hart), is now recognized as the treatment of choice for complex trauma disorders. Individuals with complex trauma often suffer from a wide range of associated disorders such as substance abuse, deficits in social skills and various anxiety disorders that need to be dealt with before the trauma is addressed, making treatment lengthier and more complex than usual. The course offers evidence based methods for treating severe personality disorders.

Second year content:

  • Origins of complex trauma – etiology: effects of violence, sexual abuse, war, captivity and other factors
  • Phenomenology: characteristics and diagnosis of complex trauma disorders
  • Complex trauma and depression: diagnosing and treating depression and traumatic grief
  • Complex trauma and anxiety: characteristics, diagnosis and treatment of the following disorders: agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, simple phobias, OCD, social anxiety, including social skills acquisition and problem-solving strategies
  • Trauma and destructiveness: Treatment impulse control problems and impulsivity, addiction treatment

Trauma and difficulties in building a therapeutic relationship: cognitive behavioral strategies for building trust, enlisting co-operation and commitment to therapeutic goals

  • Trauma and severe personality disorders: phenomenology, diagnosis, Linehan’s therapy model (DBT)
  • Trauma and the body: body image, fears about health, eating disorders, and trauma’s impacts on sexuality
  • Trauma and Dissociation: phenomenology, diagnosis and treatment based on the Structural Dissociation model (Professor van der Hart)
  • Trauma, psychiatric crises and psychosis

Among the methods that will be taught: Mindfulness according to Siegel and Kbat-Zinn, ACT according to Hayes, and Schema Therapy by Young

Note: The course is taught in Hebrew.

Detailed Program:
“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.”

–Ben Okri, Nigerian Poet & Novelist

This comprehensive training program, taught in Hebrew, will provide the theoretical framework and clinical skills to treat post traumatic disorders using state of the art, evidence based trauma treatment methods (Exposure Methods, e.g. Foa et al., Cognitive Processing Therapy, e.g. Clark, Ehlers et al.) and embeds them in a three stage treatment model (Janet, Van de Hart) that paces the different interventions so as not to overwhelm patients with painful recollections before they have learnt to regulate their arousal level. Our training emphasizes mind-body approaches and includes third wave CBT treatment modules such as mindfulness, DBT and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

The program is intended for mental health professionals who work with traumatized people or encounter people suffering from anxiety or depression, including social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, art therapists, occupational therapists, school counselors and clinical criminologists.

Teaching methods include lectures, reading and the discussion of academic papers, live demonstrations and movies, practice of learned techniques and clinical guidance on cases. These methods are effective for treating trauma as well as treating anxiety disorders, dissociative disorders, depression and a range of other disorders.

Testimonials from Course Participants:

“I completed the METIV trauma-focused CBT training 4 years ago. Since then I have been using the different treatment approaches and techniques I acquired in the course, helping patients cope with a wide range of symptoms and disorders. I am surprised time and time again about how quickly it is possible for patients to overcome anxiety disorders and return to adaptive functioning. The approaches and conceptualizations I learned in the course help me both in short term interventions and in long term dynamically oriented treatments.”

Kathy Ish Shalom, Clinical Psychologist in Private Practice and Child Care Institutes

A few words about the training in Trauma focused CBT at METIV. When friends ask me what I gained from the course, I tell them that it is more than simply CBT. As someone who has previously been trained by senior mental health professionals, and accumulated much therapeutic knowledge along the way, I feel that this course was unique. The manner in which it was conducted and the many live demonstrations and exercises, enabled all of us to experience the different stages of the therapeutic process and to understand it on a deep, personal level. The theoretical models and concepts became very clear and tangible as a result. The learning experience was very empowering, and gave me and my fellow student true confidence in our abilities, which ultimately benefits our patients in the long run.”

Miri Drabkin, senior educational councelor, Magen Avraham-Limudei Hashem institute for Special Education, Jerusalem.

“Every professional treating PTSD is familiar with the frustration that often accompanies these difficult treatments. As a psychiatrist leading a unit that treats dozens of war veterans, I am intimately familiar with the feeling that sometimes nothing can be done to relieve a patients’ suffering despite my intense desire to help. In this sense the METIV training on trauma focused CBT, led by Gafnit Aghassy, opened my eyes to a new world. In the course of the two year training I gradually began to see that there is much I can do for many of the patients I previously felt were beyond my help. The therapeutic techniques and approaches seeped into other therapies I give, which are not PTSD related. My patients benefited from this, and as their therapist, I did as well.”

Dr. Oren Tene, Senior Psychiatrist, Head of Army Veterans Unit, Dept. Of Psychiatry, Ichilov Tel Aviv Medical Center

“I would like to express some of my thoughts and experiences during the METIV training in Trauma Focused CBT for therapists to the Ethiopian community. It was an excellent course. The theoretical portion of the course connected very smoothly with the practice and demonstrations in class. Together, these components provided the framework and conceptual base of the core part of the training, which was – in my opinion – the personal experiential work during demonstrations and practice sessions. These led to personal change and a change in our therapeutic approach to patients.

The experiential work as a patient afforded me with deep insights regarding how different interventions feel and operate, and how it feels to be in a mutually respectful, therapeutic relationship with many opportunities to explore and make important choices. I learned a lot from the opportunity to resolve some personal traumas – like the terrified nightly scramble to bomb shelters during my childhood, which had haunted my nights for many years. Today, I look at these experiences without a feeling of fear from an obscure, overwhelming threat. After daring to look at the above experience during the course, name it, take it apart, measure and inspect it from all angles, and finally reorganize it, I realized that I could do the same with many of my colleague’s traumatic experiences.

The course is not only about technique. The moderator’s wise and sensitive approach to students, colleagues, issues and dilemma’s as well as her confidence in our abilities enabled a wonderful learning atmosphere, and the exceptional experiences that occurred within it.

Rachel Mann, Mariane Infant Care Center, Kiryat Gat

“I just completed the CBT Trauma Treatment Training Program at METIV, and want to share my experience as well as pass on the info below. The course has been extremely helpful to me as a therapist in private practice. I have gained a wealth of tools and techniques for treating clients dealing with trauma or anxiety that I did not have before, as well as a much deeper theoretical understanding of trauma. I find myself using knowledge from the course with clients all the time–my clients are the true beneficiaries of my taking this course! Learning with Gafnit Aghassy is a privilege. She is a master therapist who truly has “the touch,” and while I have learned many techniques from her, her ability to be truly present and respectful and enter into the reality of the other transcends any specific modality. The main crux of the learning is through her demonstrating different techniques and approaches on students in the class (yes, you will have to bring your real life issues), providing lots of opportunities to watch her work. We then work in pairs or small groups so everyone is both therapist and client many times over- the best kind of learning. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.”

– Miriam Friedman, MSW, www.miriamfriedmanmsw.com