Disclaimer: Misrad Habriut regulations are subject to change without advance notice and are constantly changing. For the most current information regarding licensing procedures, please see Misrad Habriut’s website Nefesh B’Nefesh does not take responsibility for inaccuracies on the site or changes to the law.
- Mental Health Clinics
- Hospitals and rehabilitation centers (through Misrad Habriut, the Ministry of Health)
- Daycare centers for special needs children
- Educational psychological services (through the Municipalities)
- Psychological services provided through the Misrad Habitachon, the Ministry of Defense
- Bituach Leumi (National Insurance Institute)
- Kupat Cholim (Health Funds)
In the private sector, services are offered at private clinics, residential treatment centers, institutions for the elderly, family therapy clinics and non-profit organizations.
Psychologists must be registered in the Pinkas Hapsychologim at Misrad Habriut (the Ministry of Health) in order to work in their field.
To obtain a license, Olim should mail their notarized documents and Teudat Zehut to: Licensing department, Ministry of Health, Yermiyahu 39, Jerusalem, 9446724. No need to translate your documents.
Once you are approved, you will receive a voucher with which you must pay a registration fee in Bank Hadoar. You will mail the receipt back to Misrad Habriut in registered mail and they will send you the Teudah.
Misrad Habriut now offers a new customer call center to answer questions about licensing for health care professionals. Call *5400 from Israel or 972-8-624-1010 from abroad. The center operates Sunday through Thursday, 8am-6PM, and Fridays from 8am-1PM, Israel time.
Further licensing guidelines & forms can be found here.
- If you study in a direct Master’s or PhD program, your studies must be a minimum of 4 years of full time study.
- Your university must be recognized by one of the official bodies for university recognition including the International Association of Universities (see http://www.unesco.org/iau/onlinedatabases/list.html) and the American Psychological Association (APA).
- A correspondence course of study is not recognized.
You can contact the overseas graduates coordinator office at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also try to call 03-5151127 or #5400 (from Israel) and ask for Pinkas Hapsichologim.
The Pinkas Hapsychologim checks the total number of credits obtained during your professional training. Here is what they look for in determining whether you can be licensed in Israel:
Undergraduate studies must include one of the following courses: statistics, research methodologies or experimental psychology.
In addition, undergraduate studies must include 4 basic psychology courses, two courses in each of the following groups:
1. Introduction to Psychology
2. Testing and Assessment methodologies
3. Cognitive psychology: psychology of thinking, cognitive psychology or Psychology of Perception
4. Physiological Psychology or Neuropsychology
1.Theories in Personality
2. Developmental Psychology
3. Social Psychology
4. Psychopathology or Abnormal Psychology
- You must have an MA (or higher) in psychology.
- The minimum academic requirement in order to be registered is a total of 72 credits in psychology in your BA, Master’s or Ph.D combined. These requirements refer to lecture and seminar hours; clinical work, research and independent study are not counted.
- You must have completed a thesis at a Master’s or PhD level.
If you graduated prior to October, 2008, you have the option of taking additional courses in Israel or writing a thesis, to complete this requirement. Unfortunately, if you graduated after October, 2008 without having written a thesis, your degree will not be recognized.
A final project that is completed as part of your degree can be recognized in lieu of a thesis, provided you receive formal letter from the university stating that it is the equivalent of a thesis.
- If you participated in a direct Ph.D program, your studies must have included 4 years of full time study.
- At least 32 credits must be on an MA level (or higher).
- A PsyD and a PhD are both recognized as doctorates.
Documents to Bring:
The following is a list of the documents necessary for processing this request. For additional information, contact the Vaadat Harishum B’Pinkas Hapsychologim by phone at 02-670-5866 or fax 02-679-0846. The office is located at 39 Rechov Yirmiyahu, Jerusalem 9101002. You can also fax the Tel Aviv branch at 03-515-1180 or call 03-515-1166, Sunday through Thursday between 8 am and 4 pm.
- Medical Licensing – Questionnaire, in 2 copies.
- Teudat Zehut (Israeli identification card) including its Sefach (attachment) + 2 photocopies. The Sefach must state that you are Israeli. (If it does not, you will need to go to Misrad Hapnim to update it.)
- If the name on your Teudat Zehut differs from the name on your diplomas, you must provide either a marriage license or document from Misrad Hapnim (Ministry of Interior) confirming a change of name + 2 photocopies.
- 3 passport photos.
- Diplomas: BA, MA or Ph.D + 2 photocopies.
- Original, detailed university transcripts noting the courses for all degrees. For each course, you must list the number of course hours or the number of academic credits.
Unlike other medical professions, transcripts, syllabus and any others documents that are in English do NOT need to be translated, however they still must be notarized. The transcript must be an original copy.
Note: If you have a degree in counseling (and not psychology), you will not be recognized as a psychologist.
Once you are listed in the Pinkas Hapsychologim, you are entitled to work both in the public and private sectors. However, in a lawsuit, you will be required to defend yourself and prove that you acted professionally, something that a licensed specialist is not required to do.
After you are registered in the Pinkas Hapsychologim, you can request to be recognized as a specialist through the Moetset Hapsychologim, which has subcommittees for each specialization. The following areas of specialization are recognized: education, clinical, development, social-organizational, medical and rehabilitation. You may be required to complete an internship, take a test or write a paper.
The phone number for Moetzet Hapsychologim is 03 515 1186. The best way to reach the office is by fax at 03 515 1100. Office hours are Sunday through Thursday between 8 am and 4 pm. You can also write to the Moetset Hapsychologim at: 5 Rabbe Mebachrach St., Tel Aviv-Jaffa 66749.
For more information on specialty recognition and to download the necessary forms, see the Misrad Habriut website here.
The Misrad Haklita (Ministry of Aliyah and Integration) offers incentives to assist psychologist Olim who are required to do residency (full or partial) in Israel, in order to have their specialty recognized. They are aware there is a shortage of Tkanim (positions) in the institutions recognized for residency; Therefore, the Misrad Haklita is providing grants (up to 4,750 NIS/month for 24 months, to cover a part-time (50%) position), which will be given directly to the employer as an incentive. Click here for more information about this incentive: Incentive for Placements for Olim Psychologists (Hebrew)
For more information contact your Misrad Haklita advisor.
A good working knowledge of Hebrew is a pre-requisite for most psychology positions in order to confer with clients, and a knowledge of the culture, customs, and heritages of Israelis and of the immigrants who have made Aliyah to Israel is also important.
Some opportunities exist to work in an English speaking environment, but most of these opportunities are in the greater Jerusalem area.
It is strongly advised to take Ulpan upon arrival. In addition to regular Ulpan, Misrad Haklita (Ministry of Aliyah and Integration) offers an Ulpan for medical professionals – shlav bet. They will open this class provided there are enough people interested. Be in touch with your local branch of Misrad Haklita to find out when the next class will begin.
If you are opening a private practice, advertise your services through local email lists and newspapers. It is advisable for new Olim to combine working in private practice with working in the public sector, since it takes time to build up a practice. It is imperative that you acquaint yourself with the relevant laws as related to practicing psychology in Israel, which are listed in their entirety online.
If you are looking for a position in the public sector, contact neighborhood schools. Other ways to look for a job include applying at the Bureau for the Placement of Professionals (Lishka LeTa’asukat Acadama’im) in your city or region.
Job openings are often advertised in the situations-vacant sections of the major newspapers, particularly on Fridays. While the English language papers carry some ads, the majority are to be found in the Hebrew press.
Finally, word of mouth is often one of the best sources of job leads. Don’t hesitate to let everyone you can know that you are seeking work, and follow up on any leads they may offer. Many positions are filled without ever being advertised.
If you are interested in building up your own private practice, the following recorded workshop is a great resource:
Nefesh (www.nefesh.org) is an organization for Orthodox mental health professionals. The web site includes contact information for Orthodox mental health organizations.
A special thank you to Dr. Ruby Wolbromsky and Dr. Joshua Mark for their assistance in preparing this article.
Interview with Dr. Caroline Peyser
Thank you to Dr. Caroline Peyser, Clinical Psychologist, for participating in this interview.
Please provide us with a brief description of the work you do.
I am a clinical psychologist in a private practice. I do individual therapy with adults from a psychodynamic perspective.
How did you find your job?
I made Aliyah after earning a Psy.D in Psychology in America. I worked in an Israeli clinic for a year, to get my Israeli license. I then worked in the public sector for a few years before opening a private practice.
What experience do you need to get into your field?
Experience is built into the education. To acquire an Israeli license for clinical psychology you need a certain number of documented hours of experience, the equivalent of 4 years of part time work, and the following documented supervision:
- 4 years (160 hours) of testing supervision documented by a licensed clinical psychologist. (This is not included in ordinary training for clinical psychologists abroad.)
- 160 hours of weekly one-on-one supervision on individual cases.
- 30-60 hours of intake supervision.
All of the above hours must be done after your Master’s degree.
Does it make any difference whether you studied in Israel or abroad?
You can get licensed in Israel with a foreign degree, but if you start your education abroad, it’s best to finish it abroad. It is very difficult to get into a psychology Master’s program in Israel. Additionally, American and Israeli degrees are different. Israeli Bachelor’s programs focus solely on psychology, while American Bachelor’s degrees include a wide range of classes. A B.A. in Psychology in Israel is equivalent to an American Master’s degree, and an Israeli Master’s degree is equivalent to an American Psy.D. Therefore, if you want to apply to an Israeli Master’s program with an American B.A., you will need to take supplementary psychology courses.
If you finish your education in America, you will need a Psy.D in order to get licensed in Israel as a clinical psychologist.
What are the benefits of working as a psychologist in Israel?
If you are Psycho-dynamically trained, you will find that Psycho-dynamic therapy is considered outdated in the U.S., but it is widely accepted in Israel.
If you work privately, you can make your own hours.
What is the salary range?
If you work privately, your salary depends on how many hours you work.In Jerusalem, the average hourly fee is $75.It is important to keep in mind that taxes are high.
What are the upcoming areas of specialization that you would recommend?
There is a move towards cognitive/behavioral therapy.
Is there a professional organization in your field?
See a list of professional psychology associations in Israel at http://www.science.co.il/Psychology-Associations.asp.
What recommendations can you offer Olim looking to work in this field?
I have several suggestions:
- Come with a license from abroad.
- Make sure that you bring documentation of all of your hours of experience — with a signature from a supervisor. Also, bring the course catalogue from the university that you studied in.
- It helps to come with a specialty.
- It is helpful to have another job on the side when you are first starting out here.
Any advice for students interested in going into your field?
Try out therapy. In addition, this might sound funny but I suggest that you watch the television show, In Treatment. It is very realistic. In addition, speak to psychologists and ask them about the lifestyle and hours involved.
How do you feel about working and living here in Israel?
It’s good overall. I like working in psychology in Israel better than in the States. In particular, it helps that the hours and lifestyle here are geared towards part time work.
This article was last updated on March 31, 2020.