Thursday, 5 February 2015

Invited Talk - Dr. Daniel Hamiel

From Crisis to Growth: Resilience Training with Children and Adults to Prevent Psychopathology and Build Life Skills

I will present a preventive intervention program based on a school resilience program aimed to prepare children from kindergarten to high school to cope with daily as well as with traumatic stressors. In 2009-2014 the School Resilience Program trained thousands of teachers and counselors in Israel, to conduct resilience- and trauma-focused interventions. In children trained both before and after exposure to missiles attacks, war and natural disasters, the program was effective in reducing by 50% their symptoms of post-trauma, anxiety, nightmares, fears, school and sleeping difficulties, detachment and social withdrawal, compared with children who didn't participate in the program.
We have proved the possibility and the dramatic efficiency of a preventive intervention with children done by teachers in the school setting.

The program was chosen by the Israeli government for a national pilot program for the 2010-2013 school years. It is activated now in 1000 schools and kindergartens (approx. 350,000 students). An advantage of the program is the use of class setting and teachers as moderators and the use of simple but effective methods on everyday stressors, to help the children cope and process their feelings and experiences.

The program integrates emotional, physiological and cognitive-behavioral techniques as well as methods of changing focus of attention (mindfulness and more) into a self regulation method. It's based on the principles of the 3rd wave of CBT and of Low Intensity CBT Intervention (LICBT-I). We have simplified therapeutic techniques into educational simple techniques that can be used by teachers and students. An interesting finding is that many of the techniques that have been created in the program were found to be very effective in our therapeutic setting by psychotherapies as well.
Based on this program we have developed and implemented programs for different ages and mainly for the elderly, done by volunteers, to cope with the challenges of this age. We found out that it is never too late to build resilience!

About Dr. Daniel Hamiel

Danny Hamiel, Ph.D., is the head of the Cognitive-Behavioral unit, Tel-Aviv Community Mental Health Center- Tel-Aviv University Medical School and the director of the educational intervention unit of the Cohen Harris Resilience Center. This center was chosen by the Israeli government to disseminate a model of Disaster Preparedness and Civic Resilience in cities at risk for mass disaster by coordinating multi-systemic networks (e.g., Health, Education, Social Services) and developing programs to prepare children to cope with trauma as well as with daily stressors.

He is a senior lecturer at the psychology department at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, a leading academic institute in Israel.

He is a supervisor clinical and medical psychologist, certified in biofeedback and in hypnosis in Israel and in the USA. His main psychotherapy approach is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mainly the 3rd wave of CBT. He is past president of the Israeli Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. Dr Hamiel teaches CBT workshops in the USA, Europe and South America. Currently, Dr. Hamiel is involved in developing and performing resilience programs in the community: In the primary care, with the elderly and in schools. He is a leading figure in the developing of a new stream in CBT – The low intensity CBT interventions (LICBT-I) – short psychological interventions done by moderators to make evidence based simple psychological interventions more available for the community. He is a pioneer in developing internet protocols for treating variety of psychological disorders.