Dr Israel & Cathie Helfand

Israel Helfand, PhD, LMFT, CST

Israel is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has been a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) since 1984. He is a Certified Sex Therapist with the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT).

In the past, he was Certified as a Hypnotist, and was a Senior Member of the Academy of Family Mediators with a specialty in Divorce Mediation. He started the Plan For Life Program for IBM in the early 80’s including stress management, weight loss, and smoking cessation sessions.

Israel draws upon his many years as a hypnotist and thousands of hours in psychodrama in his action oriented therapeutic work today with couples. He is an experienced group leader with years of experience running Men’s Groups including groups for Vietnam Vets. He has led many workshops, taught college, written numerous articles, spoken on radio and television, and supervised many therapists.

In the early ‘90s Israel was certified as a Wilderness First Responder and a Licensed New York State Wilderness Guide. He ran “inward bound” and Vision Quest type backpacking retreats, known as Soul Awakening, Corporate Quest, and Ecopsychology. In addition, he led clients in Shamanic Journey, Soul Retrieval, and Past Life Journey experiences. Nature has always been his sanctuary, his safe place. As a child he often retreated to the woods and stream. Today, he enjoys his little piece of heaven in Vermont.

On a personal note, Israel has overcome multiple childhood traumas. Today, he is described as having five ACES: from not being wanted, to being bullied from peers, and antisemitism from teachers, employees, employers, and other authority figures. Therefore, he understands what it takes to overcome the past and to learn to trust.

Now, he teaches clients how to turn their “sad and tragic tale” into a Hero’s or Heroine’s Journey, how to communicate in a more positive way with significant others, self-soothe and re-parent themselves, and to personally feel stronger and healthier.

“When Conjoint Therapy is done right there is little to no need for individual therapy. In fact, it feeds two birds with one seed, strengthening sense of one’s self by improving trust, intimacy, attachment, and team building that individual therapy can never do.” — Israel

Cathie Helfand, MS

Cathie Helfand, MS, is a Vermont Registered Psychotherapist with a Masters in Counseling and Human Resources, with a focus in Marriage and Family Counseling and a Bachelors in Human Development and Family Studies. She brings an expertise to marriage therapy from her extensive graduate training and experience in Relationship Enhancement Therapy.

She has worked with couples and families since 1977, in a variety of settings including her marriage counseling work with Israel, as a youth and family counselor at Danbury Youth Services, as an Employee Assistance Program counselor for Pitney Bowes and other small businesses, and with the Fairfield County Council of the Boy Scouts of America as the Exploring Director.

As an adjunct professor she has taught courses including Family Therapy, Ecopsychology, and Addictions and the Family. Over the years Cathie worked for three different dating services and even started one called “To Life.” Cathie’s focus is on helping people make decisions in their lives, find happiness in their relationships, and make plans to move forward in a more positive direction.

“The most transformative experiences I ever had with Israel were when we met for several hours talking together openly and honestly. It was in these concentrated blocks of time that we were able to get to ‘the bottom of it all’ and ‘back up the other side.’ Now, we teach this powerful process to our couples.” — Cathie

Cathie and Israel’s book: The YUMMY Marriage, is available on Amazon in the paperback and Kindle editions, as an iBook on Apple, and as a spiral bound book at Lulu.com


Stay tuned: Israel’s new book will be available in 2024.

Professional Memberships

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) was founded in 1942 to maintain standards for the practice of marriage and family therapy. Its stringent education and supervised training standards have been adopted by most states and the federal government as the basis for licensure for MFTs. For more information on AAMFT go to www.aamft.org

The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) is the Primary Certifying Organization in the field of Human Sexuality. Founded in 1967 out of a desire to provide the public with comprehensive sexuality education, counseling, and therapy conducted by qualified professionals, AASECT is the premier organization that certifies sexual health practitioners. For more than 25 years, AASECT has set the pace for credentialing of professionals in sex education, counseling, and therapy by creating and maintaining increasingly rigorous standards for ethics, academic preparation, and applied skills. www.aasect.org

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