Meet some members of the therapeutic team at Retorno. Our team is here to help you on your journey. Recovery from addiction is possible. The therapeutic team at Retorno is supported by our leadership team.
Dr. Baruch Labok, MD
Dr. Baruch Labok is our in-house psychiatrist at Retorno. He works extensively with both youth and adults.
In addition to Retorno, his staff appointments have included Hadassah Hospital (Ein Kerem), Eitanim Psychiatric Hospital, the Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center, Bayit Cham, the Talbiyeh Mental Health Center, and the community mental health clinic in Beit Shemesh.
Dr. Labok provides psychiatric care and supervision for clients with dual diagnosis.
Dr. Katya Levine, MD
Dr. Katya Levine focuses on addiction medicine. Prior to Retorno, where Dr. Levine has directed our Elah detox center since its establishment, she managed the Lifta drug rehabilitation center in Jerusalem.
Dr. Levine brings extensive practical experience and training in the fields of mental health and addiction to Retorno. Dr. Levine has been on the staff of the Jerusalem Center for Mental Health (affiliated with the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Medicine), and Eitanim-Kfar Shmuel.
Dr. Levine believes in the human ability to make a change in oneself and take responsibility for one’s life.
Dr. Ellie Katz, PhD
Dr. Ellie Katz has over 40 years of experience, specializing in addictions and related disorders. Her eclectic therapeutic interventions feature meditation, psychodrama, guided thinking, and Bach flower remedies.
She has been a leading practitioner of holistic psychotherapy for over thirty years.
Born in New York in 1948, Dr. Katz moved to Israel in 1976, and joined the staff of Retorno in 2003.
She has lectured in Psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (from 1977-2000), and has published three books: When Sane People do Insane Things (Kibbutz Hameuchad), My Last Summer as a Fat Girl (Kinneret Zimora Beitan), and Love and Kisses From My Padded Cell.
Dr. Katz has led workshops at:
- Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center, NY (Fall 1999, Summers 1990-1994). Workshop series on “Holistic Psychotherapy,” “How to deal with Burnout,” “The Psycho-dynamics of Blindness.”
- University of Istanbul (Winter and Spring 1999). Intensive workshops on “Holistic Psychotherapy” for Psychiatrists and Psychologists.
- First Beijing Medical Center, China (Fall 1998 ). Intensive Workshops on “Holistic Psychotherapy.”
In addition to a PhD from New York University in Psycholinguistics, Dr. Katz holds accreditation from the American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders (2006), Tel Aviv University (1985-1986, two-year postgraduate program in Family Therapy), Israel Hypnosis Association (1986-1989, Medical Hypnosis), and the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy in New York (1985, Full Time Clinical Practicum with Live Supervision). She is also a Certified Reflexologist and Massage Therapist, and a Certified Aroma Therapist.
Dr. Katz meditates daily, and brings calm and centeredness to clients.
Efrat Maayan, Clinical Psychologist
Efrat Maayan holds an M.S. degree in clinical psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. At Retorno, Efrat directs Chiburim – Connections, Retorno’s animal assisted therapy program.
Efrat is an experienced clinical therapist with training in Jungian psychotherapy and post-trauma therapy. She has many years’ experience with youth-at-risk and adults-at-risk, trauma sufferers, behavior problems, and emotional and mental distress.
She has worked in the field of animal assisted therapy for over 20 years. Efrat also established a therapeutic petting zoo in the B’nei Brith center for children with behavior problems. She is one of the pioneers of animal assisted therapy in the rehabilitation of addicts and is considered one of Israel’s foremost experts in the field.
Udel Helene Bergman, BSW
Udel founded the English speakers’ program at Retorno.
Ms. Bergman has been at Retorno since 2003 and works with both clients and client families. In her work she uses narrative therapy, motivational interviewing, somatic experiencing, and the Twelve Steps.
She holds a Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) degree in social work from Hebrew University, as well as an additional degree from Stern College/Yeshiva University. She has taken post-graduate training for social workers and mental health professionals who work with addiction. In addition to specialized training in addiction, Udel has been trained by one of Israel’s leading specialists in eating disorders.
Avi Eckstein, Mifgashim
Avi Eckstein is the director of Mifgashim, Retorno’s program for community support. Avi is currently completing his master’s degree in social work at Haifa University.
As the son of the founder and director of Retorno, Avi became familiar with the complex process of recovery. Through personal acquaintance with hundreds of people who were treated at Retorno, he learned that the importance of honest, unconditional love, without passing judgment, is the most crucial therapeutic tool of all.
Risa F. Grajower, MSW, Mifgashim English Program
Risa Grajower is the director of the English speaking program of Mifgashim, Retorno’s program for community support. Risa has a master’s in social work from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work in NYC.
Risa is a psychotherapist, a certified group therapist, and a credentialed alcohol and substance abuse counselor. Risa brings over 10 years of therapeutic experience to Retorno, along with extensive training in domestic violence and women’s empowerment.
Omri Livny, Director –Therapeutic Ranch
Omri Livni, CEO of Offek Center, specializes in teaching and providing certification for horseback riding and handling. Omri serves as the academic director of the Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Western Riding course at Retorno.
Click here to read more about the role of horseback riding in addiction recovery at Retorno.
Erez Cohen Goichman, Certified Sports Therapist
Erez Cohen Goichman has been the coordinator of Retorno’s therapeutic sports program for over twelve years.
He develops clients’ personal training program, in addition to incorporating a healthy lifestyle with sports. Erez uses guided imagery, yoga, biking, and the gym, all of which allow clients to develop coordination and motor skills. This program gives the addict a strong physical and mental system to cope with the difficulties and struggles of recovery.
Erez is a certified Sports Therapist and a triathlon trainer.
Nir Oren, Director of the Youth Community
Nir Oren is a Social Worker with a master’s degree in management, and a graduate of the course for group training at Tel Aviv University’s school for social work. Nir has a long history in the field of addiction. He worked at the Ilanot therapeutic community as a social worker and as the coordinator of social workers for six years. From Ilanot, Nir moved on to become the director of Retorno’s adult therapeutic community for six years. Nir then became CEO for the Forum of Bereaved Families, an organization for Israeli and Palestinian families who made it their goal to end loss and create peace between the nations. In September 2013, Nir returned to Retorno, this time as the director of the youth community.
Youth Community Team
Other members of the youth community team include:
- Revital Rabinovitch, MSW, Therapeutic Coordinator
- Tomer Naftali, Community Coordinator
- Ravit Goldberger, Academic Coordinator
Prevention and Outreach
Vardit Vaknin, Director of Prevention & Outreach
Vardit Tzolman Vaknin has been Director of Retorno’s Prevention Program for 13 years. She Served in the army as an NCO of Welfare for three years. She studied business administration and tourism and is currently continuing her studies in psychology and education.
Prevention and Outreach Team
Yehuda Liff, BSW, and Roy Gazit are active lecturers/presenters, taking the message of prevention out to the community.
Adult Community Team
To find out more about our adult residential community at Retorno, click here. Additional members of the adult community team include:
- Hai Hadad, Adult Community Director
- Yair Telgauker, Staff Coordinator
- Roy Katz, Therapeutic Coordinator
If you are ready to take the first steps towards recovery from addiction, contact Retorno today.Please share this post!