About the Cards
In recent years, there has been an increase in patients coping with chronic, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. A marked increase
has also been observed in the number of individuals coping with mental
problems such as depression and anxiety and insomnia, among others.
These illnesses lead to high-stress levels, both among patients as well as
the physicians and therapists who treat them, as a result of feeling that
their ability to help their patients is limited.
Communication skills are a significant and important part of the therapist-patient relationship, and communication plays a major role in advancing
A large number of studies show a high correlation between a lack of
communication skills and a lack of understanding and appreciation about
the patient’s perspective and that of his family, as well as low adherence
to medical and psychological treatment.
Good communication skills involve the patient in the discussion.
Therefore, it is necessary to encourage physicians and other therapists to
develop strategies, such as asking questions that promote the building of a
patient-therapist partnership and trust, and encourage the patient’s
involvement in the therapeutic encounter.
A significant number of patients’ physiological problems are a physical
and extremely disturbing expression of their mental stress, in particular,
anxieties and difficult emotions. Therefore, these problems cannot always
be solved by medication. On the other hand, a proper examination of
patients’ complaints, and providing tools to bring about a change in
thinking, may help build successful coping mechanisms, and lead to the
significant alleviation of patients’ mental and physical symptoms.
Over 30% of family physicians’ referrals are in the field of mental health.
It was also found that patients prefer to receive this kind of treatment
from a family physician, out of a fear of the stigma of being perceived as
a mental health patient. Family physicians feel they lack the proper skills
to treat these types of disturbances. Most of the treatment is therefore
based on self-taught techniques and strategies, learned over time, and rely
on the physician/therapist’s personality type.
About the Cards' creators:
Dr. Merav Sudarsky
A family physician works in various urban and rural clinics.
clinics. She is an expert in CBT and has extensive knowledge and
experience in teaching, supervising and mentoring students and residents
in the Technion’s Faculty of Medicine.
Dr. Adi Ivzori-Erel
A medical social worker and psycho-oncologist.She is the coordinator of the psychosocial field in the Technion’s Family Medicine Dept. She has taught physician-patient communication for many years in the Faculty of Medicine and supervises interns, students and
A social worker and psychotherapist with 30 years’
experience in the CBT field. She is also a lecturer at the University of
Haifa’s Dept. of Family Medicine. She is an experienced senior
supervisor/mentor of social work and CBT psychotherapy students.
Instruction about how to use the Cards is provided in workshops led by
the Cards’ creators.