Established in 2014, Soteria Israel is the first organization to open a Soteria house in Israel.
What is a Soteria House?
The Soteria house mode of treatment is based on a holistic world view, that sees all human beings as worthy of respect. Psychosis is viewed as a human experience, albeit an extreme one – effective treatment involves the creation of a warm, safe and respectful holding environment within the community.
There are no restraints in a Soteria house, only a supportive, listening staff, trained in "being with" a client to help him or her through their difficult experience. Residents take part in their treatment plan to the extent they can at every stage – medication is a last resort, and only taken with the consent of the client. Clients take part in the running of the house… cooking, laundry, doing dishes, cleaning.
The Soteria model was developed as an experiment, to see if phenomenological and psycho-social methods could be used to treat psychotic episodes in place of hospitalization and forced medication. It was funded by NIMH (the National Institute of Mental Health) and the Mental Research Institute, and operated between 1970 – 1984 until it ran out of project funding.
Soteria worked, and several European treatment centers modeled after Soteria are currently operating.
Soteria has been proven to be just as effective at managing extreme emotional states and psychosis within six weeks as compared to hospital treatment with medication, and the model generally has better outcomes: less re-hospitalization and psychopathology, and better capacity to live independently, and to work and function socially.