Psychotherapy and Couples Therapy for English speakers

 

 Individual Psychotherapy

 

 I'm a pychologist and I have been trained in both Gestalt Therapy, which is experiential, and Behavioural Therapy. In addition I've had extensive training in mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR). Combining methods of different schools, pursuing a so-called integrative approach to therapy, is characterisic of my work.

Generally my therapeutic work is very much influenced by the holistic approach of Gestalt Therapy (communicating with people rather than treating symptoms) and by my own meditation and mindfulness practice.

 

However there are life situations in which certain symptoms seem to dominate our entire life, such as phobic symptoms, social fears, excessive eating or alcohol abuse can do.  In these instances behavioural therapy can be very helpful and productive suggesting concrete steps that we can take to reduce the symptoms. 

 

Be it Gestalt or Behavioural Therapy, it's always the individual strengths and resources that I am looking for and working with. 

A therapeutic ressource important to me in all settings is the use of humor. Connecting in laughter is possible even in difficult life situations. It can ease despair, reduce emotional numbness and help us look at our life in a somewhat new perspective. Laughter helps us to connect with ourselves and others.

 

 

Couples Therapy

Couples Therapy can help distressed couples repair and strengthen their relationship if both partners remain committed. Oftentimes partners in distressed relationships get caught up in the same negative cycle over and over again. This can happen early on in a relationsship due to old fears and traumatic experiences in the past. But negative cycles can also be triggered by certain life situations which are very demanding for one or both partners and which make one or both partners less available emotionally. Let's say partner A suffers a severe loss (loss of a loved one or loss of a job or loss of a familiar safe environment) and starts withdrawing because that's just his or her way to deal with severe stress. Partner B may then interpret his partner's withdrawal as a lack of interest and love and start being overly sensitive and critical, which again causes partner A to withdraw even more, which then leads to more blaming and criticizing on partner B's side and so on. This is how a negativ cycle can get started.


Emotionally focused couples therapy (EFT) helps the couple understand the nature of the negative cycle and takes the blame from both partners. Very frequently one partner will take the part of blaming and criticizing, while the other partner tends to withdraw. In this case it's vital for both partners to understand that  underneath all the blaming and critisizing there's the fear of being left alone. The fear that the withdrawn partner is no longer "there". It's as if the blaming partner was screaming: "Can't you hear me? Be with me."

The withdrawn partner may feel so belittled and critisized that he or she just goes numb in order to protect him- or herself and not be hurt. Withdrawing seems the only way to avoid further confrontation and escalation. 


As both partners get in touch with their "real" fears and longings (primary emotions), the blaming will soften and the withdrawer, in turn,  can become more "daring".  The therapist creates a safe environment for both so that this can happen. Both partners are then encouraged to reach out to their partner by expressing their real needs and fears. This kind of interaction marks the beginning of a new positive cycle which, in turn, creates trust and safety.  

Fees and coverage

Private health insurance

 

In case of private health insurance it's best to contact your insurance company to find out whether or not psychotherapy is covered by your contract.  If so, you are entitled to five so-called "probational" sessions before a report needs to be written and a decision be made. 

 

 

Statutory health insurance

 

In case of public health insurance psychotherapy through me is covered in individual cases and needs to be applied for (reimbursement plan). Please don't hesitate to contact me for further information. 

 

 

 

Couples Therapy

 

is not covered by health insurance and must be paid for privately in all cases.
It's 120 euros for a 60 minute session and 180 euros for a 90 minute session.