Psychotherapy

Process of a therapy
Often there are ambiguities and uncertainties about what a psychotherapy is and how it works. At this point I try to explain some important things that I have noticed in clinical practice.

Frequent fears and feelings previous to therapy
Often doubts cloud the decision to go to a therapist. One doubts oneself, whether it is really necessary or what others might say about the decision. With other symptoms, however, many people have fewer doubts. A long-lasting cold, a recurring cough, a sprained ankle. In those cases most often people say, I’ll have my family doctor check it out. I’m sure it’s nothing. I’ll just go and see him to be on the safe side. That’s exactly how it works with me. Together we will check in the first few sessions whether outpatient psychotherapy is necessary for your complaints. If this is not the case, we try to find a suitable alternative together, I as an expert for psychotherapy, you as an expert for yourself.

The initial meeting and the trial sessions
For a first appointment I usually arrange a double session lasting about 100 minutes. During this time, a significant part of the conversation is about what led you to me. Together we try to understand what it is all about. The easiest way to do this is to simply tell me what you think and feel, without picking and choosing and without leaving out anything that occurs to you, even if its communication seems unpleasant, ridiculous, without interest or not relevant to the matter at hand 1. Only in this way I can understand together with you how your complaints could be connected with the other parts of your life. In addition, it is of special importance to me to inform you about psychotherapeutic treatment. After all, you should know what you are getting into. Some of the things I will explain are for example confidentiality, the chances, the risks and side effects of a psychotherapeutic treatment. If in the first three to five sessions a first understanding of one’s need for psychotherapy arises, not infrequently new fears arise. Asking one’s health insurance to grant a number of sessions is now a real possibility. This triggers fears of becoming dependent in therapy, of having to change completely, of being destabilized in the long term or of ending up drooling in a psychiatric ward. Especially then it is important to resolve these fears together. By doing this, you can experience that our common understanding expands your possibilities for action instead of diminishing them.

If in the first three to five sessions a first understanding of one’s need for psychotherapy arises, not infrequently new fears arise. Asking one’s health insurance to grant a number of sessions is now a real possibility. This triggers fears of becoming dependent in the therapy, of having to change completely, of being destabilized in the long term or of ending up drooling in a psychiatric ward. Especially then it is important to resolve these fears together. By doing this, you can experience that our common understanding expands your possibilities for action instead of diminishing them.

Psychotherapy
The goal of therapy is to diagnose the mental disorder, to cure it, to improve it, to prevent it from getting worse, or to alleviate the symptoms of the disorder. You can think of your psyche as a house-sharing community. The residents of this shared house are different parts of oneself. Sometimes there are conflicts between those residents. One resident always leaves the dirty dishes, the other one always has to wash them because there are not enough dishes. There could be different reasons for each of these behaviors. The dishwasher is broken and the first roommate is often stressed, or the first roommate feels disturbed by the second, but can only express it in this way. In the first case it would make sense to repair the dishwasher, in the second to explore the background of the behavior. It is the same in psychotherapy. We try to find out whether certain skills are missing and need to be learned, in order to then perhaps clarify the motives, or whether the newly learned skills are sufficient to sufficiently resolve the conflicts.

  1. keyword: basic rule. From the vocabulary of psychoanalysis by J.Laplanche & J.-B. Pontalis, Suhrkamp-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1972

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