FAQ - Section B
Basic information on psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a treatment of mental or emotional disorder or of related bodily ills by psychological means. In psychotherapy you will learn new methods of how to deal with yourself, with your feelings, your environment and your relationships. The goal is to change your mode of life to that extent that you find your own center and that physical and psychological symptoms cease to exist.

Somebody seeking a therapist’s help because of a psychological or bodily ailment is as normal as somebody seeking the doctor’s help because of an illness. Both are out for constructive help and professional support in order to deal with a life crisis or because they want to be healed from symptoms or an ill.

Do you have psychological problems which until now you have failed to solve? Or do you suffer from some psychosomatic disorder and your doctor could not diagnose any bodily ill? Do you experience the same disagreeable situations over and over? Or are you unhappy with yourself or your partner?
This is to name only a few reasons to go for psychotherapeutic treatment.

The question whether psychotherapy will help in your case can be sorted out in an interview with a psychotherapist.

Basically psychotherapy helps
• with psychological problems such as panic and anxiety disorders (without the existence of something threatening in ‘reality’), depression, sexual problems, compulsive disorders, intense or chronic stress, nervousness, concentration and sleep disorders.
• with addictions such as alcoholism, drug addiction, workaholism, addictive gambling
• with psychosomatic disease patterns such as allergies, head aches, migraine, functional cardio-vascular disorders, stomach-and intestinal disorders, psychogenic vomiting, asthma, skin diseases
• after loss of or separation from somebody loved, problems in relationships or at work
• or to simply get support to develop your personality which may be seen as a form of preventive health care. More and more people decide to see a therapist because they wish to get to know themselves better, expand their range of reactions, boost their self esteem and their joy of life or develop (new) perspectives for their lives.

Applied research findings have proven that the success of a psychotherapeutic treatment depends on your personal motivation and on the quality of relationship with your therapist by as much as 80 percent. This means that two things will be vital to the success of your psychotherapeutic treatment:

1. Therapy sets in where you define a goal, a request or a desire for change. The demand forms your motivation and the basis of your psychotherapy to follow a successful course.

2. Psychotherapy chiefly works and heals via the therapeutic relationship, in other words via a good contact or rapport between yourself and your therapist.

Only a small amount of the success can be attributed to the method itself. The therapeutic relationship is eight(!) times more important than the method. So don’t look for the best possible method but for the best possible therapist for you!

The basic goal of psychotherapy is to find one’s own center and to stay centered to an extent that suffering and behavioral disorders cease to occur. We have a number of psychotherapeutic techniques and methods to aim at this goal. I myself use elements of the following methods:

• Body- and breathing therapy in accordance with the discoveries of Wilhelm Reich – which means working primarily at the biological basis of physical and psychological problems and those of emotional patterns
• Analytic body centered psychotherapy – which „untangles“ knots in your psyche and heals hurt. Working at relationship and bonding patterns.
• Systemic psychotherapy – which means working at the function and the purpose of symptoms in the present and past life context
• Transpersonal psychotherapy – working at coming to terms with your own path of life
• Systemic couple- and family therapy – working at solutions for couple conflicts or dysfunctional family patterns.
• IMAGO Couple therapy - which transforms interpersonal conflict into personal growth and building connection in relationships

In the psychotherapeutic interview you get the opportunity to talk about your symptoms, problems and your solution attempts which you have undertaken so far. The therapist will ask questions trying to assess your life situation, your case history and your request – your personal goal, which you want to achieve by the means of psychotherapy. With the help of your therapist you will work at an initial understanding of the presumptive cause and you will take first steps towards solution.

Whatever you tell a psychotherapist is strictly confidential by law. This circumstance provides a safe space for you to talk openly about any topic or request. In those cases where a therapist cannot help (any more) or does not feel competent for the problem in question s/he will refer you to a colleague or to an institution where you can get the best possible treatment.

In the face of certain symptoms or clinical pictures a combination of medical and psychotherapeutic treatment produces the best results. Doctor/s and psychotherapist coordinate their treatment and accommodate it to the needs of the patient by exchanging information about diagnosis as well as treatment. The cooperation of doctor and psychotherapist is carried out on informed consent only. When this is obtained both are still obliged to maintain their professional secrecy towards third parties.

In 1990 the practice of psychotherapy as an independent health profession has been statutory in Austria. Only those may bear this title who have concluded a long professional training and subsequently been included in the official list of psychotherapists (administered by the Austrian Ministry of Health). Psychotherapists are bound to professional secrecy and legally obligated to regularly undergo advanced vocational training.
I am included in the Austrian list of psychotherapists since 1990, without any additional denomination that would indicate a specific psychotherapeutic approach.

The psychotherapeutic treatment will be continued until the symptoms, disorders or the medical condition which lead you into therapy have sufficiently abated – from your point of view. The length of time depends on the subjective assessment of the patient, on the symptoms, the request and on the psychotherapeutic method to a certain extent.

The amelioration of symptoms often occurs after a few sessions only, but the client usually needs more time to stabilize this improvement. A deep and thorough change of behavioral, emotional and relationship patterns often needs a few years of psychotherapy but this is only required when the patient has been subject to very high and continuous pressure.

In every psychotherapeutic treatment difficulties do occur, because one part of you is inclined to change and another is simultaneously scared of it and wants everything to remain as it is. This is just human, it occurs in every person: Every change stirs up resistance.

In the course of a particular therapy complex unconscious patterns of resistance and of shaping your relationships (as you learnt them in your childhood) may come to the surface. Therapy offers the space where you can reflect on these patterns and replace them by more adequate ones.

These are two of the reasons why difficulties simply are an integral part of psychotherapy. If you have the feeling that you basically are with the right therapist, working through these conflicts is an integral part of the psychotherapeutic process and the chance of comprehensive personal growth.

Depending on your request you may make use of either individual, couple-, family or group therapy. Individual sessions last 50 minutes and usually take place once a week. Couple- and family sessions take 100-150 minutes and take place at intervals of 1-4 weeks. Weekly group therapy sessions are usually scheduled for 90-120 minutes.

The total costs depend on the total duration of a particular therapy and on the fee per hour you agree upon. With many colleagues, the fee for individual- couple- and family therapy usually amounts to EUR 80-140 per session (50 minutes). In the case of an illness according to the ASVG (*German abbr. for ‘general social insurance law’) you will get a refund of EUR 21,80 per session. Due to the efficiency of my work, my fees lie in the top segment.

To go for psychotherapy you will have an interview with a psychotherapist who was either recommended to you or whose description on the internet you found interesting. You will schedule the interview via telephone or email. If one hour of interview is not enough to make up your mind do schedule another! I recommend rather to invest into a number of interviews, than to end up in a therapy that maybe does not lead to the results you wanted. This would certainly be the most expensive option ...

After the interviews you decide whom you trust most to conjointly find the key to solving your problem(s) with. You schedule a few appointments with the psychotherapist of your choice and together you will decide whether you go for a long term treatment and how long it will take approximately.
You can contact me personally via email or on my mobile: +43 676 313 8806.

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© 2014 Werner Pitzal • A-1140 Wien, Diesterweggasse 2/7 • +43 676 3138806 • email


© 2014 Werner Pitzal • A-1140 Wien, Diesterweggasse 2/7 • +43 676 3138806 • email


© 2014 Werner Pitzal • A-1140 Wien, Diesterweggasse 2/7 • +43 676 3138806 • email

Site Notice

© 2014 Werner Pitzal • A-1140 Wien, Diesterweggasse 2/7 • +43 676 3138806 • email


© 2014 Werner Pitzal • A-1140 Wien, Diesterweggasse 2/7 • +43 676 3138806 • email


© 2014 Werner Pitzal • A-1140 Wien, Diesterweggasse 2/7 • +43 676 3138806 • email

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