What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a process whereby psychological problems are treated through communication and relationship factors between an individual and a trained mental health professional using scientifically evaluated methods of treatment. Its aims include:

  • curing or alleviating current symptoms
  • curing or alleviating psychological suffering
  • aiding in crisis situations
  • changing pathological habits and attitudes
  • fostering personal development and health

In Austria the profession of psychotherapy is regulated and standardised in the National Psychotherapy Law (in German).   

When should you seek psychotherapy?

  • You suffer from pain, insomnia, dizzyness, cardiac irregularities or other physical symptoms for which your physician could not find a physical explanation.
  • You can only function on stimulants, tranquilizers, sleeping pills or other types of medication.
  • Your suffer from bouts of tachycardia and the fear you might die without any obvious reason.
  • You suffer from fears that feel burdensome and restraining, e.g. contact with others, authorities, open or narrow spaces, exams.
  • You are haunted by thoughts you dare not speak about (feelings of shame and guilt, hatred, feelings of inadequacy, feelings of paranoia or to be controlled by others).
  • You feel lethargic and unmotivated, exhausted and constantly overwhelmed. 
  • You are often despondent and lack any joy of living.
  • You feel sad and lonely.
  • You are faced with a life event that is hard to cope with (e.g. severe illness, death, unemployment, divorce, break up, accident,...).
  • You sometimes consider suicide and/or your level of suffering is unbearable.
  • You are in a relationship that strains you.
  • You are constantly overwhelmed by your children.
  • You are addicted - to alcohol, drugs, food, feeling hungry, love, gambling.
  • You feel compelled to constantly think or do the same (e.g. obsessive cleaning, locking your door, ruminations), even though this severely constricts your life.
  • You cannot come to terms with your sexuality.
  • You are afraid of making decisions.

(cf. Austrian Association of Psychotherapy, in German)