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What is cognitive behavioral therapy? 

Perhaps the name behavioral therapy is somewhat misleading, because we do not "therapize" behavior. Rather, the name suggests that we can change our thoughts and feelings through new experiences. The scientific principle behind restructuring our brain through new experiences is called neuroplasticity. 

 

When we feel stuck or have the impression that we simply cannot control a part of ourselves, our brain has formed a path that it takes automatically. The good news is we can change that path! We can analyze our patterns, see if they no longer serve us and then replace them with a healthier option. It is also important to know that we do not choose to feel bad or struggle! We don't stand in front of a crossroad with the option of taking an easy path or a difficult path and then choose the difficult one. Our brain often only knows this one path and has formed it for a reason!

In CBT we can understand why we react the way we do and then change it in a way that serves us better.

CBT in a Nutshell

Evidence based

The methods of behavioral therapy are scientifically proven. 

We do not follow a rigid treatment concept, but rather keep up with the latest findings and adapt to what is proven successful.

Practicality

The goal of therapy is actual, sustainable change. Change should not only happen in therapy, but in all areas of life. Understanding is an essential first step, but it is through new experiences that we achieve our goals. 

Transparency

In order to create a trusting and respectful relationship,  transparency and consent are essential. Every therapeutic step will be explained and discussed together. 

Setting

General setting

I offer psychotherapy for adults and adolescents above the age of 12Sessions can be held in English or German

Duration and frequency

One session lasts 50 minutes. Psychotherapy usually takes place once a week. If needed, therapy can take place more or less frequently.

Duration and frequency

One session lasts 50 minutes. Psychotherapy usually takes place once a week. If needed, therapy can take place more or less frequently.

Cancellation policy

If you need to cancel a session, please do so at least 24 hours in advance, otherwise I will have to charge you for the session.

Confidentiality

In order to enable trust in psychotherapy, everything we talk about is treated confidentially. You can find more information on confidentiality and ethics in psychotherapy in the FAQ section.

Refunds through healthcare

For therapy with a psychotherapist 'in training under supervision' refunds through health insurance are not possible. If you have private insurance please contact them on whether a refund is possible. 

Fields of expertise

Anxiety and phobia

Fear in itself is an important emotion that is crucial for survival. However, fear can refer to objectively harmless things or spiral until we fear fear itself. One can fear the future, health or anticipated disasters as well as specific things, such as social events, animals, injections, blushing and many more. Rumination (thinking in circles without coming to a conclusion) can also be a sign of an anxiety disorder. A common coping strategy is avoiding the situations that we fear. Even though we get a feeling of relief by avoiding, we often suffer from it in the long run. In therapy we can focus on: • Understanding where fear comes from • Treating the symptoms and/or root of fear • Regaining security in feared situations and in one's own body • Treating rumination and generalizing, catastrophizing thoughts

Panic attacks

Common symptoms of panic attacks are having trouble breathing, an increased heart rate, tightness in your chest and fear of getting a heart attack or a stroke. Panic attacks are a very common problem and can be treated quite effectiviely. However, in addition to treating the symptoms, it is important to look at why and how they developed so that we can prevent them from happening again. We want you to feel safe in your body and mind again. In therapy we can focus on: • Understanding where the panic attacks are coming from • Identifying stressors and working out healthy ways of dealing with them • Regaining security within your own body • Not avoiding feared situations

Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses worldwide. It usually manifests itself in a lack of drive, loss of interest and heavily negative or suicidal thoughts and feelings. In most cases the body also reacts with symptomps like fatigue, headaches, back pain or general tightness. When experiecing depressive symptoms seeking help can cost a lot of energy. That is why even looking at this website is a big and important step! In therapy we can focus on: • Understanding how depression developed and manifested itself • Feeling like yourself again • Getting back in contact with the outside world • Gradually mastering everyday tasks again • Being able to regulate one's own thoughts and feelings and stop rumination • Feeling worthy again • Burnout treatment • Treatment of bipolar disorder (switching phases of depression and mania, having 'very low lows and very high highs')

Body Dysmorphia

Body dysmorphic disorder is characterized by a significant distress related to one's own appearance. This can affect individual body parts or the entire body. Individuals suffering from this disorder often excessively or even compulsively think that their body parts are ugly or deformed. As a result, they frequently check their appearance in the mirror or through photos and heavily use clothing, makeup, etc., to conceal their perceived flaws. Possible topics in psychotherapy include: • Understanding the origins of such thoughts • Re-establishing a healthy relationship with one's own body • Getting rid of excessive or compulsive thoughts and worries • Feeling comfortable with one's own appearance • Stopping rumination and excessive thinking or redirecting it into productive thinking • Coping with anxieties • Developing self-compassion

Support in Times of High Stress or Crisis 

If you find yourself in the midst of a transitional phase, crisis, or challenging situation, psychotherapy can support you through this period. When life changes or major decisions are on the horizon, seeking support is an act of self-care. Significant changes or challenges may necessitate assistance, regardless of one's mental health. Possible topics in psychotherapy include: • Coping with stress • Providing support and stability during a crisis • Issues related to self-discovery • Assistance in decision-making • The importance of work, difficulties in achieving work-life balance, public exposure • Support during a separation • Grief support • Dealing with illness or chronic pain • Migration and intercultural concerns • Experiences of discrimination • Coping with natural disasters, war, pandemics, etc. • Near-death experiences

Sexuality

Sex therapy offers a safe space to explore one's sexuality. There is a wide range of topics that can be discussed. In therapy we can focus on: • Erectile dysfunction • Orgasm difficulties (missing or unsatisfying orgasms) • Vaginismus, vulvodynia, dyspareunia • Sexual fantasies or preferences such as BDSM, fetishes, etc. • LGBTQIA* • Relationships and forms of relationships • Dating, affairs or break-ups • Increasing pleasure • The relationship with your body • Education regarding the body, techniques, practices and STDs • Traumatic experiences or violence • Understanding and communicating needs, desires and boundaries

Obsessive compulsive disorder

The characteristics of obsessive compulsive disorder are thinking or doing things that we know do not make sense, but we just 'have to do them'. Additionally people with OCD experience massive fear or discomfort if they to not stick to their obsessive thoughts or compulsions. Therapy goals can be: • Getting rid of obsessive thoughts or compulsions • Understanding the functionality of an obsession or compulsion • Developing alternative emotion regulation strategies • Being able to cope with everyday life again • Dealing with relationship problems and conflicts related to or caused by OCD • Reducing fear • Relieving stress • Feeling secure in one's body again

Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity is an umbrella term for differences in the structure or functioning of brains. Most known are ADHD as well as autism spectrum disorders. But it also encompasses bipolar disorder and learning difficulties. Psychotherapy can offer many strategies to help individuals get to know themselves and maximize their potential. It can often be challenging to regulate emotions or manage stress and tension. Various techniques such as emotion regulation training, social skills training, and mindfulness can be helpful in this regard. Possible topics in psychotherapy include: • Building self-esteem • Meeting fundamental needs such as safety, connection with others, or control • Learning or improving social and emotional skills • Finding relief, gaining insight, and understanding one's own behaviors, emotions, and experiences • Learning to cope with frustration, impulsivity, and sensory overload • Educating one's social environment and involving social support • Understanding how society hinders neurodiverse individuals and what we can do about it

Chronic Pain/Psychosomatics

When physical symptoms can not be explained medically patients are often referred to a therapist. Visiting many doctors can be very straining to both the mind and your time and finances. That is why people are often frustrated when told they should go to therapy. I understand that frustration and a will do my best to work out together whether your symptoms can be treated with therapy. Sometimes we do not realize that our mind plays a big role in experiencing physical symptoms. There are many reasons why that happens. One of them is that we are under constant stress and our body is kind of numb so that we do not recognize the need for rest or movement. Another example is that we are stuck in thought patterns that increase tightness in the body and therefore cause physical symptoms. In therapy we can focuse on: • Relief of physical pain • Working on thought patterns reducing stress • Feeling seen and heard in one's pain and discomfort • Feeling secure in one's body • Reconnecting with the body • Understanding the functionality of physical symptoms

Addiction

Addiction often makes it's way slowly into our lifes. Consuming something might start as enjoyment, but then gets more and more important, until we cannot live withought it. Therefore ecognizing that one is addicted is a very important first step. Addiction refers to substances as well as behaviors. We can get addicted to alcohol, caffeine or illegal drugs, but also to shopping, sex or gaming. In therapy we can focuse on: • Acceptance • Understanding the addiction • Relief, feeling seen and understood in expressing pain • Relearning to experience joy • Dealing with mental health, physical health and social life • Reconnecting to the body, learning to enjoy smaller things again • Healing deeper issues that might lie underneath the addiction

Self-care and Personal Development

Even if you are not currently experiencing distress but still wish to start psychotherapy, you are in the right place! Whether out of curiosity, self-care, or prevention, self-exploration can help you get to know yourself better. We explore patterns and connections in emotions, thoughts, and behaviors and may work on changing them if necessary. Possible topics in psychotherapy include: • Self-esteem • Regulation of emotions and thoughts • Mindfulness and acceptance • Relationships • Private or professional conflicts • Relaxation • Current events • Decision-making • Relationship with the body • Charisma and social competence • Prevention and avoiding relapse

LGBTQIA*

Psychotherapy offers a space where you can be who you truly are. This can mean talking about your identity or sexual orientation or getting guidance for your path. Many people in the community suffer from discrimination and stigmatisation. As a result, it is not surprising that mental illnesses are very common. I would like to create a safe space where you can share In therapy we can focus on: • Outing • Finding your identity • Sexuality • Identity • Dealing with stigmatisation and discrimination • Traumatic experiences, violence, transgressions • Self-worth and self-care • Relationship issues • Conflicts within your social circle

Psychotherapy for children and adolescents

Children and adolescents can experience major life changes, personal crises and stressful times, which can affect their mental development and health. In psychotherapy children and adolescents receive support, a variety of treatment options for mental health problems, and a safe space to feel valued and seen.

 

Depending on the age group and interests of your child, creative and playful techniques can be used in order to let you child express their emotions and problems. In same cases discussing how you as a caregiver can support your child can also be helpful.

Here are some examples of common problems that I focus on working with children and adolescents:

  • problems with focus and attention, ADHD/ADD

  • anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive behavior

  • struggles within developmental stages (i.e. developing healthy boundaries)

  • insomnia, difficulties with sleeping

  • stress

  • relationships, love, sexuality 

  • problems at school (bullying, performance anxiety, fear of school)

  • developmental crisis 

  • divorce and other big changes within the family system

  • finding one's identity

  • finding a friend group and experiencing a feeling of belonging

  • conflicts within the family system

  • coping with diseases, death or grief

  • suicidal thoughts/suicide attempts

  • self harming behavior

  • addiction (games, phone, drugs, etc.)

  • psychosomatic symptoms (headaches, stomachaches, fatigue, etc.)

  • trauma

Psychotherapy Barger
CBT for Adolescents and Adults in Vienna

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