We treat all kinds of mental disorders in our clinic. We specialize in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depressive disorders. Below, you can find more information about selected mental disorders that can be successfully treated with psychotherapy.
Patients suffering from anxiety disorders avoid certain situations (for example, crowds, public places, travelling), experience panic attacks or are excessively bothered by daily situations. Anxiety disorders are treated with confrontation therapy after thorough preparation. The confrontation with the feared situation can be done in real life, in the imagination or in virtual reality. If needed, confrontation procedures can be enhanced through the techniques aimed at modifying excessively negative thinking.
Depressive disorders typically involve depressed mood, fatigue, lack of energy and loss of joy and interests. The most important treatment methods of cognitive behavioral therapy for depressive disorders are increasing positive activities, modifying dysfunctional thinking and improving social contacts.
Posttraumatic stress disorder
People who have been subjected to extraordinary threats or have experienced a catastrophic event can develop posttraumatic stress disorders. Common symptoms are repetitive memories, nightmares, hyperarousal and avoidance behavior. Most psychotherapeutic approaches base the treatment plan for posttraumatic stress disorder on a four-step model: 1) building safety; 2) emotional stabilization; 3) safe confrontation 4) reintegration.
Personality disorders are disorders of interaction that are usually based on adverse experiences in childhood. The most appropriate method for treating such disorders is schema therapy, a new approach designed to adapt cognitive behavioral therapy for personality disorders. The method of choice for borderline personality disorder is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT involves several therapy modules (for example, mindfulness, stress tolerance, emotion management and interpersonal skills). DBT is focused on skills training, i.e. the establishment of coping behaviors that are effective in the short term and not harmful in the long term.
Somatic symptom disorder
Bodily symptoms that cannot be sufficiently explained by a medical condition can result in somatic symptom disorders. As body functions are known to be influenced by the mental state (mostly through the autonomic nervous system), cognitive behavioral therapy recognizes the mental component in the physical symptoms. There are various ways in which the mental influence on body symptoms can be improved (for example, relaxation training, mindfulness, modifying dysfunctional thinking).
Addictive disorders can be substance-related or not substance-related. The most common substance-related disorders are alcohol and nicotine abuse and addiction. Not substance-related addictions are, for example, gambling and shopping addiction. Typical characteristics of addictive disorders are substance craving, withdrawal symptoms and social impairment due to the addiction. In most addictive disorders, successful detoxication is a prerequisite for outpatient psychotherapy.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder can manifest itself in obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behavior. The most common obsessive thoughts have an aggressive, religious or sexual character. Compulsive behavior includes for example excessive controlling or decontamination. Obsessional personal traits (perfectionism, rigidity) can be a reason to seek out psychotherapeutic treatment, too.
Psychotherapy is vital in the treatment of anorexia (excessive food restriction) and bulimia (binge eating and purging). Anorexia is diagnosed when the BMI (body mass index) is under 17,5 and other diagnostic criteria are fulfilled (e.g., weight loss due to food restriction, distorted body image). BMI under 15 indicates that inpatient treatment is mandatory. Important characteristics of bulimia involve binge eating and measures to prevent the weight gaining effect of the food (purging and/or starving). Developing healthy eating habits and modifying dysfunctional thoughts about food and the own body are of utmost importance in the psychotherapy of these disorders.