The practice of psychotherapy is regulated by law in Germany and may only be practised by doctors with appropriate additional qualifications, by "psychological psychotherapists", i.e. psychologists with psychotherapeutic training and licensure, and by alternative practitioners with psychotherapeutic training. The aim is to reduce the pressure of suffering of the patient or client by means of certain procedures, methods and techniques and, if possible, to restore health.
In Germany - limited to the current state of recognition as scientifically based methods - the following main forms are distinguished along theoretical basic assumptions and practical methods:
Behavioural therapeutic procedures are usually based on the model of classical or operant conditioning. Their aim is to achieve an extinction (deletion of problematic behaviour), counterconditioning (development of alternative reactions) or habituation (adaptation to the previously reaction-initiating stimulus).
Patients are often given concrete methods to help them overcome their problems. The aim is also to train and promote skills (e.g. self-confidence training) and to enable better self-regulation. For example, cognitive behavior therapy tries to make the affected person's thoughts and assessments understandable, to correct them if necessary and to translate them into new behaviors. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) combines classical behavioural therapeutic techniques with mindfulness and acceptance-based strategies and value clarification interventions. Within the framework of psychodynamic procedures such as psychotherapy based on depth psychology and psychoanalysis, an examination of unconscious motivations and conflicts underlying the life story - mostly in childhood - takes place.
The aim here is to achieve a deeper understanding of oneself and to clarify backgrounds and causes of existing suffering, so that this can be dissolved or alleviated.
The EMDR therapy also used in my practice stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which in German means desensitization and processing through eye movement. Dr. Francine Shapiro (USA) developed this form of psychotherapy for the treatment of trauma following disorders at the end of the 1980s. The EMDR method can be used to treat trauma following disorders in adults, children and adolescents. EMDR has been used in Germany since around 1991. In 2006, the Scientific Advisory Board for Psychotherapy recognized EMDR as a scientifically based psychotherapy method.