Counseling & Psychotherapy Practice Richard L. Fellner, ViennaPhoto: Practice Thailand

Practice Information

Basic conditions in psychotherapy, counseling, and my practice

This page contains general information about the basic conditions of psychotherapy / counselling as well as specific information about my own practice - as information for my clients. Both kinds of information can be outlined individually, if required. General information and tips on psychotherapy you can find here.

  • The duration of successful Psychotherapy or Counseling depends on your problem and the counselor / psychotherapist. Generally, analytical methods (Psychoanalysis, Jungian Psychology, Individual Psychology, Imaginative Psychotherapy etc.) take several years and require frequent sessions (even several a week), while solution-focused and brief therapy (Systemic Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy and Behavioural Therapy may show signs of symptom relief (which doesn't necessarily mean consistent healing!) after 10-20 sessions. With these methods, sessions are usually held every 1-2 weeks, but should be continued for some time with a longer time between sessions even after the symptoms have not been evident for a few days or weeks.
    Nevertheless, length of treatment and session frequency do not necessarily relate to effectiveness - all approved psychotherapeutic methods have their merits, and not every method works for everyone.
    Personally, I aim at giving an appraisal of the expected duration of therapy/counseling by the end of the first consultation, depending on the problem. Because I apply brief therapy methods, the first signs of improvement may already be evident after a few sessions.

  • My fees, as regulated by the Austrian federation for Psychotherapy (OeBVP), are shown in the table below. Minimum and maximum fees depend on practice and other costs. As of May, 2006.

    Fees for individual sessions, sexual counseling, couple therapy / relationship counseling, group therapy:

    Single 50 min € 110,00
    Couple 50 min 1) € 130,00
    Group 90 min € 45,00
    1st consultation (single) bis 80 min 2) € 110,00

    Fees for coaching, sex therapy, supervision, group therapy/-trainings etc:

    Personal Coaching 50 min € 130,00
    Sex Therapy / Counseling 50 min € 130,00
    Group trainings - 5)
    Supervision (single) 50 min € 110,00
    Supervision (group) 130 min € 180,00
    (therapeutical, team development etc.)
    - 5)

    On Request:

    Psychotherapeutic Expertise (written) - 4) € 145-275
    Psychotherapeutic Diagnosis (written) - 4) € 145-275
    Status report (written) - € 75,00 (~1 S.)

    When arranging an appointment with you, I'll reserve the necessary time and some pre- and postprocessing time. Because of that, please keep the cancellation policy in mind.
    I'm offering payment in cash, by bank transfer (no credit cards), oder in advance by Bitcoin or Monero cryptocurrencies (100% anonymous, 5% discount).

    1) in couple therapy, a flexible timing of sessions has proved most efficient. However, I'll not charge you for another full unit once we've surpassed the usual 50 minutes, but only the time we actually used until you're leaving. The fee applies for the couple, not per individual person.
    2) different handling by therapists/counselors; in my practive, I'll usually only charge you the regular 1-unit fee for the first consultation, even though it may take up to 80 minutes.
    4) depending on volume (2-5 pages)
    5) on request (depending on # of participants, topic and location).
    Family therapy is usually charged with couple therapy fees for up to 5 members; from 6 members, group therapy fees apply.

  • Usually, a first session is arranged by phone or email. Very short initial 'sessions' of 5-10 minutes are sometimes even offered free of charge (but it is recommended to first inquire with the respective therapist how he/she handles it, there is no general regulation). In this first interview, you will tell about your main issues and your current life situation, but it also serves as a means of getting to know each other, taking personal data (rule of confidentiality: see below ) and to outline a possible raw roadmap for your therapy. It can also serve to assess how deeply-rooted your issues may be, as well as whether and to what extent psychotherapy could be used for improvement and healing. Often it will already be possible for your therapist to give a cautious estimate of how long the treatment of the problem is likely to last - especially when the goal isn't merely to have some short-term symptoms to disappear, but also to work on the underlying causes of a disorder.

    If an application for partial refunds is to be submitted to the health insurance, the insurance will have to decide upon the necessity of psychotherapy for the patient. This process usually takes 4-10 weeks.

    Further sessions are then agreed individually and according to the type and intensity of the problem(s).

    The duration of a psychotherapy session ('1 unit') is usually 50 minutes for individual sessions, for couple sessions up to 2 units, group sessions are usually scheduled for 90 minutes. Some clients request double-unit sessions at some point to achieve improvements as soon as possible - this can especially be helpful at the beginning of psychotherapies or during difficult or challenging times in between.

  • The easiest way is to simply pick up the phone and call. Because many psychotherapists only offer appointments on certain weekdays, you may have to wait for the first appointment, but it's rarely more than 1-3 weeks.
    Generally, it's advisable to make an appointment sooner rather than later - not just if there's already "fire on the roof"!
    On the one hand, it reduces the problem should you have to wait a few weeks for the first session, and on the other hand, because psychological issues can be treated much more easily and quickly as long as they are not already deeply rooted in the human psyche.

  • You don't need to bring anything special with you, but you might want to make notes of the main issues you're facing in order to avoid forgetting to mention them. Getting a broad overview of what you're dealing with helps the psychotherapist to better understand your situation, success prospects, assess reasonable session frequency etc.
    If you have any diagnostic reports or statements related to your problem, it is helpful to bring copy of them. If you are taking medicines such as psychotropic drugs, tranquilizers, sleeping pills or similar, please tell the name and dosage of your medicines. [ more .. ]

  • § 15 of the Austrian Psychotherapy Act ("Psychotherapie-Gesetz") stipulates the following regarding the professional secrecy obligation for psychotherapists:
    "§ 15. The psychotherapist is committed to secrecy over all confidential information that is given to him during practicing his profession."

    The confidentiality according to the Austrian Psychotherapiegesetz applies to Secrets. A "secret" is a fact known only to the bearer of this information, and perhaps even secret to his/her familiar circles, and where there is a natural interest in not disclosing it to the outside. Therefore, if the scope or the extent of the secrets has not been addressed at the beginning of a psychotherapeutic treatment or care, it is to be assumed that all of the contents entrusted within the scope of psychotherapy are to be regarded as a secret.
    The therapist can not forward the contents of the therapy to a person or institution without the permission of the patient.

    Even the health insurance company or the family physician knows nothing about the contents of the treatment. If, however, you wish to receive a partial cost reimbursement from your health insurance, you will have to provide some general diagnostic information on the intended application. These are then processed within the cash office on the basis of the Data Protection Act then also computerized technically ...
    If the General Practitioner, a psychiatrist or some other party requests a report from the psychotherapist, this will be done with consent of the patient, as well as it is the case for psychotherapeutic assessments.

  • There can always be times when scheduled appointments can't be met - for either party.
    As with most fee-based services where a fixed time-frame is reserved for you (similar to other appointment bookings with specialists, in contrast to a medical doctor with a queue sitting in the waiting room), the appointment must be cancelled with 'reasonable' notice. In psychotherapy, this usually means you will have to call it off 2 days (48 hours) before the appointment, otherwise the fee has to be paid. If the appointment is cancelled within 1 week in advance, 1/2 a unit may be charged according to the Austrian Consumer Protection Association (Konsumentenschutzverein). Note that the reason for the non-appearance doesn't make a difference - simply because otherwise, no reasonable planning would be possible. Your therapist (me also) will, however, not charge you for a late cancellation if it was possible to offer the the unused slot to someone else.
    If, on the other hand, your therapist has to call off a session on late notice, there's no legal obligation for him to compensate you (also comparable to any other private practices). Some (including myself) will try to offer at least some compensation whenever possible and justified.
    Please note that the rules given here might differ with your own therapist/counselor! In fact, this jurisdiction (Austria, Germany, Switzerland) only applies if nothing else has been agreed upon between therapist and client (orally or in writing). If you have any questions or concerns about these regulations, you should discuss them at the beginning of the first session to avoid any misunderstanding at a later time.

Richard L. Fellner, MSc., 1010 Wien

Richard L. Fellner, MSc., DSP

R.L.Fellner is Psychotherapist, Counselor, Hypnotherapist, Sex Therapist and Couple Therapist in Vienna & Asia.

Contact me at any time to arrange a consultation.