Positive Psychotherapy

(Peseschkian, since 1968)

Positive Psychotherapy is a short-term psychotherapeutic method, with a psychodynamic model, a humanistic world-view, and a transcultural approach. It has been developed since 1968 by Prof. Dr. Nossrat Peseschkian, MD., PhD., and his co-workers in Germany, and is today an officially accepted method in the field of postgraduate training in many countries.

The method of Positive Psychotherapy based on transcultural researches in over 20 cultures, and based on three main principles:

  1. The principle of hope, symbol of global identity: The world-view is based on the concept that “every human-being is good by nature” and “endowed with a lot of capabilities and a great potential.” This positive image of man – that everybody has the two basic capabilities “to love” and “to know” – has led to the concept that illnesses and disorders are some kind of capability, and are therefore interpreted in a positive way. E.g. depression regarded as “the capability to react with deep emotions on conflicts”. Through the further use of stories, anecdotes and examples from other cultures the patient is encouraged to play a more active role in his own healing process. Positive Psychotherapy believes that every human-being is an entity of body, mind, emotions and soul, and the aim of the therapeutic process is to help the client to develop his capabilities and find the balance in his or her life.
  2. The principle of moderation, symbol of social identity: The Conflict Contents and Conflict Dynamics: A main model of Positive Psychotherapy is the Balance Model, and the patient is encouraged to develop all sphere of life and to distribute his daily energy equally in the four spheres of body, work/achievement, contacts/relationships, and future/fantasy.
  3. The principle of consultation, symbol of everyday-life-identity: The Five-Stage-Therapy and self-help: With the help of a structured five-stage-procedure, the patient and client is led from his symptoms to the solution of his conflict. In the aspect of self-help, he is also encouraged to become a therapist for his own family and environment. Here, elements of other methods are applied in order to secure a flexible approach to the unique needs of every client. This interdisciplinary approach of Positive Psychotherapy presents a framework in which different methods can work and cooperate together.

Since 1968, Positive Psychotherapy is applied mainly in the following areas: psychotherapy, counselling, education, prevention and management training. In Germany, the Wiesbaden Academy of Psychotherapy is licensed by the State Medical Chamber in Hessen for the postgraduate training of physicians in psychotherapy, and by the State Ministry for Health Professions for the training of psychologists. Since 1971, more than 38,000 doctors have been trained in Germany, Switzerland and Austria with this method, and since the late 1980s several thousand colleagues in Eastern European countries. Today, Positive Psychotherapy has been established in more than 24 countries, and introduced in more than 60 countries worldwide. Its affairs are coordinated by the International Center of Positive Psychotherapy, which has its headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany, with 45 trainers and lecturers. It has organized already four World Congresses for Positive Psychotherapy – in St. Petersburg, Russia (1997), in Wiesbaden, Germany (in 2000), Bulgaria (in 2003) and in Cyprus (in 2007). Besides training, teaching and practical psychotherapy, a main emphasis has been transcultural research. In 1997, a quality assurance and effectiveness study was undertaken in Germany, and the results show the high effectivity of this short-term method. The study was awarded with the Richard-Merten-Prize 1997. Prof. Dr. Nossrat Peseschkian was in 2006 distinguished with the Order of Merit – Distinguished Service Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany and in 2007 with the International Avicenna-Prize from the Association of Iranian Physicians and Dentists in Germany and in Geneva. Today there are more than 25 major books on Positive Psychotherapy, of which some have been published in more than 26 languages. About 20 Ph.D. dissertations have been prepared with topics related to this new concept.

Head Office: European Federation of Centers for Positive Psychotherapy
Luisenstraße 28, D-65185 Wiesbaden, Germany
Tel. +49-611-34109903
Fax: +49-611-39990
email: wapp@positum.org
Website: www.positum.org

Secondary office: International Academy for Positive and Transcultural Psychotherapy
Langgasse 38-40, D-65183 Wiesbaden, Germany
Tel. +49-611-3411674
Fax: +49-611-3411676
email: foundation@peseschkian.com
Website: www.peseschkian-stiftung.de


Psychotherapists are required to engage in extensive personal psychotherapy during their training which is up to seven years duration. Psychotherapists usually have a first degree followed by a professional, highly specialised, theoretical and clinical training which includes research methodology and continuous professional development. The EAP promotes the recognition of common standards of training throughout Europe, and will ensure their mobility across member states.