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HEALTHCARE

How to get an English-speaking therapist in Austria

Living overseas and navigating a different language can be stressful at the best of times. Throw in a pandemic and ongoing travel restrictions and the pressure can become overwhelming, which is where therapy comes in.

How to get an English-speaking therapist in Austria
How do you get an English-speaking psychologist in Austria? Photo by Cottonbro from Pexels

According to a recent study by Danube University Krems and the Austrian Federal Association for Psychotherapy, 26 per cent of the population in Austria experienced depression in January this year – up from four to five per cent in pre-coronavirus times.

Anxiety and panic attacks are also on the rise, particularly in women.

This means the demand for mental health care is increasing – both for Austrians and international residents.

Therapy is a proven method for dealing with mental health issues, but for many English-speakers in Austria the language can be a barrier – even for those with strong German-language skills.

The solution is to find a therapist that speaks English, and here’s how to do it.

How to find an English-speaking therapist in Austria

There are many English-speaking therapists in Austria, although it’s more common in bigger towns and cities where there are bigger populations.

Unfortunately, in smaller, rural regions, it can be difficult to find an English-speaking GP, and even harder to find a therapist.

But many mental health practitioners now offer their services online via video call, with this increasing since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

This has improved accessibility for international residents seeking therapy in English who might not live in one of Austria’s metropolitan areas and would otherwise have to travel for treatment. 

The first step to get more information about English-speaking therapists in Austria is to visit a GP (Hausarzt) to explain the problem and ask for a referral.

Searching online can also help with finding a therapist on both a national and local level.

Is therapy covered by Austrian social insurance?

In Austria, it’s compulsory to have social insurance, which covers health care.

Mental health services are included in this, but not all treatments are fully covered or equally reimbursed.

For example, the cost of acute mental health treatment, such as in-patient care in a hospital, is mostly covered by insurance.

However, for treatments like psychotherapy, the insurance doesn’t always cover the full cost and the reimbursement rate for the fees are usually around 70 to 80 per cent.

With therapists’ rates ranging from upwards of €80 per session, this can make therapy an expensive option for most people, even with partial reimbursement through insurance.

Then there are private therapists that are not covered by insurance and are known as “out of network”, so the entire fee has to be covered by the patient.

The good news is that GP appointments and check-ups are covered by insurance. 

This means there is no fee for visiting a doctor to discuss the options for therapy and to determine how much treatment will cost before committing to a costly treatment plan.

How do you get an English-speaking psychologist in Austria? Photo by Cottonbro from Pexels

What types of therapy are available in Austria?

Austria has a modern healthcare system so most recognised forms of therapy are widely available.

According to the European Association for Psychotherapy, there are 23 different types of psychotherapy methods being practiced in Austria.

These include analytical psychology, psychoanalysis, hypnotherapy, group and individual therapies.

There are also therapists in Austria specialising in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), which is increasingly used to treat anxiety, and “expat” practitioners that have specialist knowledge of international living and culture shock.

In the event of a mental health crisis, advice can be accessed with telephone counselling from Telefon Seelsorge or the Crisis Intervention Centre, both of which are similar to the Samaritans organisation in the UK. 

Useful links for finding a therapist in Austria

Below are three organisations that regulate the profession of psychotherapy in Austria and list registered therapists on their websites.

European Association for Psychotherapy

ÖBVP – Österreichischer Bundesverband für Psychotherapie

Professional Association of Austrian Psychologists (BÖP)

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For members

LIVING IN AUSTRIA

How to dispose of unwanted furniture or whitegoods in Vienna legally

Got an unwanted mattress, fridge, or sofa? Here’s how you can legally get it off your hands in Vienna.

How to dispose of unwanted furniture or whitegoods in Vienna legally

If you find yourself with a large piece of furniture or big household appliance that has seen its prime and is not bound to the trashcan, then you might be wondering where to dispose of them – legally, that is.

Even if it is not uncommon to see furniture or appliances next to the big trashcans often placed near households and apartment complexes, it is illegal to leave them there.

Different cities have different methods – some will even pick up trash at specific times and places. To know how your city deals with bulky waste (Sperrmüll), you can google “Sperrmüll + the name of your city”.

READ ALSO: Why does Vienna’s waste department have a helicopter and a military plane?

Vienna has several waste collection points where you can leave bulky waste, electrical appliances, hazardous waste (in household quantities) and other old goods for no charge.

The use of the Wiener Mistplätze is subject to certain quantity limits and requirements, but they are to avoid industrial use. Therefore, most households will have no problem with the limitations.

Here you can find several collection points in Vienna.

It is worth pointing out that delivery to those sites can only be made by cars with Viennese license plates, on foot or by bicycle. Furthermore, no trailers or company cars are allowed to leave trash at these collection points.

What can you bring to the collection centres?

This is the place to bring large sheets of plastic foil, bulky or large metal parts and electrical appliances, for example.

Additionally, you can bring small amounts of bulky waste, wood, styrofoam, large cardboard boxes, green waste and used tires to any waste collection centres.

Depending on what you are disposing of, you might need to go to the Rinter centre, one of the larger ones.

READ ALSO: Hasta la mista, baby? How to vote for your favourite Vienna trash can joke

The centres also have a separate division where it is possible to donate old items still in good condition, the so-called 48er-Tandler-Box.

Tableware, small furniture, electrical appliances, clothes, toys and other items can be reused and bought at a low price at the 48er-Tandler reuse shop.

Most centres are open only from Monday to Friday during business hours, but others are also available on Saturdays.

What to do if I don’t have a car?

If you don’t need a car but still need to dispose of a large appliance, the Viennese solution varies.

Some will take public transport with a couple of friends trying to help them carry an old sofa via the u-bahn, although that can get a little tough at peak hour. 

Alternatively, you can borrow or rent a vehicle to try and save costs.

READ ALSO: The downsides of Vienna you should be aware of before moving there

But Vienna City also has a service that will pick up the trash for a low fee – even if it is located in the attic, a basement or a courtyard.

It’s the Entrümpelungsdienst und Sperrmüllabfuhr der MA 48. You can also ask for the “dump service” when the city of Vienna brings a trough (the smallest can fit 12 cubic meters).

Once you fill it up, they will remove it and take it to the appropriate place.

Costs will depend on the amount of trash, the size of the appliance, and where in the household it is located.

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