Psychotherapy is one of the three essential elements in the treatment of mental disorders, alongside drug therapy and so-called supplementary therapies such as creative therapy or physiotherapy. In many different ways, the patient receives support through the provision of information, in conversations, through relaxation exercises or through behavioral training.

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is defined as treatment of mental disorders or emotional suffering using psychological methods. The numerous available methods and techniques are selected according to the nature of the disorder and depending on the individual. One-on-one or in a group, the therapist conducts counselling sessions with the aim of communicating worries and needs, exchanging information about the disorder, teaching relaxation exercises, and learning how to deal with the disorder. Psychotherapy is also used to make people aware of their behavior patterns and thought structures and to practice certain types of behavior.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

For some mental illnesses, it has proved effective to change automated and self-damaging thoughts. This is done by bringing unconscious thought structures into consciousness. Based on this knowledge, the patient can develop new patterns of thought and behavior. One particular form is the "Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy" (CBASP concept), which we offer especially to chronically depressive patients, so that they can better understand and adapt their interpersonal relationships and their interaction with other people.

Treatment spectrum of CBT

Particularly for patients with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and eating disorders, who are mainly treated on ward 5-East, CBT has proved its worth. In individual and group therapies, the disorder-specific range of treatment includes

  • Individual behavioral exercises
  • Group training of social skills
  • Skills group
  • Stress-management group
  • Anxiety-management group
  • Compulsion group
  • Eating-disorder group

Psychotherapeutic Groups

Among others, the following open-target group therapies are offered:

  • Relaxation exercises according to Jacobson or autogenic training
  • Thoughts cessation
  • Concentration training


So-called disorder-specific psychoeducation groups, which provide basic knowledge on the disorder, are also important. The background to this is the insight that the more knowledge on the causes, forms of progression, and therapy options both patients and their relatives have, the better they can cope with the disorder. Psychoeducation groups have proved their worth in depression or bipolar disorder, but also in psychotic disorders.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)

For patients with depression, we offer not only CBT but also interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), in which interpersonal problems are worked through emotionally and the necessary social skills for coping with interpersonal conflicts are developed. For some conditions, such as affective bipolar disorder, we provide disorder-specific group therapy.

Day-care treatment

Since 2009, we have also been able to offer psychotherapeutic treatment on a day-care basis. The interdisciplinary Psychosomatic Day Care Clinic has a capacity of 18 patients.


Portraitfoto von PD Dr. med. Dipl.-Psych. Stefan Unterecker

Prof. Dr. med. Dipl.-Psych.
Stefan Unterecker

Medical director for clinical psychology and chief consultant

+49 931 201-77545


Mediation and information

Phone: +49 931 201 76050
Fax: +49 931 201-77550


Phone: + 49 931 201-77800
E-Mail: ep_poli@ 

In-patient care
Phone: +49 931 201-76050
E-Mail: ep_poli@ 

Clinic directorate

Prof. Dr. med. Jürgen Deckert

Secretary´s office
Phone: +49 931 201-77010
Fax: : +49 931 201-77020
E-Mail: ps_sekr@ 


Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie des Universitätsklinikums | Margarete-Höppel-Platz 1 | 97080 Würzburg | Deutschland