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Counseling and Therapy - Areas of Work

We provide counseling and psychotherapy services related to:

  • Life crises
    (relocation, ending of a romantic relationship, death of a loved one, etc.)
  • Career challenges
    (loss and / or change of job, job dissatisfaction, continuing education, etc.)
  • Difficulties with self-confidence and self-efficacy
    (procrastination, difficulties in getting acquainted with new people, perfectionism, etc.)
  • Anxiety disorders
    (anxiety, panic attack, fear of public appearance, specific phobias, etc.)
  • Depressive disorders
    (apathy, chronic fatigue, difficulty sleeping and concentrating, sadness, helplessness, etc.)
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
    (nightmares, recalling a traumatic event, irritability, anxiety, etc.)

About counseling and therapy

Counseling and psychotherapy are the forms of psychological help. Both approaches are based on expertly managed treatment and application of techniques that have proved effective for the certain types of problems. What differentiates these two approaches is duration and intensity of the treatment and the type of difficulty for which they are appropriate.

Counseling is providing professional help to the persons with life problems, and this is mostly short term and focused on a specific problem that a person is experiencing. The purpose of counseling is to provide support and expert advice to a person in order to cope with difficulties, something like first aid in medicine.
Counseling is useful if a person needs:

  • to resolve a specific problem
  • support in making a life decision
  • to resolve developmental crises and crisis situations
  • to improve life skills

Psychotherapy is a more intensive approach than counseling whose goal, in conjunction with a client, is to stimulate change in the ingrained ways of functioning and responding that create difficulties for a person. Psychotherapy takes longer and is based on building a relationship between an educated therapist and a client. Unlike counseling, in psychotherapy, the client has a much more active role, but the outcomes and changes are deeper and last longer.
Psychotherapy is useful if a person needs:

  • to resolve difficulties that persist (and that are more complex)
  • to deal with and resolve loss or trauma
  • changing the patterns and ways of functionings
  • resolving more difficult life crises
  • better knowledge of self and personal growth and development
  • improving the life skill
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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is aimed at understanding difficulties that arise in the context of the relationship between thought, emotion and behavior. Through collaborative learning and discovery, the client and the therapist define individualized goals, and plan and apply the appropriate strategies to deal with challenges 'now and here'. Goal achievement is continually monitored and evaluated. The basic assumption of this approach is that the way we think affects how we feel, act and react.

Principles of CBT Approach

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is based on the cognitive pattern of emotional reactions.
The main assumption is that we can change the way we think, so that we can feel and act better. Ineffective or harmful ways of thinking can be unlearned, and the new ways that help to better cope with everyday challenges can be learned.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is shorter and time-limited.
The number of sessions, depending on the problem and complexity, varies between 5 and 25. What allows cognitive-behavioral therapy to be shorter than other types of psychotherapy is high structuring and focus on the results and encouraging the independent use of the learned.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is based on collaborative learning and discovery.
The main characteristic of rational thinking is that it is based on facts rather than assumptions. The cognitive-behavioral approach encourages us to look at our thoughts as the assumptions, so that they can be questioned and verified.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is based on an educational model.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is based on the scientific assumption that most emotional reactions and behaviors are learned. The aim is to help the client develop the new ways of reacting, which leads to long-term results.

The course of CB therapy

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy aims at reducing the mental and psychosomatic symptoms, and the life difficulties in general. During counseling, the assessment of successfulness and positive outcomes of the implemented interventions, and the therapy in general, is continuously conducted. A typical course of therapy is presented below:

  1. Conducting the assessment of difficulties at the beginning, and continuously throughout the work
  2. Defining as concrete goals of the therapy as possible
  3. Preparing an optimal plan for the realization of each goal
  4. Implementing the therapy, along with motivation for learning and independent application
  5. Objective assessment of the outcome of the therapy, i.e. its successfulness
  6. Working on prevention of recurrence of the symptoms

Applicability (and Benefits of CB Approach)

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is applicable in dealing with various types of difficulties (depression, panic attacks, fear of public appearance, excessive worrying and anxiety, forced thoughts and actions, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, perfectionism, low self-esteem, etc.). The effectiveness of CBT is scientifically proven, as well as the sustainability of the positive treatment outcomes.


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is the most commonly researched psychotherapeutic approach. Research shows that the clients involved in cognitive-behavioral therapy are improving faster and remain on the achieved level of positive outcomes for several years after the initial recovery. One of the greatest benefits of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is focus on the development of practical skills and learning widely applicable techniques that help with life challenges, even after the end of counseling, as well as the proven effectiveness of the treatment.

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Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt Therapy is a humanistic therapy focused on a person as a whole, which takes into account all the characteristics and distinctive traits of an individual. In Gestalt therapy, the main focus is on the contact and awareness, on what is happening now and here, on patterns and processes in everyday life. The goal is to help a person become aware of what he or she is doing to meet their needs, what he or she can change and how to accept and respect oneself in order to achieve fulfillment and the desired quality of life.

The main principles of Gestalt approach

The basic principles of the Gestalt Therapy teach us that a person is an integral part of the environment in which he or she lives, and that in contact with the environment one constantly experiences and meets different needs. In accordance with the holistic principles, we are born with the potential and all the resources that help us meet our needs through contact with the environment. However, during development, to a smaller or greater extent, depending on the experience of each individual, there are interferences, interruptions in meeting the needs. A person then begins to suppress or block different aspects of self in order to adapt, and continues to apply such mechanisms through life.

These mechanisms that block the natural cycle of satisfying the needs lead to tensions, disturbances in daily functioning and contact with self and others. The goal of the therapeutic process is to enable a person to be more aware of his or her needs, and to re-regulate them in an undisturbed manner. This is achieved through development of a trustful relationship between the client and the therapist, learning through new experience and exploring, promoting responsibility for oneself, and working on attitudes and / or habits that prevent a person from functioning more freely.

The course of Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt Therapy is based on the "here and now" principle, which means that the experience (difficulty) that a person wants to work on is replayed in the therapeutic process, so that a person can experience and explore what is happening inside of him or her while he or she is experiencing it, and explore different scenarios and possibilities. The fundamental Gestalt approach techniques include the client talking with the therapist, but also the client talking with parts of him or her, and an experiment through which a person acquires a new experience, deepens self-knowledge, and acquires new skills to face the challenges.

In the Gestalt therapeutic approach, a multitude of expressive therapeutic techniques (drawing, play, modeling, sand, role play, dramatization, etc.) are applied, as well as working with the body and the use of movement to make a person more expressive and to achieve the therapeutic goals. In addition, Gestalt therapy often uses work with dreams and fantasies and the associative maps to explore the perspective and way of functioning of the client through symbols, and to experiment with the outcomes different from those with which a person is unhappy.

Applicability and benefits of the Gestalt approach

The Gestalt approach is applicable to working with different groups of people with disorders they are experiencing and trying to resolve through therapy. It is particularly applicable in dealing with the life crises and in the crisis interventions after loss and trauma. The Gestalt therapy is particularly effective in working with people who are inhibited, rigid, prone to intellectualization, and with a lot of "internal constraints" and "compulsions". It is often used in people with anxiety and depressive disorders, people with personality disorders, people with alcohol and drug addiction problems, as well as in working with people with psychosomatic disorders. The Gestalt approach is used in working with individuals and groups, family and partner therapy, and working with children and adolescents.

(Parts of the text taken from the site of the Society of Gestalt and Integrative Therapists of Croatia and from the book "Gestalt Therapy" by Tanja Radionov)

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