Treatment here at the day clinic consists of a carefully devised combination of therapy modules. All our patients are involved in this multi-modal treatment setting. You will take part in the various psychotherapeutic modules as part of a set timetable that runs from Monday to Friday. Thanks to the varying approaches of our interdisciplinary team, this course of therapy offers you the opportunity to experience new ways of relating to yourself and others in a group setting.
The therapists hold regular team meetings and discuss each course of treatment. This gives them a holistic understanding of the individual progress and unique background of each patient, and therefore enables us to provide tailored therapeutic support throughout the treatment process that meets the needs of each individual patient.
Here you can view an example of a weekly timetable.
One-to-one psychotherapy provides a safe therapeutic space in which to evaluate the experiences that have been gained during the course of therapy, to discuss their therapeutic relevance, and to use those experiences to reshape the patient’s perception of themselves. Our patients have a weekly session with a dedicated therapist. The one-to-one therapists are responsible for guiding the patient through the course of treatment.
The curative factors of one-to-one therapy are as follows:
- the illness is analysed using a holistic, psychosomatic approach
- with reference to the patient’s personal history, connections are drawn between their personality structure and the psychological and social factors that trigger their symptoms
- patients are given the opportunity to have new emotional experiences and thus to get in touch with the way they view and value themselves
- patients develop the behavioural skills that aid recovery.
Group therapy sessions, which are based on schema therapy, take place once a week. They offer a particularly concentrated space in which to experience, try out and develop ways of relating to one another. The group represents a sort of social microcosm.
The curative factors of group therapy are as follows:
- it helps the patient to know that they are not alone with their problems it enables them to experience a sense of community, appreciation and engagement
- it helps them to realise that, contrary to what they may expect or believe, they do have something to offer other people it helps to strengthen their sense of self-worth and increase their self-reliance
- the openness of fellow patients can encourage patients to acknowledge their own thoughts and experiences and articulate these to others, as well as to allow themselves to experience and express their emotions more intensively
- patients have a safe space in which to practise resolving interpersonal conflicts (‘interpersonal learning’)
- patients are able to identify and work on problematic patterns of relating (‘getting to know yourself better’)
- they have the opportunity for new, rehabilitative emotional experiences they experience resonance, reflection and maturing
- they receive guidance by comparing how their fellow patients deal with their illness and symptoms.
Experience shows that our patients find the group therapy to be hugely beneficial to the recovery process.
In the relaxation therapy sessions, we use progressive muscle relaxation and autogenic training to help you develop a new way of getting in touch with yourself and your own body. We use a series of special exercises to encourage physical and mental relaxation. These relaxation exercises can be taken with you into your everyday life and are really helpful for people with anxiety, sleeping disorders or generally high levels of stress.
The aims of relaxation therapy are to:
- reduce levels of inner tension and anxiety
- reduce general muscle tension
- reduce the symptoms of stress
- balance the emotions
- improve body awareness
- improve cognitive functions.
In the work preparation sessions, patients are given the opportunity to find out about careers and training options, to produce CVs and covering letters, to prepare for interviews using role play, for example, and to use the internet, newspapers and other media to familiarise themselves with the current jobs market. Patients are encouraged to establish connections with the regional employment service (RAV) and to maintain contact with their current employers. The work preparation sessions can also be used to deal with any outstanding tasks (e.g. RAV, health insurance forms or necessary phone calls).
The aim of work preparation is to help our patients to reintegrate into working life. In order to do this, they have to overcome their issues, be proactive, act independently and make decisions. This enables them to regain a sense of their own self-efficacy.
Our healthy living sessions introduce effective measures for improving and maintaining health. Over the course of these sessions, patients are given the skills they need to live more healthily. A range of topics is covered in the form of group work, which encourages patients to share ideas with each other. Health is viewed from a holistic perspective, and therefore covers aspects of physical, psychological and social wellbeing.
The aim of these sessions is to enable patients to learn ways of looking after themselves that help to improve and maintain their health.
In craft therapy, patients are supported to design and create their own piece of work using various materials. With materials such as clay, wood, soapstone and silk, the sessions are designed to promote the patients’ practical skills.
The aim of craft therapy is to encourage patients to plan activities, expand the activities on offer to them and to become more active. On a fundamental level, the sessions allow patients to experience a sense of self-reliance and to develop their problem-solving skills. Furthermore, they encourage patients to look for and find solutions, increase their tolerance for frustration and experience a sense of achievement. While completing their piece of work, patients have an immediate sense of the consequences of their own actions, and learn to deal with their own mistakes. Another important aspect of craft therapy is that it allows patients to familiarise themselves with different qualities of experience, based on a wide range of materials. It also enables them to practise skills that they may find too difficult in everyday life. This gives patients a space in which to work on their individual goals, such as improving their concentration or keeping to a set structure.
In art therapy, patients are prompted to paint according to a specific theme each week, expressing themselves non-verbally using colours and shapes. The prompts are taken from everyday life, with themes such as isolation, closeness and distance, ‘saying no’, taking responsibility, or giving up. The focus here is on the interaction between individual group members. The constraints of the paper provide a safe space for practising non-verbal communication.
At the end of the session, patients are asked to express in words what they experienced while painting, and to discuss how this relates to their behavioural patterns in day-to-day life.
The aim of art therapy is to help patients get in touch with their emotions, to try out painting and to express themselves non-verbally. The topics mentioned above are used to create a direct reference to everyday life. Furthermore, the aim is for patients to process their experiences and to reduce their anxiety around fixed ideas. It also gives patients the chance to encounter shared and differing ideas and learn acceptance and tolerance. The sessions should also create a safe space in which patients can identify their own behavioural patterns and try out new ways of interacting.
"Learning is repetition."
Overall, the concentration training sessions aim to provide holistic, health-focused training of cognitive functions such as concentration, perception, information processing, memory, logic and language. This works with the help of worksheets and educational games.
Patients learn how to manage their thoughts, and how to focus and concentrate on a given task. Cognitive training also has a supportive effect on other aspects of therapy, enabling patients to more quickly put into practice what they learn in other groups, and making the content more tangible. It also improves their ability to concentrate, which should have a positive impact on the patient’s action strategies in everyday life.
The open group is organised by one of the patients in the group. The chosen patient suggests activities for the group to do together. This might be indoor or outdoor games, creative activities, an excursion, sports or board games, for example.
The aim of the open group is to give patients the opportunity to take on responsibility. The main idea is to promote independence, encourage behaviour that is appropriate to the given situation, build social skills and to engage in activities that keep the patient in touch with reality.
Looking at the link between illness, rehabilitation and work
ZERA is a group training programme aimed at supporting people with mental health issues to get back to work. Here, patients are guided through a process of self-learning based on these three key questions:
- Where do my strengths and weaknesses currently lie?
- What work and support opportunities may be open to me?
- What goals and desires do I have for my future career?
In addition, the group also works on problem-solving skills, crisis intervention, the vulnerability/stress model and relapse prevention in relation to work.
The content covered in this group also ties in with the contents of other therapeutic group sessions within the day clinic. Concepts such as early warning signs, pressure curves and tools for stress relief can be brought in from other groups and elaborated upon.
The aim of the ZERA group is to promote patients’ self-confidence and ability to cope in a work situation. It also aims to support patients as they reintegrate into the world of work. It gives patients the opportunity to address the subject of work in a pressure and worry-free environment, and to identify their basic professional skills.
Psychoeducational group for depression
Depression is a serious condition that affects several aspects of the individual, impairing their mood, behaviour and ways of thinking. Depression affects how a person eats and sleeps, how they feel, and how they think. With the right treatment, most people with depression can be helped to feel better and learn to manage their condition. However, in order to do this, they have to recognise the depression for what it is. Our psychoeducational group for patients with depression aims to do just that.
The aim of the psychoeducational group on depression is:
- to learn to identify and understand the causes, symptoms and manifestations of depression,
- to identify tools that might be used to deal with depression,
- to learn various skills and strategies for dealing with depression and to practise those skills both inside and outside the day clinic,
- to share thoughts and ideas with the group and to lead discussions,
- to give patients the opportunity to release their emotions and to improve their own sense of well-being,
- to establish a long-term, sustainable approach to coping with depression, in order to prevent possible relapses.
Psychoeducational group for anxiety
The completely normal and harmless ‘alarm system’ that we are born with can derail us for a variety of reasons. When this happens, feelings of anxiety become unnecessarily intense, occur more frequently and last for longer. Those who suffer from an anxiety disorder experience additional feelings such as loss of control, helplessness and resignation. Their anxiety increasingly impacts their lives and restricts them both on a personal and professional level. This results in high stress levels, feelings of shame, and reduced mental wellbeing. However, with the right treatment, most people with an anxiety disorder can be helped to gain a better understanding of their illness, learn to cope with it and regain control over their anxiety. The group therapy we offer aims to do just that. The psychoeducational group for anxiety comprises eight consecutive sessions, which focus on improving our understanding of anxiety and encourage patients to share and learn new coping strategies.
The aim of the psychoeducational group on anxiety is:
- to learn to identify and understand the causes, symptoms and factors that perpetuate anxiety disorders;
- to teach patients how to cope with their anxiety disorder;
- to practise various skills and strategies for dealing with an anxiety disorder, both inside and outside the day clinic;
- for the group to share and discuss their thoughts and ideas, and learn from one another;
- not to completely eliminate anxiety, but to bring it back to within a normal, healthy range; to break the pattern of avoidance behaviour, to reduce limitations to patients’ personal and professional lives, and to help those affected to regain control over their anxiety;
- to establish a long-term, sustainable approach for coping with stress and anxiety, in order to prevent possible relapse.
‘Social competence’ refers to the cognitive, emotional and motor behavioural skills available to an individual, which – when applied in certain social situations – allow them to achieve a good long-term balance of positive and negative consequences to their actions. Socially competent behaviour can be learned, just like any other behaviour. The social competence group focuses primarily on these three types: assertiveness (type A), relational skills (type R) and sympathy (type S). These are discussed with the patients on a theoretical level, and patients are able to practise the skills in role play exercises, allowing them to transfer their knowledge to everyday situations.
- To help patients develop their skills through exercises in the following problem areas:
- In difficult situations – asserting justified requirements and interests.
- In difficult situations – appropriately conveying their wants and needs when interacting with a partner, friend or acquaintance.
- In difficult situations – gaining sympathy from other people (e.g. by approaching them).
- To evaluate their own social skills and expand their social competence.
- To apply the knowledge discussed in theory and practised in the role play exercises to real-life situations.
Every individual experiences emotions and has to find a way to deal with them. Emotions are our own personal guides – they are what help us to navigate our complex day-to-day lives. Emotional regulation is about perceiving, understanding and accepting our own feelings. It is also about pursuing goals even when we expect them to cause negative feelings. Emotional regulation helps us to control our own impulses and to implement regulation strategies that are appropriate to the given situation. The emotional regulation group in the day clinic focuses on five different topics (mindfulness, stress tolerance, tension, coping with feelings, and interpersonal skills), which we explore together with patients over the course of 10 sessions.
- To learn about emotions and emotional regulation.
- To learn to identify your current emotional state.
- To identify warning signs.
- To improve your ability to regulate your own emotions.
- To practise mindfulness as a component of emotional regulation.
To develop an ‘emergency kit’, i.e. a range of tools that you can use to help you to cope better with an over-regulated or under-regulated emotional state.
In art therapy, a given theme such as "my safe place" or "my colour, my form" is implemented by the whole group. Individual elements are worked out silently and then added to the group work in a second step. The theme is developed with at least two different art forms. For example, a painted picture or a sculpture made of clay can emerge from an experienced movement, to which the group gives artistic feedback in the form of a melody or a poem. This activates several senses.
Through art, inhibiting patterns are made visible that lie in the unconscious and can have an inhibiting influence on our behaviour. By working with all the senses, inner strength is mobilised, resilience is strengthened and general health is holistically promoted.
Through the value-free description of what has been seen, experienced and felt, it can be made accessible to the consciousness. The spectrum of habitual behaviour should thus be expanded and lead the patient out of his or her "notch".
Working together in a group also promotes insights into social interaction and playfully expands one's own behavioural spectrum in dealing with other people. The individual patient can also benefit from the different perspectives and solutions of the other patients.
Day clinic patients and their carers or chaperones receive a cooked meal every day from Monday to Friday. Every Tuesday, two patients sign up to take on cooking duties. The menu is agreed upon in advance by the group, in accordance with the budget per person. Group members then calculate the quantities and plan the food shop. The role of the carer or chaperone is to guide and support the patients, delegating responsibilities and coordinating tasks, as required.
- The cooking group gives patients the opportunity to maintain their independence in the home environment and to be more self-reliant.
- Eating together as a group promotes good eating habits, adherence to meal times and table etiquette, as well as maintaining therapeutic interventions with regard to eating.
- Addressing what it means to have a healthy, well thought-out and price-conscious diet.
- Maintaining skills (contributing/maintaining capability).
- Acquiring skills (getting to know each other, practising skills and experiencing a sense of achievement).
- Maintaining independence and self-sufficiency.
- Promoting and maintaining social competence, as well as group work and interpersonal skills.
Once a week, the group of day clinic patients visits the media centre in Brig. Here, patients have the opportunity to engage with a variety of content, learn new things, make further progress by finding out information about work, their condition, etc., or to rekindle their personal interests or hobbies.
Visiting the media centre gives patients access to literature, film and music. This helps patients to learn how and where they can find out more about particular subjects. Most importantly, however, it aims to give patients vital access to education and information.
In this group, patients go walking together. This coordinates and trains the entire musculoskeletal system. Walking is physically effective without being too strenuous. For people with mental health issues, walking is not only a good form of exercise, but also helps to promote body awareness. Due to the effect of exercise on psychological wellbeing, there are many ways in which walking can be used to benefit patients.
By promoting and training the musculoskeletal system, patients are able to improve their psychological and physical wellbeing. They have the opportunity to learn or rediscover the joy of movement. Walking as a group also gives them the chance to practise and improve their social skills.
A crucial curative factor of the time spent here at the day clinic, beyond the more specific components of therapy, is the overall therapeutic environment. Important encounters and in-depth personal discussions not only take place within therapy sessions, but also during breaks when interacting with other patients. The experience of potentially emerging from a situation of social retreat into a field of human encounter can initially make the individual quite anxious, but most people find it to be a great help and an important step forward in terms of social interaction. Many patients view this experience as having been a crucial element of their time with us and get a lot from it. Our common rooms provide ideal spaces for this interaction.
Medical care is provided by a specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy. In addition, we collaborate with local professionals from all other disciplines, to which our patients can be referred promptly for additional diagnostics or additional treatment without having to travel far from the clinic.
The comprehensive, holistic treatment we offer our patients also involves close cooperation with relatives, employers, GPs, social services, other therapists with which the patient may engage prior to or following treatment, and other central institutions (e.g. disability insurance). We hold joint meetings in which information is exchanged and orders and responsibilities are clarified, in order to ensure the best possible support for our patients. Professional reintegration is also a key aspect of what we do, whereby we support our patients with professional reorientation, help to coordinate work trials or phased returns, and provide specific ‘work preparation’ sessions as part of the day clinic treatment.