Intercultural Couples Counselling in Vienna

Passionate about human diversity, I encourage integrity in relationships and focus on personal growth.

Intercultural couples counselling assures that your different issues will be handled with a high degree of tact and sensitivity.

Get in touch with me!

Paarberatung, Interkulturelle Beratung, Coaching

AT A GLANCE

Born in 1986, married, two daughters (2012, 2016)
Languages: German – Spanish – English

 

Education and training

Monthly supervision in small groups (2,5 hours): Crucible® Consultation group, (Natalie Westera, ICTEC International Crucible Education Center, since February 2024)

«Treating couples with Crucible Therapy» (Natalie Westera, May to December 2023)

«Mich durch deine Augen sehen» (Systemic Couples Therapy, Klaus Schmidsberger, November 2022)

Workshop „Interkulturelle Beratung“ (Intercultural counselling, Verein Fibel, June 2021)

Workshop „Bikulturelle Paarwelten“ (Counselling of Bicultural Couples, Verein Fibel, June 2021)

2017 – 2020: Training as a life coach and personal counsellor (Wifi Wien)

Further training in Communication and Innovation (University and Chamber of Commerce of Santiago de Compostela, Spain) (2013)

Undergraduate study at the University of Vienna and the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). Graduated with a teaching degree (in English & History). Completed training course in “Teaching German as a Foreign and Second Language” (2004-2009)

Professional experience to date

Own practice since 2019

Regular further training and supervision

English teacher at various academic and vocational secondary schools in Austria (since 2009)

Vienna International School: Teacher of German as a foreign language (March 2018 – June 2019)

Involved in running a bilingual playgroup (“Quijote”, 1040 Vienna) (2015-2022)

Work with the NGO “Grenzenlos”: coordination, supervision and support of international volunteers (2017-2020)

Regular stays in South America (Chile) (since 2008)

Adult education instructor (Spain)

Main emphasis: Teaching of Austrian geography and culture (2014)

Study placement in Santiago de Compostela (Spain):

Research on “Motivation in language learning” (2007 – 2008)

Teaching practice at Dunbar School (Scotland) (2005)

Teaching practice at Chapter School, Rochester (England) (2004)

About me

Being part of a multicultural family myself, I have personal experience of situations that can sometimes push us to our limits. My interest in and respect for different cultures and life paths informs both my world view and my counselling and coaching activities.

Born and brought up in the Waldviertel region of Lower Austria, I felt the pull of the big wide world from an early age. My love of languages and the desire to immerse myself in other cultures have stayed with me to this day. Thanks to my husband, who travelled from an island in Chile to the other side of the world to find his path in life, I have experienced first-hand what it means to start afresh time and time again.

The most exciting journey for me so far has been that of motherhood. As the mum of two girls (2012, 2016), I am familiar with all the highs and lows of being a mother and the challenges that can push us to our limits – and beyond.

Passionate about human diversity, I delight in constantly discovering new perspectives and draw upon my rich life experience and sensitivity to counsel and support people going through processes of change.

Methods

I’m convinced that every individual has a huge amount of potential inside them. My aim is to help you unlock that potential. I listen, ask questions, and work with you to try and find out what the core issue is. I provide a safe space with input and suggestions to guide you towards new perspectives. I help you find clarity. And courage to take the next step.

My perspective on couple relationships is strongly influenced by the work of sex therapist and author David Schnarch who developed the “Crucible® Approach “. He says that one of the greatest challenges in a relationship is expressing one’s authentic feelings to one’s partner without being reliant upon the partner’s approval or validation. The desire of one or both partners to branch out in a new direction and let go of their current self can cause upset and uncertainty. In reality, though, it does not mean there is anything wrong with the couple relationship. On the contrary: these developments are a completely natural part of any relationship. The question is how you deal with them and what works for you as a couple.

If you want to know more about how the Crucible® Approach works, please consult the FAQ section or contact me for a non-binding informative chat.

Info: Counselling is not a substitute for psychotherapeutic or medical treatment. I am happy to refer you to a doctor or psychotherapist if required. Please cancel in good time if you are unable to keep an appointment.

Alle Beratungsleistungen auch auf deutsch. Online-Beratungen sind möglich.

Todos los servicios también en español. Asesoría online es posible.

Couples Counselling

How can your relationship become an opportunity for personal growth? The focus here is not on bending over backwards to “make it work”, but on loosening the gridlock without any particular outcome in mind. Particularly in life crises or periods of change, counselling can help couples look at things from a new angle.

I’ll help you to take full ownership of who you are and bring out the very best in yourself, placing the focus on personal growth and reaching beyond your own limits. Most couples seek professional counselling when their old way of doing things no longer works and they are unable to find a way forward. Usually there is also an unspoken expectation that the counsellor will provide simple tips and tricks to transform either the situation or the other partner. In actual fact, however, progress is not achieved through particular techniques, but through a process of inner change. My role is to support you through this process, asking questions you might not expect as you engage with your own self as well as with your partner. Perhaps then change will occur. A fresh perspective. A different attitude. A new way of thinking.

It’s about giving you the courage to look closely, see that there is no “magic formula” and face up to what is actually there.

Todos los servicios también en español. Asesoría online es posible (Skype etc.)!

Paarberatung in Wien

How it works

In many cases, only a few sessions of counselling are required: the focus is on the here and now. The issues addressed, the pace, and, most importantly, how much you are willing to commit to a growth process, is entirely up to you. I guide you through the process with respectful curiosity, reflect back to you what I am hearing and ask questions to help me understand the dynamics of your couple relationship.

I work with the Crucible® Approach developed by Dr. David Schnarch. In order to find out more about this method please click here.

Costs

Still not quite sure whether you want to work with me? I’m happy to offer a low-cost taster chat (50 euro/approx. 50-60 minutes).

One session of couples counselling using the Crucible® Approach lasts 100 minutes and costs 180 euro (= 90 euro per person/100 min). If you wish to book a 100-minute session for our very first meeting, please state this clearly when you make your booking.

Counselling sessions for individuals last 60 min and cost 90 euro.

A discounted rate may be available on request.

Cancellation policy: Please cancel at least 24 hours in advance if you are unable to keep your appointment, otherwise you will be charged a late cancellation fee of 50 euro. If you fail to cancel and do not turn up for your appointment, you will be invoiced for the full cost of the session.

Persönlichkeitsentfaltung - Einzelcoaching

The Crucible® Approach

The aim of the Crucible® Approach is to identify and change destructive patterns of behaviour within a relationship. Both partners engage intensively with their own difficulties and attempt to work on them in the interests of personal growth and development. In this context our partner acts like a mirror, reflecting our own issues back to us. Facing up to these problems in the presence of our partner builds intimacy and closeness while simultaneously helping us gain a completely new sense of clarity and autonomy.

The Crucible® Approach was developed by US psychotherapist Dr. David Schnarch. Dr. Schnarch has also authored a number of fascinating books (e.g. “Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Emotionally Committed Relationships”, “Brain Talk”) in which he explores how neurobiological factors and trauma influence relationship dynamics.

I completed my own Crucible® training with Natalie Westera at the ICTEC (International Crucible Education Center) in 2023 and have made a commitment to take part in regular supervision sessions.

Frequently asked questions

I've tried couples therapy before. Is there any guarantee that the Crucible Approach will work?

The Crucible® Approach is different to many other types of counselling, and with most couples I have seen it trigger striking changes. If you commit fully to the process, I can guarantee that you will see yourselves and your relationship through completely new eyes. Exploring and addressing your own issues and difficulties automatically brings about changes in your relationship with your partner.

I'm not at all sure whether I want to stay with my partner and work on our relationship. I might prefer it if we split up. Should I still come for counselling?

Yes! Please do get in touch, especially if you have doubts about staying in the relationship. That’s exactly what the therapy is designed to do: help you work out your true and authentic feelings. I can’t predict whether your relationship will survive or if you’ll decide to split up, but I will support and counsel you through all phases of the decision-making process and beyond.

Can I come to the counselling sessions by myself?

If possible, I encourage you to come as a couple. When both partners are present I can observe your interactions: we can then work together to identify patterns of behaviour and carefully go about changing them. I cordially invite you both to an initial consultation to familiarise yourselves with my way of working – this session is completely non-binding.

If your partner is unable to attend the counselling sessions – for whatever reason – you are welcome to come alone instead. A relationship or family is a system, and I like to compare it with a mobile – if one part of the mobile changes position, the entire system moves and changes along with it. With this in mind, of course I can provide you with counselling without your partner being present – so please don’t hesitate if you want to take the first step but your partner isn’t (yet) ready to do so.

I'm looking for support, but I can't afford long-term counselling. How long is the therapy likely to take?

In most cases, changes become evident after just a few sessions – the gridlock starts to loosen, perspectives start to shift. We work intensively and take as few sessions as necessary – the time interval between sessions is a joint decision, depending on what feels right for you. If you’re hesitating to start therapy for financial reasons, please do get in touch anyway – in cases of financial hardship I am able to offer a special discounted rate on request.

Do we have to talk about our sex life?

Sexuality is one of the many aspects of your relationship and it may be a topic we address as part of your therapy – but we don’t have to discuss it if you’d prefer not to. You can rest assured that I’ll approach the subject tactfully and carefully, and you won’t be “bombarded” with intimate questions.

Can I bring my child with me?

I’m well aware that it’s sometimes difficult to organise childcare. Nevertheless, couples counselling is challenging, intense and will require your full attention. I therefore encourage you to ask a trusted person to look after your child during your therapy sessions. Infants under the age of one can, of course, be brought along (e.g. if you are breastfeeding). If in doubt, please just ask – we’ll find a solution.

I'm worried about my children. Should I stay with my partner or end the relationship?

I work holistically and look at the family as a system. Naturally I can also counsel you on parenting issues and/or regarding a potential separation. In doing so I draw upon my own longstanding experience as a teacher and the mother of two daughters.

As for the question of whether it’s better to stay with a partner or end the relationship, it’s impossible to give a general answer. In any case it makes sense to take an honest look at yourself and seek external counselling to support you through the process.

Why does a session last so long?

In each session I try to obtain an overview of what is currently going on and then share my thoughts and perceptions with you. As an external, impartial observer I closely scrutinise the interactions between you and your partner. This detailed analysis (e.g. who says what?) is necessary in order to identify patterns of behaviour. This all takes time and also requires a certain amount of distance from everyday life.

I'm unable to come to your consulting room – can you still help me?

Yes! Online counselling is available – please contact me to discuss your individual situation.

If you live outside Vienna and wish to take time out from everyday life to work on your relationship, another option is to arrange an intensive course of therapy here in my consulting room (e.g. several sessions within a week). Together we’ll find a solution tailored to your specific needs!

Intercultural Counselling

Based on my own wide-ranging experience in both the professional and private contexts, I have chosen to specialise in intercultural counselling. In my view, intercultural work calls for specialist knowledge and a high degree of tact and sensitivity.

The multiple cultures we inhabit (roots & heritage, family culture, couple culture, etc.) often entail different values and mentalities that are repeatedly reshuffled and recalibrated as we pass through our different life phases. Contact with other cultures prompts us to rethink our own views and perceptions: in many cases, it is only by engaging with the “foreign” culture that we truly get to know our “native” one. That may come as a pleasant surprise, but it can also be confusing and overwhelming.

If you’d like to probe any feelings of ambivalence and explore your “native” and “foreign” cultures in a spirit of curiosity … perhaps even evolving a brand new one of your own in the process – you’ve come to the right place. In our counselling sessions you can rest assured that space and specific attention will be devoted to all your different “cultures”. Maybe you’ll even discover a whole new way of looking at things!

Find out more about me and my work here:

Die Presse “Die Kunst des Streitens” (Artikel Juli 2022) 

PDF_Die Presse_Juli2022_vollständiger Text

Contact

Mag.a Elisabeth Herrera
Life-Coach (Lebens-und Sozialberaterin)

Praxis: 
Lerchenfelder Gürtel 16/11 (1st floor)
1070 Vienna
U6 Thaliastraße, Linie 5 or 48A (Neustiftgasse)

Phone: +43 680 30 97 431
Email: kontakt@mutreise.at

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    Elisabeth Herrera von Mutreise