I ntensive S hort - T erm D ynamic P sychotherapy   „ IS-TDP “ developed by Davanloo

The Intensive Dynamic Short Psychotherapy was developed in the 1960s by Habib Davanloo, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Montreal. He began to record all therapy sessions audiovisually and checked the effectiveness of his interventions using the spoken words and body language of his patients. In this way, he discovered new ways of understanding and describing the patient's current mental state. From this he developed precisely coordinated therapeutic actions. This made it possible to show patients the mechanisms learned in childhood to suppress anxiety-inducing feelings (avoiding emotional closeness, primary focus on the expectations of others, dominating, demanding, complaining, defying, making oneself small, helplessness, etc.) in the very first session.

Patients also experience how these behavioural patterns, which previously protected them from anxiety flooding, have also become disabilities and self-sabotage in the course of growing up. The therapist helps the patient to muster all his strength to overcome these self-destructive defence mechanisms. On the one hand this strengthens the cooperation, on the other hand old, repressed feelings are activated in the relationship with the therapist. Finally, if the fear and defence are completely overcome by the cooperation, the unconscious opens up. The patients experience the inner breakthrough of a grief or a previously unconscious impulse of rage, which is discharged inside, without being destructively and ineffectively dissipated to the outside, but is intensively experienced and consciously perceived as power inside. With the experience of the previously repressed feelings, the psychological process spontaneously changes to significant persons from childhood. An even deeper grief and pain breaks through the missed possibilities of mutual loving feelings. In contrast to childhood, the broken-up feelings can now be experienced and processed.

Davanloo assumes that every child is born with a need for a loving bond. The bond that the child enters into with other people - at the beginning of life it is usually the parents - is often violated. A breach of the bond triggers anger in the child. Now the child is in an inner conflict. It is angry at a person it loves. If the anger is too strong, it triggers painful feelings in the child. Since these feelings cannot be endured and the child is dependent on the love of the parents, it solves this inner-mental conflict by building up protective mechanisms so that it no longer has to feel the anger and these painful feelings.

The treatment makes these conflicting feelings experienceable and "bearable". The patients successively lose their excessive fear of these feelings and thus become freer in dealing with themselves and others. The inner urge or compulsion to have to harm oneself gradually decreases.

The method is successfully used for relationship disorders, anxiety disorders, depressive and stress disorders and certain forms of personality disorders.


trainers of the german-speaking part of Switzerland

Dr. med. Rudolf Bleuler


Dr. med. Heiner Lachenmeier

Dr. med. Pierre-Alain Emmenegger


Lic. Phil., MASPT Doris Dällenbach

Dr. med. Stefan Griengl


Dr. med. Sebastian Pfaundler

Dr. phil. Paul Troendle


Frau Dr. med. Elisabeth Quade


trainer of the french-speaking part of Switzerland

Dr. med. Michel Fournier