Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Authors: Singer, Susanne
Dietsch, Lisa
Janke, Julia
Linn, Lisa-Marie
Sievers, Luisa
Negwer, Verena
Title: What is considered to be emotional suffering by psychotherapy patients and their therapists in Eastern versus Western Germany? : A mixed-methods study
Online publication date: 5-Jul-2021
Year of first publication: 2021
Language: english
Abstract: PURPOSE This study examined what aspects of life in Eastern and Western Germany are considered by patients, therapists and society to cause (or indicate) emotional suffering so that outpatient psychotherapy is sought and warranted. METHODS In Germany, psychotherapy is covered by health insurance after patients submit an application accompanied by a written report from the therapist. We took a random sample of such applications and performed a qualitative text analysis of the reports, identifying all text units where some form of emotional suffering, distress or handicap was described. A coding system was developed based on the units, and all units were subsequently coded. The proportion of units per category was compared between reports from Western and Eastern Germany using chi-square tests. RESULTS Out of 500 randomly selected reports, 25 were from Eastern Germany. An age- and sex-matched sample from Western Germany was added. From these 50 reports, a total of 716 text units describing some form of emotional suffering were extracted (359 units from reports from Eastern Germany and 357 from Western Germany). Thirteen categories of emotional suffering emerged. In Eastern Germany, emotional suffering was considerably more frequently described in terms of somatic symptoms and in feeling nervous and tense. Patients from Western Germany were more often described as feeling depressed and hopeless, helpless, anxious and without drive (ϕ = 0.19, p = .02). CONCLUSION There is evidence that there are differences between Eastern and Western Germany in how emotional suffering is expressed and/or described.
DDC: 610 Medizin
610 Medical sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 04 Medizin
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Information on rights of use:
Journal: Counselling and psychotherapy research
Pages or article number: 451
Publisher: Wiley
Publisher place: Chichester
Issue date: 2021
ISSN: 1746-1405
Publisher URL:
Publisher DOI: 10.1002/capr.12345
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

Files in This Item:
  File Description SizeFormat
singer_susanne-what_is_consid-20210705100307803.pdf455.43 kBAdobe PDFView/Open