About PPT method

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Positive Psychotherapy (PPT after Peseschkian since 1977) is a psychotherapeutic method developed by Nossrat Peseschkian and co-workers in Germany since 1968. It can be described as a humanistic Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, which is based on a positive conception of human nature.

About Positive Psychotherapy from Wikipedia

(This is not revised translation by DeepL and Google Translator. The English version is considered the official one, while the others are preliminary online translations. We encourage friends in different countries to review and correct them. Please send any corrections to the Head office at wapp@positum.org. Thank you for your collaboration!)


About Positive Psychotherapy (PPT)

  • Integrative psychotherapy method
  • Humanistic Psychodynamic Method
  • Cohesive, integrated therapeutic system
  • Conflict-centered short-term method
  • Cultural-sensitive method
  • Use of stories, anecdotes and wisdoms
  • Innovative interventions and techniques
  • Application in psychotherapy, other medical disciplines, counselling, education, prevention, management and trainings

International PPT organizations

On the international level Positive Psychotherapy is represented by two organizations:

Both organizations were founded by Prof. Nossrat Peseschkian to acquaint people of all nations with Positive Psychotherapy and to teach psychologists, doctors and psychotherapists how to use it.

The Peseschkian Foundation, International Academy for Positive and Transcultural Psychotherapy (IAPP), has been established in 2005. It is a non-profit organization which is engaged in the development of Positive Psychotherapy worldwide.

Main principles

The three main principles or pillars of Positive Psychotherapy are:


The Principle of Hope


The Principle of Balance


The Principle of Consultation

The term “positive”

Until 1977 the method was called Differentiational Analysis. Then in 1977, Nossrat Peseschkian published his work “Positive Psychotherapie”, which was published in English as “Positive Psychotherapy” in 1987. The term “positive” is derived from the original Latin expression “positum or positivus” which means the actual, the real, the concrete. The aim of Positive Psychotherapy and Positive Psychotherapists is to help the patient and client to see also their abilities, strengths, resources and potentials.


1The Principle of Hope

implies that the therapist wants to assist their patients to understand and see the meaning und purpose of their disorder or conflict. Accordingly, the disorder will be reinterpreted in a “positive” way (positive interpretations):

Some examples:

  • Sleep disturbance is the ability to be watchful and get by with little sleep
  • Depression is the ability to react with deepest emotionality to conflicts
  • Schizophrenia is the ability to live in two worlds at the same time or living in a fantasy world
  • Anorexia nervosa is the ability to get along with few meals and identify with the hunger of the world

Through this positive view a change of standpoint becomes possible, not only for the patient, but also for his environment. Hence, illnesses have a symbolic function which has to be recognized by both therapist and patient. The patient learns that the symptoms and complaints of the illness are signals to bring his or her four qualities of life into new balance.


2Principle of Balance

Despite social and cultural differences and the uniqueness of every human being, it can be observed that during the management of their problems that all humans refer to typical forms of coping. Thomas Kornbichler explains: “Nossrat Peseschkian formulated with the Balance Model of Positive Psychotherapy (an innovative contemporary approach to dynamic psychotherapy) a vivid model of coping with conflicts in different cultures.”

According to the balance model, the four areas of life are:

  • body/health – psychosomatic
  • achievement/work – stress factors
  • contact/relationships – depression
  • future/purpose/meaning of life – fears and phobia

Though these four ranges are inherent in all humans, in the western hemisphere the emphasis is more often on the areas of body/senses and profession/achievement in contrast to the eastern hemisphere where the areas are contact, fantasy and future (cross-cultural aspect of positive psychotherapy). Lack of contact and imagination are some of the causes of many psychosomatic diseases. Everybody develops his or her own preferences on how to cope with conflicts that occur.

Through a one-sided mode to the conflict solution, the other modes are getting eclipsed. The conflict contents (e.g. punctuality, orderliness, politeness, trust, time, patience) are described in terms of primary and secondary capacities, based on the basic capacities of loving and knowing. This can be seen as a content-wise differentiation of Freud’s classical model of the instances.


3Principle of Consultation:

Five-stages of therapy and self-help. The five stages of positive psychotherapy represent a concept in which therapy and self-help are closely interrelated. The patient and the family are getting informed together about the illness and the individual solution to it.

  • 1st step: Observation; distancing (perception: the capacity to express desire and problems)
  • 2nd step: Taking inventory (cognitive capacities: events in the last 5 to 10 years)
  • 3rd step: Situational encouragement (self-help and resource-activation of the patient: the ability to use past successes in conflict solution)
  • 4th step: Verbalization (communicative capacities: the ability to express outstanding conflicts and problems in the four qualities of life)
  • 5th step: Expansion of goals (in order to evoke forward–looking orientation in life after the problems are solved, the patient is asked: “What would you like to do, when no more problems are left to be solved? Which goals do you have for the next five years?”)

The institutions of Positive Psychotherapy – World Association for Positive and Transcultural Psychotherapy (WAPP), European Federation of the Centers for Positive Psychotherapy (EFCPP) and International Academy for Positive and Transcultural Psychotherapy (IAPP) Professor Peseschkian Foundation – have defined Ethical Guidelines for everyone using and working with Positive Psychotherapy.

Ethical Guidelines of Positive Psychotherapy

Этические рекомендации позитивной психотерапии