PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND – Dr. scient. pth. Martin Podolan, J.D., B.A.:
- Psychotherapist and psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud University (licensed by the Austrian psychoanalytic institute (PSI) to perform psychoanalysis and psychotherapy
- Doctor of psychotherapy science, Sigmund Freud University.
- Member of the Austrian association for psychotherapy (Österreichische Bundesverband für Psychotherapie – ÖBVP). You can look me up here.
- Member of the European Association for Psychotherapy;
- Studied psychoanalysis at the Sigmund Freud University.
- Psychotherapeutic activity in an Psychotherapy Outpatient Clinic (Universitätsambulanz für Psychotherapie) in Vienna.
- Practiced psychotherapy in a Psychiatric ambulance in Trenčín
- Practiced psychotherapy in a private psychotherapeutic clinic in Trnava
- Psychotherapeutic propedeutics, Sigmund Freud University
- My psychotherapeutic training included:
- 610 hours as an analysand as part of long-term training psychotherapy, in line with Austrian requirements for psychoanalytic training;
- 1300 hours of psychotherapeutic practice as a trainee;
- 1500 hours of translation of scientific psychotherapeutic literature.
MY APPROACH TO PSYCHOTHERAPY:
I believe that at the heart of successful psychotherapy is a good psychotherapeutic relationship. I rely on experience and verified knowledge and avoid not only dogma but also speculation.
While I believe that it is important that treatment is grounded in a sound theory of healing I also believe it is equally important to verify and update treatment techniques constantly. I modify my techniques and approach to treatment based on interactions with clients (experiencing their lives with them) and new work on scientific psychotherapeutic approaches.
I rely on universal principles and paradigms, but I believe that the truth can have diverse appearances. While I feel rooted in certain matters, I freely accept knowledge from all trustworthy sources. I am convinced that I will learn more about a client’s mental health issue and the appropriate treatment through remaining open to multiple perspectives whilst relying on verified and validated techniques.
I constantly try to broaden my experience and knowledge so that I can help my clients better. I regard the delivery of psychotherapy as an ongoing process of education and development.
MY ROUTE TO PSYCHOTHERAPY:
It was my interest in humans and in unconscious and conscious mental life that led me to psychotherapy and this is also what lies behind my continuing interest and commitment to the profession. Since childhood I have enjoyed learning how people function and I have published two books of quotations about various life themes (Kniha citátov, Citáty o láske).
I like to be in contact with people, particularly those who are seeking to improve their mental life and relationships. I often find their stories and efforts to improve very moving and touching. It is an honor and privilege for me to be able to guide and help them on their journey, to help them address their psychological hurt and find ways to use their inner resources to help them lead a more satisfactory and meaningful psychic life.
Originally I studied German and later also Law, because I wanted to work with the people and help them. I worked as a translator, consultant and lawyer (in USA, England and in Czech and Slovak Republics) and gained experience of working with people from various cultures and companies. This professional work helped me to stand on my own feet and support my family financially, but gradually the work ceased to satisfy me, because my deeper interest in people was calling me to a different profession. I was able to use my savings to begin fulfilling my dream by studying psychotherapy. I decided to invest in psychotherapeutic education and training at Sigmund Freud University in Vienna, where I would be able to use my language skills as well as my international professional and personal experience.
PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN AUSTRIA:
I received my education and training in psychotherapy (which I continue to broaden) at the Sigmund Freud University (SFU) in Vienna. The SFU is an international university which offers education in psychotherapeutic sciences. There were several reasons behind my decision to study and train at Sigmund Freud University:
- I wanted to gain an academic qualification in psychotherapy and since SFU is one of the few universities in the world to offer undergraduate and graduate academic education in psychotherapy, I felt it would be the best choice. At SFU students study psychotherapy at university (not in fellowships, associations or societies as it is often the case in other countries. The psychotherapy curriculum includes material from related fields such as psychology, medicine, psychiatry, social work and scientific research, so I gained a better grasp of psychotherapy and was able to set it in a wider context.
- At SFU therapists must undertake basic education and training in all the main psychotherapeutic methods: psychoanalysis (Freud), individual psychology (Adler), analytic psychology (Jung), existential psychotherapy (Frankl), Gestalt therapy (Perls) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (Beck)). Only after this broad initial training are students able to undertake further education in their chosen method. Thus all psychotherapists who train at SFU gain a solid grounding in various methods.
- SFU approaches psychotherapy as a science, not merely as theory, doctrine or lore. The education and training at SFU is grounded in scientific knowledge and empirical studies and training in psychotherapy is regulated by Austrian act on psychotherapy and by the Ministry of Health.
- SFU offers doctoral education in psychotherapeutic science and so many practicing psychotherapists from around the world come to SFU to broaden their education and skills (I am currently undertaking doctoral research in psychotherapeutic science at SFU).
- SFU offers access to International expertise in psychotherapy. There are many international experts at SFU and international databases available in English and German allow students to access information on almost any major psychotherapeutic study, journal or other publication.
During my studies at SFU I have been lucky enough to meet and get to know important figures in contemporary Austrian psychotherapy. These people have been, and continue to be, an important influence, in particular Alfred Pritz (President of the World Council for Psychotherapy, 1995-; President of the European Association of Psychotherapy, 1991-), Christoph Fischer (chairman of the Psychoanalytic Institute in Innsbruck, 1988-) and Markus Fäh (chairman of the European Confederation for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 2003-2008; chairman of the Swiss Psychotherapists’ Association, 1993-2003). My continuing relationships with these experts are very useful to me.
After completing my training I gained a license to practice psychotherapy under the supervision of the Psychoanalytic Institute and eventually, after acquiring the necessary experience of psychotherapeutic practice, I was able to set up a private psychotherapeutic practice in Trnava.
FURTHER EDUCATION AND ACTIVITIES:
- Juris Doctor, study of law (Wake Forest University, North Carolina USA (J.D., 2000)
- Bachelor of Arts, German Studies (University of North Carolina, USA. (B.A., 1996)
- European advocate (Slovak Chamber of Advocates)
- Licensed to practice as a solicitor in England and Wales (Solicitors Regulation Authority)
- Member of the bar in the state of New York (State of New York, Supreme Court)
- Consultant and advisor to Slovenské elektrárne, a.s.
- Consultant and advisor to the American firm White & Case
- Consultant and advisor to the English firm Linklaters
- Translator (German and English)
- Publications: Kniha citátov (2014, Marenčin PT), Citáty o láske (2017, Marenčin PT)