The family you grew up and the contemporary or hoped for family – how do they match? What does it take to have a fulfilling family life these days? And what does it take to be and remain a good enough family?  To work on functioning family structures? To overcome crises without falling apart? To continue being bonded in a constructive way?

Modern family life is undergoing rapid changes and is packed with dilemmas. The basic rules on which people base their privacy have fundamentally changed because of the internet and social media. The speed of living, working and learning seems to be increasing and business-like striving for productivity and perfection are encroaching on parental and family roles.
What are the challenges of blended families today? An overload of complexity, unresolved conflicts from preceding separations, not matching of parents and children of diverse systems, mixed life-cycles, no time for the new couple, etc. How can professionals help the families to live a better life?
The forms of family life have pluralised, affecting how young people enter into partnerships and parenthood. The attitude towards children is transforming; what it means to be a responsible parent has a great influence on everyday family life as well as work and career advancement. In addition, the challenge of active fatherhood and equal participation of both parents is not influenced only by personal values and decisions, but also by the prevailing cultural imaginary.
The conference organizers think it is time to reflect images, theories, interventions that inform the therapeutic work with families. Presenters from Austria, China, Germany, Iran, Russia, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Ukraine will help us explore the topic with many different regional shades.
There will be panel discussions (involving the participants), group workshops and a fishbowl discussion.


06.12.2024 – Friday

2:00 – 3:00 PM        Registration
3:00 – 3:30 PM        Opening ceremony, introduction, guiding through the program
3:30 – 4:30 PM        Paneldiscussions: The normative power of the nuclear family

4:30 – 5:30 PM        Break

5:30 – 7:30 PM        Nuclear families and their alternatives- what made people look for alternative forms and what evolved from that?  1st+2nd generation of the Mühl commune in dialogue

7:30 – 7:45 PM        Break

7:45 PM German movie: Meine keine Familie von Paul Robert, Comune member of Mühl Kommune


07.12.2024 – Saturday

9:00 – 10:30 AM      Paneldiscussions

  • Families in Italy; the clash between reality and ideology
  • Working with families in Slovenia – overview of family life in Slovenia, ways of therapeutic approaches

10:30 – 11:00 AM     Break

11:00 – 1:00 PM   Workshops

  • Topic: Who is family? Obligations, wishes, hopes, shortcomings in family lives and why do less families search for therapeutic help these days? Who are and what is family? What shapes family therapy sessions? Assumptions, prejudice, experiences

1:00 – 3:00 PM         Lunchbreak

3:00 – 4:30 PM         Paneldiscussion

  • Blended Families nowadays, State of the art
  • Alternatives to traditional family life in the public interest – fostering

4:30-5:00 PM      Break

5:00-7:00 PM      Workshops

  • demonstration of analogue techniques like The River of Life, role playing, sculpturing and hypnosis
  • Blended Families creating new models of “the Family”: resilience in separating and rebuilding
  • the quest for  minimalism in an ever changing system
  • Welche Herausforderungen begegnen u.a. TherapeutInnen, die mit Familien therapeutisch arbeiten wollen (German)
  • multifamily concepts

7:00 – 7:30 PM          Break
7:30 PM                Book presentation: Ausplaudereien eines Familientherapeuten aus Meyn /Aus dem Nähkästchen eines Familientherapeuten (German)


08.12.2024 – Sunday

9:00-11:00 AM        Workshops

  • Families coping with chronic illness
  • Family and disability-levels of meaning
  • The Psychotic Family and their cultures, values
  • Alternative ways to grow up outside the family
  • Fostering – but how? (english or german)
  • It takes a village to bring up a child? Mental parental illness, young carers and alternative social support systems. families in different life cycles, 1 parent families
  • Diagnosed with ADHA, autism,etc. and their impact on family life and family members: insights of a family therapist

11:00-11:30 AM      Break

11:30 – 12:00 short Paneldiscussion

  • how politics shape family ties and structure – or not?
  • The Impact of China’s One-Child Policy on family relationships

12:00 – 01:00 PM      Fishbowl

  • with International students ideas: what do (our) families/ and I need and how can family therapist help with what they/we need more: Young generation talking about their visions.
  • with systemic therapists /teachers: Lessons learnt and what transitions are emerging in therapeutic theories and techniques to help families cope nowadays?

01:00 PM Ending

  • Wrapping up including Presentation of the installation and farewell


Corina Ahlers: Psychologist and family therapist and trainer, born and educated in Tenerife (Spain), studying and working as a family therapist and trainer in Vienna, specialized in families in transition. Professor at the Sigmund Freud Private University. Published a book about rebuilding families in German and Spanish, and another in German about working with cultural inequality.
Paul Julien ANXIONNAZ- ROBERT: Studium: Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien, Klasse für konzeptuelle Kunst, Filme wie: „Egocentric proximity or intercourse & starvation“ ,„Lifegoals – Der spielende Mensch“ – „Meine keine Familie“ ,  „Der Affe beißt, der Mensch erzieht“ und diverse Ausstellungen, wie„Looking for perspectives“ – „Stray-soccer“ – „UDAR-P (umbau display ausstellung re-position)“ – „just what it is“ „ MI AMOR – Männer in Kolumbien“ – „Zeit danach“
Elisabeth Brousek: Psychologist, social scientist in Viennese child and youth welfare, employee in quality assurance and organization. Content focus: Qualitative and quantitative methods, participatory methods, interpreting family photos, history of youth welfare, foster care, growing up in living communities, hard to reach and outreach family support, evaluation and effect discourse.
Saskia Drennig: Systemic therapist, Lehrtherapeutin in ÖAGG, clinical and health psychologist,
long experience in Psychosomatischen Zentrum Waldviertel, Eggenburg and now private practice and teaching systemic therapy in various organisations
Dikla Gertel: student at SFU for Psychotherapy since, Systemic Family Therapy, and works at ESRA, Psychosocial Health Centre, as a psychotherapist under supervision with children and adults, having  wide experience in assisting individuals of different age groups on the autistic spectrum.
Jerneja Hribar Bukovič: is a systemic psychotherapist working with individuals, couples and families in private practice. She is an active member of the Association for systemic psychotherapy of Slovenia. Jerneja also regularly presents her work and views in the media and public events, and is also a vocal advocate for legal regulation of psychotherapy in Slovenia.
Franco Della Maggiora: psychologist, psychotherapist, trained at the Centro Milanese di Terapia della Famiglia. He works in a department of mental health in the public health sector in Italy,  teacher at the University of Pisa, where he holds a course on Research and Psychosocial Interventions on Families and Groups
Jürgen Hargens:  born 1947. Father of three children, grandfather of six grandchildren. Psychologist, working about 40 years in private psychotherapeutic practice. Trainer and lecturer. Founder and ten years editor of Zeitschrift für systemische Therapie. Book-editor and author of many professional articles. Training in different countries around the world. Honorary member of Systemische Gesellschaft. Currently writing “non-professional professional books”.
Johann Kneihs: Born 1966, psychotherapist in training under supervision, internships in various institutions, Radio journalist, producer and presenter with the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF Ö1).
Gerda Mehta: psychologist, systemic family therapist, mediator, supervisor. She is head of the systemic programme in SFU since its start and worked 38 years in child protection. The interplay of society, family and individual has been her interest and she worked in many institutions around family life.
Dragan Puljić: psychiatrist and therapist who works in the neuropsychiatric hospital as a consultant and as a family therapist in private practice in Zagreb, Croatia. His main area of interest and work are focused on the sustained recovery of health and well-being.
Angelika Radax: Systemic psychotherapist, clinical and health psychologist, organisational psychologist in national and international organisations
Imre Marton Remenyi: born in Budapest, raised in Vienna. After having sung opera (performing of human catastrophies) he changed sides towards helping to solve by becoming a Coach, trainer, consultant, psychotherapist. Teacher in SFU
Alexandra Sartori: clinical and health psychologist, specialist in crisis intervention, school psychologist, systemic psychotherapist, further training in infant-,child- and adolescent therapy, lecturer in ÖAS und ARGE Bildungsmanagement/SFU, Wien
Andrea Schmid: lives and works as a systemic psychotherapist, coach and supervisor near Vienna. Primarily trained as a sociologist working at the university, she became a manager in different positions (e.g. R&D and HR) for several years. As a next step she founded the systemisches Zentrum wienerwald (szww). Until now she works there together with a psychiatrist and other therapists fostering eg the topic of multifamilytherapy and international projects for Young Carers.
Masha Sohrabi: Worked as a marketing and marketing research consultant in multinational companies, as lecturer and trainer in business, management and communication, as integration coach, she is one of the founders of Chemie Kas GmbH, Member of sustainable computing lab, poet and translator , studying systemic family therapy in SFU
Yichen Song: Born in China. Former psychotherapist at North China Electric Power University. Translated psychotherapy books into Chinese, including “Mind Over Mood” and “Cognitive Therapy Techniques”, among others. Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Vienna and a Master’s degree in Psychotherapy at Sigmund Freud Private University. Therapist under supervision in the Systemic Therapy modality.
Francesco Tramonti: psychologist, psychotherapist in department of mental health in the public health sector in Italy, teacher at the Istituto di Psicoterapia Relazionale in Pisa. Among the board members of the International Society for Systems and Complexity Sciences for Health.
Christopher Uitz: Psychotherapeut (Systemische Einzel, Paar- und Familientherapie), Lehrtherapeut (SF), Supervisor, Psychologe
Matej Vajda is a sociologist, a systemic psychotherapist working under supervision in private practice and also an assistant lecturer at Sigmund Freud University Vienna – Ljubljana branch and counsellor for students and employees at University of Ljubljana. He is a doctoral student at University of Ljubljana, the Faculty of Social Work, with a research focus on using client feedback in psychotherapy and social work. Matej is also the president of the Association for systemic psychotherapy of Slovenia.
Gitta Verlei: born 1954 in Mainz/Rhein, father bureaucarat, mother housewife, soziology, paedagogics, ethnology studies in Mainz. 1975 first contact with AA Kommune, first visit on Friedrichshof, moving to AA Heidelberg, then Berlin with 70 members,
1979 group leader in Oslo, Stockholm, Wien. 1981 doctorate in philosophy in Vienna.
1986 one of the founding members of Kommune owned company for finance products in München, 1990 dissolving the Kommune, since then in the stirring committee of Friedrichshof Wohnungsgenossenschaft. Since 2014 living again at Friedrichshof.
Wolfgang Werzowa: Originally working in the field of photography and film, he decides to concentrate on a more constructivist, systemic and ideographic approach by studying psychology and switches to psychotherapy.  He is familiar with the narrative mindset and enjoys working with families and in multi-person settings. Since 2024 also working as a lecturer at SFU.
Maruša Zalokar is a social worker,  a systemic psychotherapist working under supervision in private practice and also an assistant lecturer at Sigmund Freud University Vienna – Ljubljana branch. She is a doctoral student at University of Ljubljana, the Faculty of Social Work, researching narrative approaches, specifically with the aim to help victims of violence, which is a field she has been passionate about and active in for most of her professional career. Maruša is also the vice-president of the Association for systemic psychotherapy of Slovenia.
Ulrike Zartler: is a full professor of family sociology at the University of Vienna. Her research focus is on family, childhood, and youth. She leads projects on transition processes and their impact on families, divorce and post-divorce family lives, normative and legal constructions of families, norms around motherhood, children’s participation, and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on families. She is particularly experienced in qualitative research methods, multiple-perspectives and qualitative longitudinal studies.

Contact & Registration

Sigmund Freud PrivatUniversität
Campus Prater, Freudplatz 1 (Raum 6.002) 1020 Wien
Tel: +43 1 90 500 70 1555


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