Psychotherapy Services
                        Provided by David Schiesher, MSW
Therapeutic Orientation

I am a Person-Centered therapist who understands that the therapeutic relationship between therapist and client is the most important factor in successful growth, change and healing. Clients usually see me as being genuine, empathetic and having unconditional positive regard for them. I focus on the particular needs and issues that clients bring to me and from that base we design together a unique treatment approach that is suited to their situation, issues, age, personality, and preferences.

My treatment methodology is integrative in that I have studied a number of different treatment methods and combine what I have learned with my own personality style to create a unique psychotherapy practice. I describe some of the methods that I use in the following section.

I use a Cognitive Behavioral and Energy Psychology approach for stress management, fears and phobias. I use Narrative Therapy to help clients explore related aspects of themselves. I use a Psychodynamic approach when there is old or unconscious baggage that needs to be gently unpacked and acknowledged. I use Reality Therapy most often with children to help them examine the choices and consequences of their behavior. I use Eco-Therapy to facilitate deep connections to ourselves, others and our natural environment.  I use a Living in Process approach for addictions. The person-in-environment and systems models are always forefront in my mind, focusing on the individual's interaction with her/his multiple membership groups such as family, work, school, worship community, etc... My holistic approach deals with the health of the person's body, mind and spirit together as one integrated whole.

Therapeutic Techniques

I have training in Hypnosis, Thought Field Therapy and Emotional Freedom Technique. I have 11 years of experience with breathwork, energy work and guided imagery. I use the Release Technique to deal with negative emotions caused by stressful or traumatic experiences. I use a Solution-Focused Brief Therapy model to define the goals of therapy and to keep the process moving in a positive direction. I may assign "homework" between sessions to facilitate growth and learning experiences.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is helpful when you are in a state of chronic or intense unhappiness, discomfort, stress or anxiety, fear, fatigue, anger, hopelessness, etc...and you no longer want to be in that state. Individual therapy may be the first step toward positive change in your life. I have successfully worked with children, adolescents, adults and couples with the following issues:

Relationship and Couples Therapy

One of the most common needs that I see with couples is learning to communicate effectively, especially during conflict and other periods of escalated emotions. Another major focus area is identifying and learning how to meet each other's emotional needs.

In the first session, the couple's issues are assessed and goals for therapy are developed jointly. For the next two or three sessions, I see each person separately to assess which individual issues have become obstacles to intimacy in their relationship. I believe that a strong and healthy individual creates a strong and healthy couple. We explore together the role models for relationships in their lives (usually parental figures) and their past romantic relationship experiences. We work toward making relationship actions and decisions healthy and conscious, instead of being based on unconscious programming from the past that may or may not be based on healthy role models.

The next sessions are with both partners. Much of the work will focus on learning new communication skills, establishing direct and honest expression of feelings, handling conflict effectively and meeting your own and your partner's  emotional needs. Exercises are given for the times in-between sessions.

My work with couples is informed by the work of Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman of the Gottman Institute in Seattle, Washington. I recently (June 2012) completed the Level One Gottman Therapist Training with the Gottmans and will be incorporating these methods into my work with couples. I am also studying Imago therapy and will be attending trainings in this method in the near future.

Premarital Preparation

I am a FOCCUS premarital inventory facilitator for couples. FOCCUS is an internationally used inventory designed to provide engaged couples with a personalized profile of what is needed in their marriage preparation process. It is both a starting place for couple discussion and a map of what issues need time and attention, affirmation or problem solving.

Group Therapy

I offer groups when at least 5 people have been identified with similar issues and who are willing to work in a group setting. Groups are beneficial for persons who feel isolated in dealing with their particular problem and need the support and camaraderie of others experiencing similar issues. Some examples of therapy groups would be:

Areas of Special Interest

I am able to work effectively with people of all ages, genders and sexual orientations. My work with youth and adolescents (ages 10-17) either in the context of family or school, is particularly effective. For more information on my work with students, see the Student Support page.

Because of my past international work experiences in NGO's and international organizations such as UNHCR and the ILO, I am particularly interested in the mental health issues faced by international staff in Geneva who may be returning from mission in conflict, post-conflict zones or natural disaster areas and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD). I also focus on individual and family relocation, adjustment issues, depression and local community integration.

Other areas of my practice include cross-cultural issues, foster care and adoption, step-parenting, divorce, anxiety, phobias, refugees, gender issues, spirituality and addictions.

I recently (October 2012) completed a 5-day training learning past-life regression therapy through hypnosis with Dr. Brian Weiss, MD and am now offering this method to my clients who may be interested.

Professional Credentials

I have been a practicing Master's level Social Worker since 1985 and a practicing Clinical Social Worker since 2000. You can view a copy of my diplomas, licenses and continuing education record here.


All of my services are offered in English, my mother tongue.


The fee for the first 60 minute introductory session is CHF 160 payable by cash at the end of the session. Fees after the first session are discussed and agreed upon after the first session.

Your health insurance may reimburse part of your fee if you have the assurance complémentaire coverage.  I am a member of ASCA and my therapist number is RCC F437162. The health insurance companies collaborating with ASCA can be found here. You are respnsible for determining if your health insurance will reimburse part of the fee.

Questions - Appointments

If you have questions about my psychotherapy services, or wish to schedule an appointment, please email me, or telephone me at:

+41(0)22 320 26 32 (office) or
+41(0)79 811 36 42 (mobile).

Or schedule a session using my online calendar by clicking the yellow button below:

In addition to daytime appointments, I am also available for evening and Saturday morning appointments.

A free telephone consultation before the first session is available to determine if I can be of assistance to you and if you want to work with me.

My Location

Address:   Cabinet Henri-Dunant 3
  Avenue Henri-Dunant 3
1205 Geneva CH
  Directions and map

I am also available for in-home treatment for those who prefer to work in their own home. I provide this service for homebound individuals, couples with young children and others who feel more comfortable in their own surroundings. If you live outside of Geneva a travel fee will be calculated based on the actual kilometers and time of travel.
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caring for others
tree of life- journey through the seasons
Chartres labyrinth, a tool for exploring inner dimensions of self.
The priviledge of a lifetime is being who you are.
                                              Joseph Campbell
self as others
Cabinet Henri-Dunant 3
Avenue Henri-Dunant 3, Plainpalais
New Men's Group starting in 2015!  Click for more information.
New Divorce and Separation Adjustment Group starting in  2015. Click here for more information.
New Goups Starting Soon!!