Our institute is dedicated to the study of subjective experience in the field of psychotherapy science. Our research projects relate to the field of psychotherapy (therapeutic interaction, patient experience, processes in psychotherapy training, factors of change in the therapeutic process) as well as to related fields of evaluation research, sociology, gender research and industrial and organisational psychology.
The methodological focus includes interviewing and qualitative analysis of conversations and texts. Our staff are experts in qualitative content analysis, grounded theory, typing and computer-assisted qualitative analysis using Atlas.ti.
We offer our qualitative research services to companies and other research institutions: If you are interested in our support in analysing qualitative data, or if you would like to commission us to conduct a qualitative survey for you, please contact Assoz. Prof. Dr. Kathrin Mörtl at kathrin.moertl@sfu.ac.at.

Head: Assoz. Prof. Dr. Kathrin Mörtl, e-mail


  • Kathrin Moertl – Head, Grounded Theory, Psychoanalysis, Psychosomatics (CV_Moertl_Kathrin_EN)
  • Birgitta Schiller – Work & Health, Individual Psychology, Type Formation (CV Schiller Birgitta_en)
  • Himanshu Giri – Atlas.ti, Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapists in Training Research (CV Giri Himanshu)
  • Eva Wimmer – Sociology, Gender Studies, Hermeneutic Text Analysis (CV Wimmer Eva)
  • Ivana Dragic – Mixed-Methods, Systemic Family Therapy, Psychotherapy Training Model (CV Ivana Dragic)
  • Elitsa Tilkidhzieva – Psychotherapy Training Research, Health Promotion and Quality of Life, Chronic Stress and Chronic Illness, Integrative Gestalt Therapy (CV Tilkidzhieva Elitsa)
  • Lea Bernik – Lecturer, PhD candidate for Psychotherapy Science, Grounded theory, CBT therapist, Student specialising in Psychodynamics (CV Lea Bernik)
  • Isabella Wagner – Qualitative Social Research, Social Inequality, Participation & Urban Research, Education Research (CV Wagner Isabella)
  • Manfred Reisinger – n.a.

You find us in the research room 4002 on the 4th floor of SFU Vienna at Freudplatz 1, 1020 Vienna.

Former members: Dominik Mihalits, MSc., Mag. Katharina Steinicke, Mag. Markus Wrbouschek

Academic Activities

Qualitative Research Working Group
The research team “Qualitative Psychotherapy Research” invites students to the working group for qualitative research. Prerequisite for participation are own qualitative research projects and theses, which can be brought in as material.
Qualitative Research Working Group in SoSe 2021

Depth Hermeneutic Interpretation Group Linz
THG Linz_Ankündigung SoSe21.pdf
Website SFU Linz

The Institute offers ongoing workshops on computer-assisted qualitative analysis. We mainly use the computer programme Atlas.ti (www.atlasti.com). There is one beginner and one advanced course per semester.
For information on current dates and registration, please contact: himanshugiri@live.com

Teaching & Further Training
Our staff regularly teach in the BA, MA and PhD programmes. A selection of courses where you can learn about our research methods and projects:
– Qualitative Methods: Assoz. Prof. Dr. Mörtl & Mag. Giri
– Qualitative Research Methods (in English): Dr. Dragic
– Psychosomatics (in English): Assoz. Prof. Dr. Mörtl

Supervision of theses
If you are interested in doing qualitative research and have an interesting research idea, please feel free to contact us. Dr. Dragic is currently able to supervise new theses, the waiting time for supervision with Assoz. Prof. Dr. Mörtl is currently about six months.

Selected Research Projects

Corrective Experiences in Psychotherapy
Kathrin Mörtl, Mag. Himanshu Giri, Mag. Alla Kirsha, Laufzeit 2012-2017
Contact: kathrin.moertl@sfu.ac.at

BOSCH: Psychosomatic consultation at the workplace
Birgitta Schiller, BA, Assoz. Prof. Dr. Kathrin Mörtl, cooperation with the University Hospital Ulm, Duration 2016-2019
Contact: birgitta.schiller@sfu.ac.at

Soldiers’ children: prevention measures and support for children and families of soldiers
Dr. Eva Wimmer, Assoz. Prof. Dr. Kathrin Mörtl, Cooperation with Ulm University Hospital, Duration 2016-2017
Contact: eva.wimmer@sfu.ac.at

Research focus PSYCHOSOMATICS (cooperation with the SFU Institute for Psychosomatics)
Assoz. Prof. Dr. Kathrin Mörtl, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jutta Fiegl, Mag. Eva Pritz, Dr. Branka Milic, Waltraud Wiesinger, BA (constituent honorary member), Dr. Raphael Oberhuber, Birgitta Schiller, BA, Manuel Fürholzer, BA, Duration 2016-2020
Contact: kathrin.moertl@sfu.ac.at

MAN Health Offensive II: Stress Prevention in the Workplace
Dominik Mihalits, Birgitta Schiller, BA, Assoz. Prof. Dr. Kathrin Mörtl, Cooperation with Ulm University Hospital, Duration 2014-2017
Contact: birgitta.schiller@sfu.ac.at

Selected Publications

  • Li, J., Riedel, N., Barrech, A., Herr, R.M., Aust, B., Mörtl, K., Siegrist, J., Gündel, H., & Angerer, P. (2017). Nine-Year Longitudinal Psychosocial and Mental Outcomes of a Stress Management Intervention at Work Using Psychotherapeutic Principles. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 10, 86(2):113-115. doi: 10.1159/000451028.
  • Moertl, K., Giri, H., Angus, L., & Constantino, M. (2017). Corrective Experiences of Psychotherapists in Training. Journal of Clinical Psychology 73 (2): 182-191. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22431.
  • Steinicke, K., Mörtl, K., Gulde, M., Ziegenhain, U., & Fegert, J. (2016). Die Umfunktionierung von Plätzen – Aneignungsprozesse im öffentlichen Raum in der Altersgruppe der Lücke-Kinder. Kinder und Jugendschutz 61 (2).
  • Mörtl, K., & Gelo, O. (2015). Qualitative Methods in Psychotherapy Process Research. In: O. Gelo, B. Rieken, A. Pritz (Hrsg.): Psychotherapy Research. Wien: Springer Verlag.
  • Dragic, I., Mörtl, K., & Braakman, D. (2014). The “Good Practice” Training Philosophy in an International Psychotherapy Program. SFU Research Bulletin 2 (1), doi: 10.15135/
  • Dourdouma, A., & Mörtl, K. (2012). The Creative Journey of Grounded Theory Analysis: A guide to its principles and applications. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process und Outcome 15 (2): 96-106.
  • Mörtl, K. (2012). Was leistet der Begriff »qualitative Forschung« für die Entwicklung junger Psychotherapie-Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler noch? Psychotherapie und Sozialwissenschaft 14 (2): 5-13.
  • Mörtl, K., & Lamott, F. (2010). Wie wird Veränderung in der Psychotherapieforschung gemessen? Ein Plädoyer für triangulierende Forschung. Psychotherapie und Sozialwissenschaft 12 (2): 95-102.
  • Moertl K., & Wietersheim J.V. (2008). Client Experiences of Helpful Factors in a Day Treatment Program. Psychotherapy Research 18 (3): 281-293.


  • Junior research – poster presentation in WS 2020/21 → presentation
  • Lecture series in WS 2020/21 → presentation
  • What does psychotherapy research mean in the context of psychotherapy science? → presentation



Assoz. Prof. Dr. Kathrin Mörtl
Mail: kathrin.moertl@sfu.ac.at


Please send student enquiries to: birgitta.schiller@sfu.ac.at
Requests for research cooperation: kathrin.moertl@sfu.ac.at