Counseling for Latin American Women
+43.1.581 18 80
Psychological counseling | mobile +43.664.976 45 09
Person to contact
Ana Maria Garza
Telephone counseling and scheduling appointments
Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri: 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Empowerment through Knowledge and Information
LEFÖ supports and accompanies women in their migration process in asserting themselves as women and migrants in an autonomous and self-determined manner. Our work aims to strengthen migrant women in their self-confidence and to give them tools for making self-determined decisions and actively participating in society.
LEFÖ’s counseling concept is holistic, first-language, professional and unbureaucratic and seeks to find a differentiated and efficient way of responding to the great diversity of the life realities of migrant women. All counseling is anonymous and free of charge and is complemented by accompaniying to authorities and other prevention and support measures with a multidisciplinary first-language team.
Social counseling is the first level of counseling. Social counseling ranges from a one-time telephone call to long-term individual counseling and support. The form of counseling is adapted to suit to the situation of those requesting counseling.
The various counseling forms correspond to the different necessities and problems the women face and can range from information, for example, on immigration law, to in depth counseling and support in crucial stages of the migration process.
If issues arise that require a specific area of expertise or more intense counseling, we can gladly schedule an appointment for psychological, medical or legal counseling at LEFÖ. We also offer counseling online.
Family Counseling Center: legal, social and medical counseling
As a family counseling center, LEFÖ offers support in dealing with family-related problems and issues concerning social, health and legal issues.
The most common counseling requests are related to conflicts in bi-cultural partnerships (largely between a Latin American woman and an Austrian man), other kinds of intercultural conflicts, marriage-related dependencies, repercussions following a divorce and psychosomatic complaints.
The most common topics of interest for the legal counseling deal with laws on marriage and family law, residence and labor issues.
The most common issues of our medical counseling discusses and treats psychosomatic complaints, childhood illnesses, pregnancy and conception. Networking and mediation with the other health institutions are also a central part of our medical counseling activities.
Women suffering from psychological problems and/or face situations of violence in their migration process and women experiencing a psychosocial crisis or who are in mourning may request psychological counseling.
Psychological counseling is limited to certain times and themes and is based on women-specific approaches. Our counseling is geared toward the “here and now” and seeks to provide clarity, support and guidance while remaining symptom-based and limited to a certain timeframe. The form and frequency of counseling may vary, depending on the arrangements, issues and personal situations of those in need of counseling.
We make use of a variety of different psychological approaches including crisis intervention, gestalt therapy, client-centered psychology, psychoanalytical techniques, bodywork and breathing techniques. Specific methods and techniques are applied in working with women who have experienced violence.
Psychological counseling at LEFÖ is expanded and complemented through information events, workshops, support and telephone counseling.
Thematically, counseling mainly focuses on the laws governing the residence and settlement of foreign nationals in Austria (Fremdengesetz), family law and legal protection from violence (Gewaltschutzgesetz).
Laws on foreign nationals (Fremdengesetz)
Detailed information on the laws on foreign nationals (Fremdengesetz) has been compiled by the Counseling Center for Migrants Vienna and is available in English.
A main focus of family counseling is on divorce, which is regulated by family law.
Legal protection against violence
The Intervention Center Against Domestic Violence in Vienna (Wiener Interventionsstelle) in cooperation with the umbrella organization of autonomous women’s shelters in Austria has published a brochure on the protection against violence. This brochure contains the most important information regarding protection from violence, such as a basic legal summary and contact information for support centers.
TARDE INFORMATIVA - Information evening 27 May 2010
Due to multiple demand, an information evening was held in May for the women from Latinamerica. 46 women followed the invitation of the counselors. The main issue was the rights of foreigners, it´s chances and the Violence Protection Act. The evening was divided into three sections: thematic and methodological preparation of the laws, questions and answers in a open space for discussion. All records were written in Spanish and distributed.
TALLER - Workshop 11 December 2009
As part of the 16 Days of Activism against violence against women a workshop took place in December. Under the title "Structural violence and its effects on migration and identity processes" about 18 women sat apart with the subject in relation to their personal life stories.
TALLER - Workshop 26 June 2009
In June 2009, a workshop on “Processes of Migration and Structures of Violence” was held at LEFÖ. To start off the workshop, the facilitators provided impulses on various issues that the participants were asked to relate these to their own personal context and to discuss in small groups. After a short break, the discussions and experiences were shared, reflected and exchanged among the whole group. For the third part of the workshop, the group was split into two groups that were each asked to make a short play based on the themes discussed. Part of the development of the play included working on approaches for dealing with violence. A discussion of solutions to the problems followed the presentations of the plays.
TARDE INFORMATIVA - Information event 14 May 2009
This evening information event in May 2009 gave a thematic and methodological summary of legislation on residence, citizenship, protection from violence and divorce. It provided a comfortable setting for asking questions, discussing with other participants as well as a bite to eat. The invitation to the information event drew a crowd of 53 women.