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Univ.-Doz. Brigitta Bunzel

Clinical- and Health Psychologist, Psychotherapist

Brigitta Bunzel has more than 35 years of experience in clinical psychology and psychotherapy, mostly in clinical settings and institutions (primarily intensive care medicine, cardiac surgery and transplantation).

She was responsible for psychological and psychotherapeutic support for in-hospital patients as well as for patient follow-up. Her special interest, on a scientific and practical level, was in the area of heart transplantation. In 1993 she wrote the first book on the topic to establish a basis for psychosocial care of patients before and after heart transplantation and provided the fundamentals of quality of life in heart transplantation.

She was one of the founding members of several international working groups in various fields of transplantation as well as a charter member of the “Sigmund Freud Private University", an institution that pioneered the Science of Psychotherapy as an academic programme.

  • 1976 Ph.D, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Vienna; with a Major in psychology and a Minor in art history

  • 1980 Degree in Psychotherapy (person-centered), since then 36 intensive courses (various fields)

  • 1984 Assistant Professor, Department of Heart Surgery, General Hospital Vienna

  • 1993 Postdoctoral University degree (Universitätsdozent) with lecture qualification

  • 1998 Associate Professor (Clinical Psychology)

Professional Specialization

  • Clinical Psychology

  • Person-Centered Psychotherapy

  • Psychosocial aspects and quality of life after heart surgery and heart transplantation


  • Member of the Ethics Committee, Medical University Vienna (2008 - 2014)

  • Charter Member of Sigmund Freud Private University, Vienna

Professorships / lectureships

  • University of Vienna

  • Lectureship at the Faculty of Basic Research and Integrative Studies of the University of Vienna (Grund- und Integrativwissenschaftlichen Fakultät): “Clinical Psychology of Acute Organic Disease”

  • Consultant in the field of the post-graduate university course for future clinical psychologist and health psychologist

  • Lecturer of the seminar “Medical Psychology”, compulsory for all students of the Medical University of Vienna

  • Seminar “Psychosomatics in organ transplantation” for psychotherapists

  • She regularly gives lectures for physicians, medical and nursing staff (at the General Hospital in Vienna (Allgemeines Krankenhaus Wien), rehabilitation-facilities, specialized hospitals)

In addition to numerous lectures at congresses, Brigitta Bunzel published over a hundred scientific papers (mostly as main author), books and book contributions, e.g.

  • Bunzel B. Herztransplantation: Psychosoziale Grundlagen und Forschungsergeb­nisse zur Lebensqualität. Thieme 1993

  • Bunzel B. The impact of physical complaints and quality of life in patients after heart transplantation. In: Albert A., Bittner A., Hetzer R. (Eds): Quality of Life and Psychosomatics. Springer 1998

  • Bunzel B, Wollenek G, Grundboeck A. Living with a donor heart. Feelings and attitudes of patients towards the donor and the donor organ. J Heart Lung Transplant 1992

  • Bunzel, B., Laederach-Hofmann, K. Solid organ transplantation: Are there predictors for posttransplant noncompliance? A literature overview. Transplantation 2000

  • Zuckermann A, Bohdjalian A, Deviatko E, Dunkler D, Rodler S, Ehrlich M, Wieselthaler G, Pacher R, Bunzel B, Wollenek G, Laczkovics A, Laufer G, Wolner E, Grimm M. The University of Vienna experience in heart transplantation. Clin. Transplant. 2002

  • Dew MA, Switzer GE, DiMartini AF, Bunzel B. Psychological issues in unrelated living organ transplantation in children. Pediatr. Transplantation 2004

  • Bunzel B, Laederach-Hofmann, K., Wieselthaler, G., Röthy, W., Wolner, E.
    Mechanical Circulatory Support as a Bridge to heart Transplantation: What remains? Long-time emotional sequelae in patients and spouses. J. Heart Lung Transplant 2007

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