Nossrat Peseschkian awarded German Order of Merit

WEISBADEN, Germany — Nossrat Peseschkian, the founder of Positive Psychotherapy, has been awarded the order of merit of Federal Republic of Germany.

Dr. Peseschkian, who is a Bahá'í, received the honor from Silke Lautenschläger, Minister of Social Affairs in Hessen in ceremonies here on 23 January 2006.

Ms. Lautenschläger said Dr. Peseschkian was highly influential as a psychotherapist worldwide, “who has founded a treatment and therapeutic method which meanwhile has been established in many different countries and has been a source of help for an immense number of people.”

“Positive Psychotherapy is a form of short-term psychotherapy based on an in-depth psychological approach, resulting from cross-cultural psychotherapy,” said Dr. Peseschkian, saying it has a special usefulness in dealing with problems arising from transcultural issues, such as foreign laborers, problems with foreign aid for development, transcultural marriages, or cultural prejudice.

“An important reason for my own concern with Positive Psychotherapy may also have been that I am in a transcultural situation,” said Dr. Peseschkian. “I am an Iranian, living in Europe since 1954. I have noticed that many modes of behavior, habits, and attitudes are evaluated completely differently in the two cultural groups.

“This observation, which I had already made during my childhood in Teheran, applies particularly to prejudices of a religious nature. As Bahá'ís, we were always in the cross fire between our Islamic, Christian, and Jewish schoolfellows and teachers. This led me to reflect on the relations existing between the religions and on interpersonal relationships.”

Dr. Peseschkian has published at least 12 books in German, along with numerous translations. Courses on Positive Psychotherapy have been held in at least 60 countries.