The idea

The origins of Cards for Life

Barabara VölknerCards for Life are originally from Germany. They have proved hugely popular with thousands of therapists, counsellors and people who are currently having difficulties dealing with life, many of whom have asked me if I would translate them into other languages. Read on to find out how they began:

The idea of creating cards came to me during my own long process of undergoing therapy. During that time I realized my whole attitude towards life was influenced by a string of negative beliefs, which hampered my ability to live my life. I began to countermand such beliefs with new insights and positive slogans. Initially this happened just in my head and eventually in writing, which turned out to be far more effective for me.

When I realised they could draw me out of my depressive mood swings and everyday crises, I created more and more of them. Gradually these cards became my “Cards for Life” and I began to use little drawings to visualize their messages. Slowly my mood began to lift and the cards in turn became more creative and cheerful, too. Over the course of a year and a half, I designed around 100 cards, of which nearly a third turned out to be vital to my wellbeing. The positive feedback I received from my therapists and close friends finally led to my decision to make the cards accessible to others who might also benefit from them.

Looking back I can categorically say that they helped me find a path and sent me on my way in a new and more positive direction.

Inspired by Luise Reddemann

My special thanks are due to Prof. Dr. Luise Reddemann, who inspired me to design these cards. Many of the dictums on the cards originated in the therapy group she led at the clinic for psychotherapy and psychosomatic medicine in Bielefeld, Germany, which she managed until 2003. I would also like to thank the 3000-plus therapists who are already working with Cards for Life in many different and creative ways and who continue to send me wonderful testimonials. I am overwhelmed by the different ways in which so many people are using these cards that started life as a simple tool for me to help myself.

My Commitment

My therapy turned out to be both healing and life changing for me, leading to more than just lead to the creation of Cards for Life. It also prompted me back in 2001, together with other former patients of the psychosomatic clinic in Bielefeld, to found the association Traum-Haus e.V. association (Dream House Society), in order to promote the concept of the Psychodynamic Imaginative Trauma Therapy (PITT) developed by Prof. Dr. Luise Reddemann, and to support this concept in the clinic with concrete projects.

My Paintings

Music has played a major role in my life since childhood and was also a valuable resource for me during the most difficult periods of my life. However, art only came into my life during middle age. Initially I concentrated on landscapes and flowers, which I turned into colourful watercolours, but now, after many years of intense study, I have finally achieved my goal of painting with acrylics on large canvases.


Unterschrift Barbara Völkner

Developed in Therapy

I created the original Cards for Life as a self-help tool for while I was suffering from depression and attending therapy. I never planed to make them available to the public until others convinced me to do so.

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Used & loved by many

Cards for Life are popular in many forms of psychotherapy, coaching and as a useful self-help tool. They are used by people of all ages in all walks of life. Find out how you can use them.

Find out how to use them

Now available in English

Originally called "Lebenskarten", Cards for Life are now available in English.
The order process is simple and shipping is free across Europe and only takes a few days.

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