Student life – Doctoral Programme in Psychotherapy Science



Ümit Sheridan, Turkey, Austria

I started studying at SFU in 2012 and having completed my Bachelor and Master degrees, I am now enjoying SFU`s English Doctorate program. 
Prior to SFU, I had my Bachelor in Sociology and I finished a training for performative acting in Istanbul and subsequently enrolled at the University of Vienna History and Psychology departments. The main reason for my switch to SFU was that I really liked the combination of academia, practical experience and work placements that made the learning experience real. The involvement at the SFU clinic as well as the link to the Innsbruck Psychoanalysis Institute ensure that you are really learning a profession as well as working in academia.
Presently, I am a Psychoanalyst/Psychotherapist in Ausbildung unter Supervision, which means I can take patients and run my own praxis. In addition, I am working as a psychotherapist in the FEM-Süd (Woman health centre) at the Franz Joseph Hospital in Vienna where I work half time.
I am passionate about psychoanalysis and, of course, it’s origins in Sigmund Freud. Many of his concepts are as applicable today as they were 100 years ago. My doctoral thesis explores social media and the similarities to religion in terms of the role it plays and its impact using a Freudian theoretical approach. SFU gives me the infrastructure to pursue my professional and personal ambitions.




Lena Feygin, Russia, USA

I have 20 years of experience in psychological, therapeutic and coaching services, as well as education, and communication. I have spend more than half of my life dedicated to the development of psy-to-nomics methodology and its implementation in a variety of settings, from educational to corporate, and in individual use. The best part of it all is a positive impact these changes create in lives of others.
In 2018 I have established the Relationships Research Institute which was conceived as a thought back in 1998. It has gone through many iterations of its existence and is finally coming to life as a consolidated foundation and a home to scientist and others interested in everything relationships. We examine, through various instruments, relationships and communications – relationship with oneself (our take on food and sport, on health related matters), with children, significant others, family members, friends, society and life in general. We do this by observing and examining not only trivial behavioral patterns, but also through psychogenetic research by finding connections between our genetic markers and personality traits.
As a Founder of this institution, I have spent most of my life long work on making people around me happier, by providing them with instruments for effective communication and to build conflict-free relationships, among other things. I lived in NY City since 1994, and have completed my degree granting education at Fordham University, and Johns Hopkins University, among other shorter professional development programs. But as a scientist at heart, I am eager to learn and to do more. This desire has led me to the doorsteps of SFU where I could work on my Doctorate in Psychotherapy and have an opportunity to scientifically validate [psy-to-nomics] and bring it about as an instrument to other psychotherapists. I believe that this will change the face of psychodiagnostics and SFU is a fantastic institution that inspires and empowers me by offering solid academic foundation.



Mag. Eunice Wangui Stuhlhofer, Kenya, Austria

My teaching background paved way for me to pursue my life passion which was to become a counsellor. Before I happily discovered SFU, I was pursuing a master’s degree in counselling psychology at Liberty University in the USA.
Enrolling at SFU will remain one of the most important choices that I have made. The university, being the first of its kind, offered me an opportunity to realise my academic passion in an inspiring environment, supportive professors and peers from different world cultures.
My topic of interest in both my undergraduate and graduate studies was Culture and Psychopathology. I was keen on finding out how culture interacts with mental illnesses, a controversial subject in mental health. Being a migrant of Kenyan descent and a student of psychotherapy research in this topic proved enriching, rewarding and a valuable contribution in mental health.
The choice to enrol in the Doctoral program was an investment that I chose to make in order to further my research as well integrate academic work and practice. As a practicing therapist in Vienna, the program is quite suitable to my work schedule and it is a continuation of the life changing and enjoyable experiences at SFU. My topic of research is on migration and psychopathology. Having worked with refugees as a therapist and caseworker in Vienna, I was convinced that I needed to further my knowledge and expertise in an area that is of great concern worldwide and specifically for Europe.



Mariia Lenherr, Ukraine, Austria

Although psychology was my main interest already in the school, my first Degree I obtained in International Economics, I have worked with Forex for some years. Then once I did this existential exercise: ‘What is going to stand on your gravestone’ and understood that I have to pursue my passion – the world of a human psyche. That brought me to Chernivtsy regional psychiatry where I worked as a volunteer under the head of Dr. Alla Fedotova, who in her turn graduated from the first Truskavetc project, organized by SFU Professors. I received a Master’s Degree in Psychology in Kyiv, Ukraine, but after some time I felt the need for more profound theoretic and practical experience, this brought me to SFU, Vienna. Here I received my Master’s Degree in Psychotherapy as a science. Now I work as a psychoanalyst in Vienna and Baden.
The great scholar experience at the SFU inspired me to continue with a Ph.D. program here. As I’m interested in a scientific aspect of psychotherapy the doctorate program is a right path for me. Currently, I work on a dissertation on transgenerationally and conduct a Study Reflection Group at SFU. In 2019 I will be teaching psychoanalysis in the Academy of Psychoanalysis in Madrid, a joint project with SFU. I regularly attend psychoanalytic congresses and this year my book on Orthorexia Nervosa was published.
What excites me the most in my profession as a psychoanalyst and researcher is a lifetime possibility of a personal development and Sigmund Freud University seems to be the Alma Mater to support me in my academic strivings.



Parov Anzelc, Slovenia

“The International Doctoral Program at SFU provides rare and significant academic possibility to broaden the science of psychotherapy that includes multi-modality teaching and also cross scientific fields of study. This is the main reason I decided to go abroad and study in Vienna – and so far I am really enjoying the process. From organizational point of view, to seminar topics selection and most importantly for me, the faculties’ awareness of the importance of supervisor-student relationship that allows students to be creative, explore and learn in an encouraging and positive environment.

The support from supervisors and teachers is immense yet strict. The freedom to study is accompanied with a sense of clear scientific compass. The balance between the empirical and theoretical approaches provides unbiased liberty about fields of study. The research opportunities are vast and at the same time within firm academic narratives. As philosopher, psychoanalyst and teacher I am grateful that we can enjoy the international team of teachers from all around the world and from different scientific fields that are connected to the psychotherapy which allows me to grow in a diverse environment. For me this translates to unique learning experience for which I hope will yield in successful dissertation and furthermore allow me to explore and contribute to the world of psychotherapy science.”