Sigmund Freud University (SFU) was the first university worldwide to offer psychotherapy science as an academic programme. Psychotherapy science is a hermeneutic science aiming at understanding the relationships between individuals and groups, describing mental health as well as mental disorders, researching them with scientific methods and developing corresponding treatment methods.
Psychotherapy science is integrative, incorporating findings from biology, psychology, medicine and social sciences, but also its own academic methods. Teaching and practical training work hand in hand and include theory, self-awareness and acquiring comprehensive skills to practice psychotherapy. SFU offers psychotherapy training in a variety of methods, including Psychoanalysis and Systemic Family Therapy. From the third year onwards, students must specialize in one of the methods (“Psychotherapy Schools”). Within this main focus, all teaching contents, as provided by the Austrian Psychotherapy Act, are taught. Our teaching puts a strong focus on research and science. The Master’s degree course introduces students to the research methods of psychotherapy science. Students get involved in the university’s research projects from an early stage onwards.
In 2005, the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes were accredited, followed by the PhD programme in 2007 and the English programme in 2008. The English Programme has the same curriculum as the German Programme.
In 2006, the SFU founded the psychotherapeutic and psychological outpatient clinics which today form a pillar in providing mental health services to people living in Vienna. In addition, the outpatient clinics are valuable training institutions for our students.