Psychotherapy Science – The English Programme

Sigmund Freud University (SFU) is a unique institution that pioneered Psychotherapy Science as an academic programme. We seek to set new standards for research and teaching in psychotherapy by emphasizing research activities, practical training, and academic exchange among the different psychotherapy schools.

Over the past 20 years, worldwide efforts have focused on establishing psychotherapy as a research discipline and profession in its own right. In this endeavour, the developments in Austria have played an important role, considering the fact that the Austrian Parliament passed the first Psychotherapy Law in 1990. This law establishes psychotherapy as an independent profession in its own right and regulates standardised scientific-based psychotherapy training. What has been missing so far, however, is its incorporation into an academic setting, in terms of training as well as in terms of research.

SFU has recognized the necessity of providing psychotherapeutic training within the scope of a university education. It offers a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in psychotherapy science as well as an extensive conceptualisation of research activities.

For the first time worldwide, SFU combines three basic principles of psychotherapy training: self-awareness, practical training under supervision and theoretical input. It sets an example in demonstrating that a university’s responsibilities are not limited to teaching theory, sometimes paired with action-oriented know-how, but also involve giving students a wide range of options for personal development.

SFU adopts the same approach with regard to psychotherapy research, as it not only aims to collect objective data but relate scientific information to the individual in their particular situation in life. In view of the fact that significant progress has been made in the field of evidenced-based psychotherapy research over the past few decades it is of utmost importance to us to link research activities with the daily practice of psychotherapists. We are convinced that the mutual benefits derived from such a two-way learning model serve to increase the quality of research and, as a consequence, lead to more effective psychotherapeutic treatment.

Sigmund Freud University offers psychotherapy training in a variety of methods, including Psychoanalysis and Systemic Family therapy. We run our own inhouse Outpatient Clinic, providing Psychotherapy services in German and English.