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.
At present, the University offers method-specific training in eight different schools of psychotherapy. Courses are taught by renowned international teaching staff. SFU offers both day-time and part-time study courses.
In line with its pioneering role in the field of human sciences, SFU is constantly striving to broaden its spectrum of degree courses and further education programmes.
The practice-oriented course programmes familiarize students with the principles of psycho-biology, the latest findings in brain research, the principles of psychiatry and psychology, classification models, comparative psychotherapeutic research, the principles of scientific practice, relevant legal aspects, diagnostic assessments and more.
- Renowned international academic staff provide high-quality training
- High number of teaching staff helps students optimize their academic achievements
- SFU pioneers in combining systematic research with teaching
- Teaching of various psychotherapy methods under one roof provides room for academic exchange and comparison of approaches
- University Outpatient Clinic provides students with direct access to patients
- SFU provides a teaching hospital and co-operates with a number of hospital wards
- State-of-the art teaching methods (parts of the theoretical course contents are offered via e-learning) ensure time-efficient learning
- Degree programmes are open to day-time and part-time students
- Course contents fulfil training requirements for licensed psychotherapists
Research at Sigmund Freud University
The Sigmund Freud University is dedicated to a rigorous research programme at the level of both its faculty and students. Research opportunities are numerous and allow for both qualitative methodology, quantitative methodology and secondary, historical or meta-analyses. Faculty research interests are diverse and include such topics as Hoarding, Ethnopsychoanalytic studies in China and Africa, the Development of Psychotherapy Trainees, Historical and Biographical Research on Psychotherapy Development in Europe, the Hermeneutic Study of different Therapy Schools, Fine Arts, Spousal Adjustment Research and Helpful and Hindering Factors in the Psychotherapeutic Process.
If you want to know more about our exclusive training in qualitative research methods at SFU, visit the qualitative research lab pages.
Students at Sigmund Freud University conduct independent, supervised research projects at every stage of their education. Students working on their BA, MA and PHD theses can join an existing research group (see the list below) or hand in an exposé for a unique research project. Individualised support is provided to accommodate a wide range of student interests. Research methodology, qualitative research workshops and statistics courses are a mandatory part of the academic curriculum. We also offer these courses during the Summer School.
Download a comprehensive list of active research groupsin the International Programmes at SFU.