Training & continuing education to become a psychological psychotherapist

The curriculum imparts to trainees the knowledge, skills and abilities that are required in order to

  1. in the diagnosis, therapy and rehabilitation of disorders with disease value for which psychotherapy is indicated, and
  2. to be able to act independently and on their own responsibility in the therapy of psychological causes, concomitants and consequences of physical illnesses, taking into account the medical findings on the patient’s physical status and social situation, on the scientific, intellectual and ethical basis of psychotherapy.

Behavioural therapy is a psychotherapy method recognised by the statutory health insurance funds. It assumes that psychological complaints are the result of conscious and non-conscious learning processes. At the beginning of the treatment, it is worked out together with the patient which conditions of his life history and current life situation have contributed to the development and maintenance of the psychological symptomatology and continue to have an effect.
On this basis, the therapy goals and the treatment plan are determined together.
In behavioural therapy, the patient is motivated and guided to actively change his or her actions, thoughts and feelings. In the process, the already existing strengths and abilities are worked out and made usable for the change process.
Behavioural therapy encompasses a broad group of methods and techniques. Special therapy programmes have been developed for most mental disorders and described in the form of therapy manuals, which often combine several of these techniques, including instrumental/operant learning in the form of self- and external reinforcement, classical conditioning (e.g. in the form of aversive conditioning), model learning, habituation and extinction (e.g. in systematic desensitisation and confrontation or exposure therapy), biofeedback, methods of self-control and self-management, and various cognitive methods.
In addition, behavioural therapy uses techniques from other fields, such as role-playing, imagination and relaxation techniques. Behavioural therapy is used in individual, couple, family and group settings in both outpatient and partial/inpatient contexts.
In particular, psychological, psychopathological and medical contexts are elaborated; during the seminars, practical psychotherapeutic work with patients is presented. The practical exercises include practical case presentations of treatment situations.
The methods taught are application-oriented and theoretically sound. The lecture is appropriately alternated with practical exercises in the learning group.
Great importance is attached to a learning-oriented climate in the training group, in which the personal search for identity as a psychotherapist should take place.

Core areas

  • Practical work: 1,800 hours
  • Theory: 672 hours
  • Treatments: 600 hours
  • Supervision: 150 hours
  • Self-awareness: 120 hours
  • Tutorial: 60 hours
  • Miscellaneous: 1,000 hours
  • Total: approx. 4,400 hours

The training is offered in German. Detailed information is available on our German page