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Sigmund Freud University (SFU)

Country: Austria

City: Vienna


Type of school: Private Universities


Search for other universities in: Vienna


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.

Sigmund Freud University pioneered the study of Psychotherapy Science as an academic degree. This program approaches Psychotherapy by emphasizing research activities, practical training, and academic exchange among different psychotherapy schools. Sigmund Freud University is one of the only academic institutions in the world, where Psychotherapy is taught at an undergraduate level.


The Faculty of Psychotherapy Sciences at Sigmund Freud University offers the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral Programs in Psychotherapy Science, as well as psychotherapy training in a variety of methods, including Behaviour Therapy, Psychoanalysis, Individual Psychology, Gestalt, Person-centred Psychotherapy and Systemic Family Therapy.


Key members of faculty at Sigmund Freud University include: Prof. Alfred Pritz, Prof. Giselher Guttmann, Prof. Bernd Rieken, Dr. Elisabeth Vykoukal, Dr. Brigitte Sindelar, Prof. Felix de Mendelssohn, Prof. Raphael M. Bonelli, Dr. Gerhard Benetka, Dr. Johannes Reichmayr, Dr. Jutta Fiegl, Mag. Eva Pritz, Heinz Laubreuter, Prof. Thomas Druyen, Dr. Omar Gelo, Dr. Albina Colden, Dr. Diana Braakmann, and Mag. Stefan Hampl.


All degree programmes in Psychotherapy Science are offered in German and in English. Dr. Elisabeth Vykoukal serves as the Dean of English-taught Bachelor's and Master's Programmes. She is supported by the Head of International Programmes, Dr. Albina Colden.

Sigmund Freud University hosts the annual International Summer School in Psychotherapy—an intensive, four-week program in the fundamentals of psychotherapy theory and practice for students and professionals from around the world.

The Eastern European Institute at Sigmund Freud University was established in 2008, with the goals to aid in the development of the field of Psychotherapy in Eastern European nations, and to establish a Psychotherapy Research Center that deals specifically with Eastern European issues.


One of the research focuses at Sigmund Freud University Vienna is Messies, being primarily researched by Dr. Elisabeth Vykoukal. Messies is related to "Hoarding". It comes from the word mess. It describes those who can't use their home as a place for relaxation after taking part in everyday tasks such as a job. Messies may gather things until their home is so full, that there is barely any room for the messies themselves. Messies may also fail at necessary tasks such as cleaning and handling food, clothing, and laundry


More informations aboy programmes in english:


Presentation video

Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.8 million[ (2.6 million within the metropolitan area, nearly one third of Austria's population), and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 6th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today it is the second only to Berlin in German speakers. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city lies in the east of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is also said to be "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world's first psycho-analyst – Sigmund Freud. The city's roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements that transformed into a Medieval and Baroque city, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is well known for having played an essential role as a leading European music centre, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. The historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, and the late-19th-century Ringstrasse lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks.


In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first (in a tie with Vancouver, Canada) for the world's most livable cities (in the 2012 survey of 140 cities Vienna was ranked number two, behind Melbourne). For seven consecutive years (2009–2015), the human-resource-consulting firm Mercer ranked Vienna first in its annual "Quality of Living" survey of hundreds of cities around the world, a title the city still holds in 2015. Monocle's 2015 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Vienna second on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within"


The city was ranked 1st globally for its culture of innovation in 2007 and 2008, and fifth globally (out of 256 cities) in the 2011 Innovation Cities Index, which analyzed 162 indicators in covering three areas: culture, infrastructure, and markets. Vienna regularly hosts urban planning conferences and is often used as a case study by urban planners. Between 2005 and 2010, Vienna was the world's number-one destination for international congresses and conventions. It attracts over 3,7 million tourists a year.

The following are admission requirements found on the University of Vienna website. To enter a Bachelor's program, a person requires a University entrance certificate. This is equivalent to a High School Diploma. Also, one must write a university entrance exam, which is equivalent to the American SATs or Austrian Studienberechtigungsprüfung. If chosen as a candidate, one must take part in two admission interviews. The interviewers are two individuals from Sigmund Freud University scientific staff (who decide whether the candidate will be admitted or not). The candidate will participate in an admission seminar as well


More information about admisions check here:

Contact details:


Sigmund Freud University

Campus Prater

Freudplatz 1

A-1020 Vienna



Mag. Emma McNally, MSc,

Assistant Coordinator of International Programmes

4. floor

Tel: +43 (0)1 798 40 98/452


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