The aim of the Doctoral Program at Sigmund Freud University Vienna is to provide students with the experience and resources to pursue individual scientific research in the field of Psychotherapy Science.
Graduation is considered proof of ability. The doctoral program aims to support and equip the next generation of scientists in the field of Psychotherapy Science. Completion of the doctoral program does not automatically provide the authorization for practicing as a psychotherapist.
SFU Doctoral Program: Profile
(1) Being the first university to offer study programs in Psychotherapy Science, the SFU developed a methodology profile. Emphasis will be placed on:
(2) Of course this methodological profile does not exclude graduation in the fields of quantitative and experimental research or in the field of epidemiological healthcare research.
computer-assisted text analysis
system theoretical and mathematical modeling of the psychotherapeutic process quantitative analysis of the therapeutic process (understanding, resistance, therapeutic interventions, etc.)
efficacy studies of psychotherapeutic methods comparative therapy research
examination of factors from various psychotherapeutic schools relevant for the
efficacy of psychotherapy methods
relations and interplay of psychopathological phenomena etc.
(3) The above-mentioned methods (especially the qualitative ones) represent the methodological „pillars“ of the SFU. However, other qualitative or quantitative methods may be applied, too; the SFU is open to suggestions on principle. As a matter of principle, the applicant may choose their own thesis topic, though it is also possible to select a topic from existing research projects.
(1) On successful completion of the SFU doctoral program, students will be awarded a doctoral degree in Psychotherapy Science (“Doktorin der Psychotherapiewissenschaft” bzw. “Doktor der Psychotherapiewissenschaft”, Dr.sci.pth., – Latin: “doctor scientiae psychotherapiae”). This degree is equivalent to an international Ph.D.
(2) On satisfactory completion of the doctoral thesis, students will be awarded a certificate.