The Sigmund Freud University was the first to introduce a university education in psychotherapy where academic and practical aspects work hand in hand and complement each other.
SFU Ljubljana offers the academic study programme of Psychotherapy science according to Bologna scheme at two levels:
According to the criteria of the World Health Organization one psychotherapist per thousand inhabitants is needed. Slovenia is in that regard still far behind the other European countries - there is a great need for more trained psychotherapists. Psychotherapy is therefore certainly one of the important professions of the future.
The study programme of Psychotherapy Science at SFU Ljubljana combines theory, practice and self-awareness. Self-awareness is one of the most difficult, and at the same time more fulfilling aspects of the studies.
According to the Bologna system the academic study programmes are valued in credit points (ECTS) - one study semester is worth 30 ECTS.
Students complete their study obligations under the part-time study scheme, mainly on weekends (Friday 16:00 - 20:00, Saturday 9:00 - 18:00 and with occasional additional engagements, e.g. week day afternoons or Sundays) in the framework of lectures, workshops, seminars and project work. Students thus have the opportunity to work and study (part-time).
Part of the study at the primary level are also the so-called ‘’tutor groups’’. These groups allow individualization of studying, as they increase the opportunities for students in small groups to express themselves - to hear and be heard in their learning process. In these groups the students can also reflect on the theoretical knowledge, evaluate the study process, seek support of their peers and their tutors, etc.
In the third year at the bachelor level students choose one of the psychotherapeutic modalities as specialization. SFU Ljubljana offers the following modalities: psychoanalytic psychotherapy, systemic psychotherapy, gestalt psychotherapy, analytical psychology, psychotherapy of children and adolescents. The students can also hypothetically choose an external modality offered by other institutes under the condition the SFU approves the equivalence of the external study programme.
Self awareness (learning therapy, personal growth, work on oneself) in which students try the psychotherapeutic methods on themselves. This form of work is a unique feature of the study process of psychotherapy. It means that the future psychotherapist must accept the same process of working on oneself as their patients will.
PRACTICAL TRAINING/CLINICAL PLACEMENT
An important part of the study programme is the practical training, which is implemented in several forms:
- Internships in facilities of the health or social system in the psychosocial field that provides the population with psycho-social services. For this form of clinical placement, students receive supervision in the form of meetings in small groups.
- Psychotherapeutic training under supervision – the students work in the facility of the health or social system that provides the population with psychotherapeutic services and later in their independent practice. The students perform psychotherapy sessions initially in the Outpatient Clinic of SFU Ljubljana. Their work is under the regular supervision of the supervisors of the chosen psychotherapeutic modality.
- During the psychiatric internship students are introduced to the psychiatric treatment of patients within different age groups and different diagnostic issues. They also learn a network of different profiles of employees involved in the treatment of psychiatric patients.
The psychotherapists at the Outpatient Clinic are experienced experts who represent many different psychotherapeutic modalities. The students have a unique possibility to start working with patients in the framework of the Outpatient Clinic and thus gain critical practical experience. They perform psychotherapy under the regular mentorship of supervisors and in an interdisciplinary environment.
Within the Sigmund Freud University the networking between its international branches is encouraged. There is the possibility of study exchanges for students and visits of international lecturers from the the international branches of the Sigmund Freud University.