This Document is a courtesy of the Commission of the European Communities, DGXV.
Its reference number is XV/E/58409/95 – Orig.: DE
Regulated by the “Psychotherapiegesetz” (Psychotherapy Act),
Federal Law Gazette 361/1990
A. Structure of the Profession
Question n° 1.
The profession of psychotherapist has been regulated in Austria since 1 January 1991 by the Psychotherapy Act (PthG). The proper gender designations under Sect. 1 3 of the PthG are:
“Psychotherapeut/Psychotherapeutin” Psychotherapists exercising the profession must use these designations.
Question n° 2.
Yes, regulated by the PthG.
Question n° 3.
Psychotherapy Act. E.g. professional title (Sect. 1), regulation of training (Sects 28), conditions for exercising psychotherapy (Sect. 11), professional obligations (esp. Sects 14, 15 , 16), entry in the professional list gives right to exercise the profession list is controlled by the Federal Ministry for Health and Consumer Protection.
No distinctions between employment in public services and in private sector.
Question n° 4.
Practising psychotherapy is reserved to psychotherapists. Only qualified psychotherapists within the meaning of Sect. 11 PthG may practise it.
Question n° 5.
The profession of medical doctor specialising in psychiatry is a separate liberal profession.
The profession of psychotherapist is a separate liberal profession.
These are two completely distinct independent liberal profession which are exercised on the basis of a specific training. Psychotherapists exercise the profession on their own responsibility, independently of whether the activity is self-employed (own practice) or dependently employed (e.g. as employee in a clinic).
Reimbursement by sickness insurance schemes is not dependent on referral, prescription, etc. by a medical doctor. Psychotherapists make their own diagnoses and determine the treatment themselves.
Question n° 6.
The professional representation of psychotherapists in Austria is on the basis of voluntary membership.
The “Osterreichischer Bundesverband fur Psychotherapie – OBVP” (Austrian Federal Association for Psychotherapy) has the following address:
B. Structure of Education and Training
Question n° 1.
Access conditions are regulated in Sect. 10 of the PthG.
Access to the general part of the training (Propadeutikum) is dependent on fulfilling one of the conditions in Sect. 10(1)(ii)-(v) of the PthG. The basic qualification is the school-leaving certificate/entitlement to university entry. Qualified nurses and graduates of medical-technical services also have access. In exceptional cases, on the basis of special suitability as determined in a report of the Psychotherapy Advisory Committee, the Ministry for Health and Consumer Protection can also allow access.
Access to the specialised training (Fachspezifikum), which starts after successful completion of the general training, depends on one of the conditions set out in Sect. 10(2)(vi)-(ix).
These are: 1. successful completion of specified vocational training diplomas 2. successful completion of specified university-Ievel courses 3. in exceptional cases, on the basis of special suitability as determined in a report of the Psychotherapy Advisory Committee, the Ministry for Health and Consumer Protection can also allow access.
Question n° 2.
The length of training is deter-mined in the PthG by the prescription of minimum course contents and minimum training periods, given in hours.
In practice, the Propadeutikum (consisting of at least 750 hours of theory and 550 hours of practical work) takes on average two years, while the Fachspezifikum that follows it (consisting of at least 300 hours of theory and 1600 hours of practical work) takes between four and eight years.
Question n° 3.
The minimum course contents and training periods are fixed in:
Sect.6 PthG for the Propadeutlkum
Sect.6 PthG for the Fachspezifikum.
Training establishments for the Propadeutikum (Sect.6) and the Fachspezifikum (Sect.7) have to be approved by the Ministry for Health and Consumer Protection, including vetting by the Psychotherapy Advisory Committee, although the actual recognition is given in agreement with the Federal Ministry for Science and Research. Approved training establishments are also required to submit an annual report on their teaching/training activities to the Ministry for Health and Consumer Protection.