Tatiana Pysarenko, Ukraine
A few years ago I attended the Congress of ECPP in Kiev. There I heard the presentation of Alfred Pritz the Rector of Sigmund Freud University, who told us about different educational programs, among others the English PhD Program. While listening to him, I had no idea that some years later I’d attend it.
Today I am a student at the PhD English Program and my life absolutely changed! As a psychoanalyst of children and adolescents I am very interested in the topic of relationship between mothers and children, how mothers influence their daughters’ lives. Today I have an opportunity to do scientific research on the topic I am fond of, to share my ideas with my colleagues and get feedback, to discuss my papers with SFU professors. I have met many new people from all over the world, from different countries and cultures.
During one of the lectures, a professor said something very poignant: you won’t be able to write your dissertation unless you are in love with it. I study in Vienna – the capital of psychoanalytical world and one of the best cultural centres. Sigmund and Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Alfred Adler all lived here, walked the streets, created their theories here. I think, there is something in the air here: the feelings of love, freedom and happiness.
Tuba Aydin, Turkey
I chose to further my academic career in Psychotherapy Science Doctorate Program, because I wanted to have a more critique eye on my psychotherapy praxis and be able to contribute to the growing literature in application of psychotherapy to clients from different cultures and religions. I did not hesitate to fulfill this wish in SFU, as I have been enriched by academic courses in parallel to psychotherapy training in Systemic Family Therapy during my MA studies.
When I reflect on my three years of experience, I conclude that as a foreign student I was always made to feel at home in SFU. The staff were incredibly helpful in all matters concerning, courses, visas, dormitories, everything. Given the multitude of cultural diversity and represented psychotherapy schools by students, classes always generate lovely discussions and opinions in a welcoming atmosphere. I learned a lot regarding the psychotherapy applications all over the world and I’ve made some amazing friends.
Urska Klemenc, Slovenia
I started to study psychotherapy as a science in Slovenia, but already at the beginning of my study I moved to Vienna and continued at SFU. I found the whole structure of the SFU University very good. The stuff is very open for new ideas, suggestions and no matter what kind of a problem you have you can always contact them and discuss it with them. They help you, what is more, they encourage you to develop and to work on your own ideas in psychotherapy as a science. They give you all the space that you need for developing your work. In other words, SFU truly gives you all the freedom that you need in your way to leave a mark in psychotherapy as a science. I should not forget that SFU does not only give you an opportunity to be a part of scientific society, but also gives you the knowledge to work with clients in different modalities. In that aspect, I am a student under supervision in the modality of psychoanalysis. What is more, I am a PhD student, and also a student representative for the English Doctorate Program.
Andrew Grimes, United Kingdom/Japan
I chose the SFU English programme as it provides a perfect opportunity to study and research towards attaining a fully accredited and internationally recognized doctoral degree programme while at the same time continuing one’s own practice of psychotherapy in your own home country.
Through participation in the bi-annual Summer and Winter Schools at SFU I feel have gained greater insight into the nature and the science of psychotherapy research. These Summer and Winter Schools provide a great chance to learn at first hand from a caring and committed international team of experts on a wide variety of psychotherapy research methodologies as well as current modalities too. I also appreciate that this doctoral programme is unique in the field of the science of psychotherapy in that it facilitates the dissemination of worldwide and world class research through the medium of English.
This programme also allows for a wonderful opportunity to meet and interrelate with fellow mental health professionals from a wide background of different countries and cultures. I like the fact too that SFU’s English doctoral programme is well structured while at the same time encourages students to pursue qualitative and quantitative research interests that are relevant to the current practice of psychotherapy in their home countries. In my own case this has provided me with the means to focus on the practice of Japanese Psychotherapy and disaster response both prior to and following Japan’s 3.11 triple disasters.
Tamara Prevendar, Croatia
The idea of being part of international PhD programme in Psychotherapy Science attracted me for several reasons. First, it is the uniqueness of the programme that offers pursuing research in Psychotherapy Sciences with specific methodology profile. Second, the programme required attending the lectures twice a year thus making it available for me to continue living and working in Croatia. Another attractive possibility was tailor made programme, for me meaning that I could create my research and programme duties and organize them in accordance with my professional activities.
Being in the programme for three years now, I have learned how to make the most of it. For example, coming to Vienna only twice a year forces me to use the time there as much as possible so that I enjoy fruitful meetings and sharing experiences with my colleagues, lecturers and researchers. What is especially valuable during the lecture week is the day of research proposal presentations when we have opportunity to hear feedback on our research from teaching staff but also to hear and give feedback among us.
Also, summer school week usually guests experts and lecturers from other universities and countries and so far it was enriching experience to meet professors, experts and researchers from Uruguay, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Canada, Greece and UK.
Speaking of diversity, in last three years I have met many colleagues from so many countries and with such a diverse stories – educational and experiential backgrounds so it surprises me how different approach they have to their research. We meet every once in a while, but we also mail and skype to share experiences and ideas at different stages of our research, but also at different stages of life. We have the opportunity to cooperate in real time on our current projects as both the researchers and professionals.
I believe that the network of people who pursue their research, live and work as professionals in their counties around the world during the programme is the true privilege of it.
Sareen Hagopian, Lebanon
I´m happy that I have chosen SFU`s English Doctorate program due to the faculty and staff who show support and are friendly and helpful as well as encouraging towards academic productivity especially that they themselves are active in research, publishing and participating in conferences. I find this very helpful in working on my future and current research project(s) which is in the area of psychosomatics. Finally, the international identities of the students who are from many different countries have enriched my experience and broadened my knowledge of psychotherapy and psychotherapists beyond that of my home country. So far, it has been a wonderful and enriching experience.
Keiko Nakahama, Japan
The SFU international doctoral program in psychotherapy sciences accepts multicultural perspectives under a multicultural environment. The class has a real international atmosphere. The students in the classroom are from a variety of countries, and I enjoy sharing thoughts and experiences with them. The program of study provides learning of scientific skills in the field of psychotherapy and theoretical investigation. They are open to new fields and techniques as well. Each course is taught by wonderful facilitators. They are very helpful anytime and anywhere. All of these are reasons why I chose SFU as an academic background for my carrier. I can also enjoy the beautiful historical city of Vienna, whenever I am there. Reaching my goal of writing up my dissertation still seems a long way off, but I am grateful to meet wonderful people, learn about scientific research and share a variety of cultures.