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Psychological psychotherapist in training (PPiA)

The aim of the clinical year, which consists of 1200 hours, is to familiarise psychologists with severe clinical cases, i.e. with patients who require inpatient treatment. During the year we teach PPiAs the principles of psychiatry and provide insight into techniques of differential diagnosis and treatment. We also present the most important psychopathological, biological and diagnostic procedures aimed in particular at identifying psychosis, danger to self or others, addiction disorders and possible organic causes for mental illnesses.

During the clinical year the PPiAs become acquainted with the most important indications for and types of psychopharmacotherapy and with other somatic treatment and social therapy methods. Special emphasis is placed on disorders in which psychotherapy is combined with these treatment methods. The PPiAs are taught to become competent in recognising – at the beginning of and during the course of psychotherapy – when a psychiatric consultation is indicated.


The most important questions about the PPiA course:

What are the requirements?

In order for us to consider you as a candidate for a clinical year, you should have a good knowledge of German and, in addition to the usual application materials, send us the following documents:
•    Copy of your main diploma or the equivalent
•    Copy of your training contract as a psychological psychotherapist
•    CV and proof of a psychiatry internship are helpful

Where will I spend my clinical year?

You will be assigned to a ward. If it is a specialist ward, you can learn about the full range of mental illnesses by participating in the various therapy groups.

Over what time period do I complete the 1200 hours?

If you are present full time and do not take a break, the clinical year will take nine months; if you are present part time (2.5 to 3 days a week), it will take correspondingly longer. The clinical year must be at least nine months long. Everyone must be present on Tuesdays and Thursdays (all day) because the group sessions and supervision take place. Psychologists in training should participate in a 90-minute group supervision at least once a week. These sessions are held to discuss treatment cases and organisational matters. In addition, continuing education in behavioural therapy is offered every two weeks.

What is the content of the clinical year?

The main focus of the training is to participate in the treatment of 30 psychiatric inpatients. This includes taking care of the relatives of four patients. It is thereby important that during your work you cooperate closely with the treating doctor and keep him or her continuously informed about the respective approach and therapy content

PPiAs are obliged to regularly participate in the (consultant’s) ward rounds, the ward discussions and the weekly group supervisions.

In the first four weeks PPiAs should attend the morning meeting (8:30 a.m.) on a regular basis. Thereafter, they are welcome to continue attending the meeting.

Are their further training opportunities?

Participation in continuing education events, such as the Journal Club or Case Discussion (alternately on Wednesdays after the morning meeting) and the Scientific Wednesday colloquium, is highly desirable. PPiAs can also participate in additional continuing education events offered by wards or the hospital, such as continuing education in behavioural therapy.

What are the tasks of a PPiA?

If psychologists in training are present part time, they look after three to four patients at the same time and if they are present full time, five to eight patients. The consultant and ward doctor determine the indication for individual behavioural therapy (and additional primary supportive interventions, if necessary). Possible interventions include structuring the day, development of positive activities, psychoeducation, cognitive reframing and training of social skills.

Psychologists also participate in group sessions, e.g.:

  • Coping-oriented group for patients with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder (BOT; Schaub, 2004),
  • Cognitive-psychoeducational group for depression (Schaub, Roth and Goldmann, 2013),
  • Cognitive-psychoeducational group for bipolar disorders (BIP; Schaub, Bernhard and Gauck, 2006).

The group therapies are always led by a lead therapist and a co-therapist and take place twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays). PPiAs first start as co-therapists of a group and a more experienced colleague functions as the lead therapist. Group therapies are available as manuals published by Hogrefe (Schaub et al. 2004, Schaub et al. 2013) or on the intranet (Schaub, 2004).

PPiAs can also participate in groups for relatives of patients with schizophrenic or affective disorders. Once or twice a week they should also lead a ward group, together with a doctor; materials are also available for these groups.

Will I be paid?

Like trainees, PPiAs receive 1000 euros.

If you decide to work at our hospital, we hope you find the work inspiring.

Supervision

Supervision is performed by our lead psychologists:

Dr. phil. Dipl.- Psych. Annette Schaub
PD Dr. rer. nat. Dipl.-Psych. Susanne Karch
Dr. rer. nat. Dipl.-Psych. Eva Hoch

You can find further information (in German) at the Bavarian Chamber of Psychological Psychotherapists and Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists.