“We truly regret this situation for our students,” says the University of Bremen President, Professor Bernd Scholz-Reiter. The situation is also unfortunate for Bremen State. “Bremen needs more psychotherapists. Our university would have liked to have contributed to the training of young therapists this year on the basis of the new psychotherapy law,” explains the President.
In the past months, the faculty, the university management team, administration, and the Academic Senate assessed all options in order to enable the degree course to start as planned. However, as too many teaching vacancies remain open, it would not be in the students’ interest. The students and the faculty have been in contact regarding this matter since November.
What Are the Reasons?
The field of psychology at the University of Bremen is currently in the middle of a restructuring process. Professorships are being newly designated, existing degree courses are being reformed, and new ones are being designed. The department has been offering the first part of the degree for psychotherapeutic training since the winter semester 2020/21. This part refers to the Psychology bachelor’s program, which was amended to align with the contents of the licensing regulations for psychotherapists (PsychThApprO). Students who completed the former bachelor’s program, which was not aligned with the licensing regulations, have the opportunity to acquire the additional, necessary qualifications.
The “Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy” master’s degree was meant to begin this winter semester and offer the second part of the training. It is an entirely new degree course for all universities across Germany. Additionally, it is the first licensing degree in Bremen. However, it had to be postponed for the first time in April 2021, as not enough staff were found for teaching tasks. The requirements are especially high for the master’s degree, therefore, there were no job profiles that matched. The teaching staff need to be psychotherapists with a state license and if possible, should have completed a PhD. Thus, the competition with jobs as an in-practice psychotherapist is immense. The vacancies can be filled by scientifically-interested persons as well as those who are practically and clinically oriented. Yet the double qualification is a challenge for most.
Furthermore, several content-related and legal aspects had to be clarified upon establishing the master’s program. The realization of the psychotherapist training reform and the licensing regulations for psychotherapists (PsychThApprO), which were published in March 2020, have left many universities with questions concerning the implementation. This is why new challenges continue to appear during the implementation process and it is these that the department now faces.
These reasons finally led to the responsible faculty having to once more postpone the start of the study program for one year. In the coming months, the responsible agents, the University Executive Board, and the administration will assess and exhaust all options in order to fill the necessary positions so that the degree course can commence in the winter semester 2023/24. The University of Bremen is in close, continual contact with the science authority in regard to this matter.
Find out more about the degree courses currently offered in psychology at the University of Bremen: https://www.uni-bremen.de/en/psychologie/study/study-programs
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