Eating Disorders Training

Postgraduate Training Course in Treatment of Eating Disorders

This is the first German language postgraduate training into the treatment of ED and has been running since 2000. This training is multidisciplinary and oriented at integrating different psychotherapy schools and methods.

The whole course consists of 200 training hours over 18 months. It is approved by the Austrian Psychotherapy Board as a postgraduate specialisation into treatment of ED. It is also approved by the Austrian Medical Association (for GPs, internal medicine, social medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics & gynaecology), the Austrian Psychological Association and by the Austrian Association of Dieticians. It aims at delivering basic expertise in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of ED.

Participants are clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, medical doctors (registrars & consultants), dieticians and counsellors; a minimum of 2 years of professional experience is required. This training is held in German (except for non-German training staff). The next training starts in 2011/12; if interested please contact Günther Rathner (

The course is led by Prof. Günther Rathner (psychologist, psychotherapist, systemic family therapist, trainer of the Milan School of Family Therapy) and includes an international training staff of renowned experts on ED (e.g. Gerald Russell, Ulrike Schmidt, Bob Palmer, Walter Vandereycken, Martina de Zwaan, Andreas Karwautz).

Course Content:
  • Diagnostic criteria (DSM-IV, ICD-10)
  • Epidemiology of ED: prevalence, incidence, natural history
  • Risk factors for the development of ED
  • Guidelines for the treatment of ED (AN, BN, ED-NOS, BED)
  • The first contact with sufferers & carers
  • Ambivalence, "resistance" & treatment motivation
  • Which treatment is best? (self-help (groups), day hospital, out-patient vs. in-patient treatment)
  • Somatic aspects, emergencies
  • How to change ED symptoms? (weight gain, changes in eating behaviour)
  • Pharmacological treatment of ED
  • Binge Eating Disorder: diagnosis, epidemiology & treatment
  • Specific problems in treatment (body image, (physical & sexual) abuse, multi-impulsivity, co-morbidity, injury & self-mutilation etc.)
  • Aims of treatment
  • Denial of illness & "resistance": compulsory treatment (pros and cons)
  • Developmental aspects of ED
  • Self-help & stepped-care-approach, multi-disciplinary cooperation
  • High-risk groups for ED
  • Males & ED
  • Role & impact of families, relatives & partners
  • Family therapy & couples therapy
  • Different (psycho-)therapeutic schools vs. integrated psychotherapeutic approach
  • Course & prognosis of ED
  • Prevention of ED: high-risk vs. population-based approach
  • Basics of diagnosis & treatment of obesity.
Who can attend?
Clinical psychologists or psychotherapists (in education or registered), doctors & specialists (in education or approbated), nutritionist, dietician & nutritional & medical advisers etc...
Approved by
Austrian Association for Psychotherapy (ÖBVP) as advanced training for psychotherapists (psychotherapist for Eating Disorders); Austrian Medical Council (ÖAK) for General Medicine, Psychiatry, Internal Medicine, Social Medicine, Paediatrics; Austrian Association of Dieticians; Austrian Society on Eating Disorders (ASED); Austrian Association of Psychologists (BÖP).

Duration & Venue

Next course: ~ monthly weekend-blocks (exact dates on request)
Course I: 100 hours (6 weekend-blocks / Friday & Saturday)
Course II: 100 hours (6 weekend-blocks / Friday & Saturday)
Venue: Salzburg, Austria


Limited number of places
Language: German & English
Thesis and exams; Course Certificate.

Course led by

Günther Rathner, Ph.D., Professor of Psychological Medicine, Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics, Innsbruck Medical University, Dept. of Psychological Medicine & Psychotherapy.
Psychotherapist (Systemic Family Therapy, Client-centred Psychotherapy, Teaching Therapist of the Milan School of Systemic Family Therapy, Milan/Italy), Clinical Psychologist & Health Psychologist, Supervisor & Consultant for Eating Disorders Services. More than 25 years of experience in diagnosis, treatment and research of Eating Disorders in adolescents and adults. Founder and leader of the Eating Disorders Unit at the Dept. of Paediatrics, Leopold-Franzens-University of Innsbruck (1984-2002). Private Practice Zentrum für Essstörungen ", Innsbruck. Principal investigator in several research projects on Eating Disorders. Founder & president of the Austrian Network Eating Disorders, Innsbruck (since 1990); since 2000, President of the Austrian Society on Eating Disorders (ASED / ÖGES). Founding member of the European Council on Eating Disorders (ECED) and member of the Eating Disorders Research Society, USA (EDRS); member of the editorial board of "European Eating Disorders Review" & "Eating & Weight Disorders". Chairman and convenor of the annual International Congresses on Eating Disorders in Austria. Convenor & chairman of the 9th European Council on Eating Disorders (ECED) 2005, Innsbruck / Austria.

Training Staff

Leading international experts for the treatment of Eating Disorders:
Prof. Gerald Russell, Emeritus Prof. of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
Prof. Ulrike Schmidt, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK, Co-Leader des Eating Disorder Unit
Prof. Andreas Karwautz, Univ.Klinik für Kinder- & Jugendneuropsychiatrie, Wien
Prof. Martina de Zwaan, Univ.-Klinik f. Psychiatrie & Psychotherapie, Erlangen, Deutschland

For detailed information please contact

Prof. Günther Rathner, Ph.D.
Innsbruck Medical University
Dept. of Psychological Medicine & Psychotherapy
Templstraße 22
A-6020 Innsbruck
Telefon +43-512-57 60 26
Fax +43-512-58 36 54

Curriculum Registration form (doc)
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