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Education & 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.

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

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


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

Course led by

  • Günther Rathner: Ph.D., University Professor, Innsbruck, Medical University, Dept. of Psychological Medicine & Psychotherapy, Schöpfstrasse 23, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
    University Professor of Medical Psychology, Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics; 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. Over 25 years of experience in diagnosis, treatment and research of Eating Disorders for adolescents and adults. Founder and leader of the Eating Disorders Unit at the Dept. of Paediatrics, Leopold-Franzens-University of Innsbruck (1984-2002), presently at the Dept. of Psychological Medicine & Psychotherapy, Innsbruck Medical University. Private Practice "Zentrum für Essstörungen", Innsbruck. Principal investigator in several research projects on Eating Disorders. Founder & president of the Network Eating Disorders in 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 (in 2005 13th meeting). Initiator & head of the approbated post-gradual training Curriculum "Treatment of Eating Disorders" since 2000 (first German language professional training course on eating disorders). Convenor & chairman of the IXth General Meeting of the 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 detailled information please contact

Prof. Günther Rathner, Ph.D.
Innsbruck Medical University
Dept. of Psychological Medicine & Psychotherapy
Templstraße 22
6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Phone +43-512-57 60 26
Fax +43-512-58 36 54

Curriculum Registration form (doc)