The Significance of Intercultural Psychotherapy in Further Education and Professional Training

  • Thomas Wenzel
  • Boris Drožđek
  • Anthony Fu Chen
  • Maria Kletecka-Pulker


The present, fast-moving process of globalisation, culture change, increased mobility and forced migration has led to a global challenge for mental health services, particularly psychotherapy. The significant cultural differences lead to a situation where the training in this specific field of healthcare must be substantially reconsidered. We understand the term “culture” to mean the specific and potentially dynamically changing respective backgrounds of client and psychotherapist, encompassing local culture, social background, religion, ethnicity, political, language, family and transgenerational background. Intercultural aspects of training are particularly relevant in the work with migrants and refugees, but also have relevance to the concepts of psychotherapy in general, and one should pay equal attention to the background of trainers and trainees. Learning psychotherapy in this context is to be seen as a “lifelong learning process” that should extend to post-graduate learning.


Psychotherapy Migrant Refugee Training Medical education Transcultural psychology Transcultural psychiatry 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Wenzel
    • 1
  • Boris Drožđek
    • 2
  • Anthony Fu Chen
    • 3
  • Maria Kletecka-Pulker
    • 4
  1. 1.World Psychiatric Association Scientific Section on Psychological Aspects of Torture and Persecution, and Medical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.PsyQ/Parnassia groepEindhovenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Ethics and the Law, Medical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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