After successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • to name and distinguish the subject matter, goals and tasks of psychosomatics and behavioral medicine respectively.
  • define and analyze concepts such as illness, illness processing and coping from a biopsychosocial, psychodynamic and learning theory perspective.
  • to describe the basics of central biological mechanisms of disease development.
  • describe and demonstrate the central diagnostic and measurement methods of psychosomatic and behavioral medicine.
  • to list both classical and current clinical pictures within the framework of psychosomatic and behavioral medicine and to describe treatment approaches using the example of individual typical clinical pictures.
  • describe psychosomatic and behavioral medicine approaches in the context of relevant medical specialties and apply them in the context of case studies.
Teaching contents
  1. Introduction to psychosomatics and behavioral medicine.
  2. Definition of terms, subject matter and delimitation from each other as well as delimitation from other fields such as psychiatry and psychotherapy
  • Disease and disease development
  • Risk of illness, experience of illness and coping with illness from a biopsychosocial perspective.
  • Illness due to conflict and developmental disorder, as learned behavior
  • Basics of biological mechanisms of disease development: central and autonomic nervous system, endocrine system, immune system, (epi-)genetic aspects
  • Diagnosis and measurement methods
  • Verbal and non-verbal information in the diagnostic interview
  • Problem and behavior analysis
  • Interviews, questionnaires, diaries, checklists
  • Structural diagnostics
  • Fields of application: Disease patterns, comorbidities and treatment approaches.
  • Psychosomatoses from a psychosomatic and behavioral medicine perspective (e.g. bronchial asthma, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, atopic eczema, rheumatoid arthritis).
  • Other clinical pictures (e.g. chronic pain, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, autoimmune diseases and HIV/Aids, obesity, diabetes mellitus)
  • Psychosomatic and behavioral medicine in various somatic specialties (e.g., general medicine, ophthalmology, surgery, dermatology, gynecology, ENT, internal medicine, orthopedics, pediatrics, urology, oncology)
  • Special techniques (e.g. relaxation techniques, biofeedback, catathym imaginative psychotherapy, hypnosis)
Teaching and learning methods

Attendance study: Seminar-style lecture, interactive development of content, exercises in the form of case studies, group work, role plays and casuistry, guest lectures, testing of diagnostic and intervention methods.

Self-study: Accompanying literature study, learning videos, online self-tests to check one’s own learning progress, learning tasks as individual or group tasks, exercises in the context of media-supported self-study.

Participation requirements

It is recommended to have successfully completed the following module:

  • Developmental Psychology (B-PW 6.1)
  • Biological Psychology (B-PW 5.3)
  • Basic Application Subject: Introduction to Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy (B-PWAB 1)
Requirements for the award of credits (all performances and forms of examination incl. their weighting for the module grade)

Students complete this module with a presentation. The presentation can also be prepared and presented in groups of two as specified by the teacher. The written paper in the form of a handout must be at least two pages long (max. four pages) and the presentation must last at least 20 minutes (max. 40 minutes). Two thirds of the grade of the presentation and one third of the grade of the written paper will be included in the module grade. Passing the presentation including the written elaboration is a prerequisite for the awarding of credits.

Usability oft he module

The application specialization Clinical Psychology is a compulsory elective module of the study program Psychology (B.Sc.). This specialization can also be used for the degree program in Business Psychology (B.Sc.).

This module is closely related to the modules Fundamentals of Test Theory and Psychological Diagnostics (B-PW 4.1), Diagnostic Procedures (B-PW 4.2), General Psychology I (B-PW 5.1) and II (B-PW 5.2), Biological Psychology (B-PW 5. 3), Developmental Psychology (B-PW 6.1), Personality and Differential Psychology (B-PW 6.2), Social Psychology (B-PW 6.3), and Application Subject Basic Introduction to Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy (B-PWAB 1).

Weight of the module grade for the final grade

5/169 ECTS- Points in the Psychology program (B.Sc.)