How is the AP psychology exam

You can find information on the finalized direct study program in psychotherapy from September 1st, 2020 as well as on the training reform here.

Development of the training in "Psychological Psychotherapy"

After completing your studies (usually psychology), you can begin training as a psychological psychotherapist. Child and adolescent psychotherapists can also have studied pedagogy or social pedagogy in their basic occupation. The scope and structure of this postgraduate training is regulated in the Psychotherapists Act (PsychThG) and the Training and Examination Ordinance for Psychological Psychotherapists (PsychTh-APrV). The information listed here is a minimum requirement, i.e. there may be additional requirements depending on the institute and specialization area. In principle, the training can be completed full-time (3 years) or part-time (5 years). After successfully completing the apprenticeship and the final state examination, a license to practice as a psychological psychotherapist is required. Currently recognized guideline procedures are: psychoanalysis (AP), psychotherapy based on depth psychology (TP), systemic psychotherapy (SYS) and behavioral therapy (VT).

The training comprises a total of 4,200 hours and is divided into the following sections:

• Theory (600 hours)
• Practical activity 1 and 2 (1200 hours + 600 hours)
• Practical training (600 hours)
• Supervision (150 hours)
• Self-awareness (120 hours)
• Free peak (930 hours)


In parallel to your practical training, you will attend theoretical seminars in the evenings or at the weekend, for a total of at least 600 hours. Some training institutes have very tight timetables and pay close attention to compliance. Others offer more seminars than necessary, giving you a lot of freedom in your choice and design.

Practical activity 1 and 2

The largest and most difficult part of the training are the two practical activities (PT). The PT1 must be in a psychiatric Facility, usually a hospital. The PT2 is for the psychosomatic Area provided. Here, however, there are often larger options, sometimes day clinics, advice centers or assisted living groups are also recognized. Your training institute has a list of cooperation partners where you can do your PT. In individual cases you can look for a facility yourself and this (absolutely in front Beginning). In Berlin, where there are a large number of training institutes, the search for a PT position often takes longer (especially for PT1), so that a long lead time or even completing in another federal state seem advisable.
Another new feature is that PT 1 and PT2 can be completed in less than a year or 6 months, but must last at least 12 weeks.


At least 120 hours of self-awareness are required. In VT, these hours are often completed in a group setting (for example, on five weekend appointments spread over the entire training period or over several months on one evening per week). In psychotherapy, based on depth psychology, there is also individual self-experience, which usually has to be remunerated separately (approx. € 80 per hour). You can find out from your institute whether these costs are already included in your training fees. In psychoanalysis, trainees also have to do a so-called training analysis.

Practical training (ambulance)

After you have completed a certain number of PT hours (according to PsychThG at least 300 hours) and theory seminars, you can take the intermediate examination. This is organized differently from institute to institute. Sometimes it is more of a "collegial technical discussion", sometimes several examiners sit across from you and test your knowledge. Upon successful completion, you will receive a preliminary treatment permit. With this you can start your at least 600 hours of practical training (ambulance). Your treatment units are reimbursed by the health insurances, although the amount varies from institute to institute. The practical training is limited to a maximum of 800 hours and is accompanied by regular supervision (ratio 1: 4).


Your practical training is accompanied by at least 150 hours of supervision. Most of these hours take place in a group setting. The outpatient hours beyond the 600 “compulsory hours” must also be supervised in a ratio of 1: 4 (costs approx. € 80 per individual supervision). How many hours of supervision are already included in your monthly training fees depends on your institute.

Free tip

In addition to your training, you are required to complete at least 900 hours of “self-study” (= free tip). Some institutes have strict requirements (recorded learning groups, literature studies, additional seminars or the like), others leave the specific design to you and only ask for general evidence at the end.

Final examination (state examination)

At the end of your training there is the final exam, which is offered twice a year. The registration for the exam is submitted to the State Office for Health and Social Affairs (LaGeSo) (costs approx. 100 €). The examination consists of three parts: a written state examination (in keyword and multiple-choice format), an oral examination and the examination of your practical training (outpatient therapies). For the latter, you write your so-called case documentation (at least two long cases and, if necessary, up to four other shorter cases). You can find tips and information about the exam on our homepage in the section "Final exam (from PiA to PiA)“.

And then?

With the evidence of your completed training content and your exam grades, you contact the LaGeSo again. There you apply for your license to practice medicine (= treatment permit) and at the same time the specialist knowledge (your area of ​​specialization, i.e. VT, TP or AP), cost another approx. 140 €. Then it's first: Congratulations! You managed! You have come to a long, arduous journey and you should celebrate it urgently.

You can find out how to proceed afterwards on our homepage in the "After the license to practice medicine“.