EPA2024 Budapest, Hungary. 6 -9 April 2024.

EPA Courses

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EPA Courses

The European Congress of Psychiatry will serve the educational mission of the EPA by providing high-quality education courses, covering all aspects of psychiatry.

Each EPA Course is composed of two 90-minute sessions and will present advanced material on a chosen topic of practical relevance.


You can register for an EPA Course through the EPA Congress Registration System.

Registration for the EPA Courses is only for Congress participants and pre-registration for each course is required.

Space in each course is limited – register now to ensure a spot in your preferred course.

Take note: rates provided below exclude 27% VAT.

Courses (on-site only) 
Courses – Country APre-registration (early and regular fees)EUR 60,00
On-site registrationEUR 70,00
Courses – Country BPre-registration (early and regular fees)EUR 40,00
On-site registrationEUR 50,00


Click on the course title to view a detailed description.

Course material will be available in due time to the registered course participants.

Director: Prof. Takahiro Kato, Japan
Co-Director: Prof. Umberto Volpe, Italy

The growing digital technology use was associated with a parallel rise in web-based psychopatologies, mostly specifically accompanied by pathological social withdrawal and a new psychopathological affective entity (aka ‘modern type depression’). Indeed, a specific form of pathological social withdrawal, possibly related to digital addiction, has been first highlighted in Japan since 1990s: Hikikomori is a condition that mainly affects adolescents/young adults who live isolated from the world, cloistered within their parents’ homes, locked in their rooms for months/years, and refusing to communicate even with their family. Once described in Japan only, Hikikomori has been repeatedly reported to be spreading abroad due to globalization and internet society. The present course will provide the audience with practical and theoretical knowledge about hikikomori: 1) how to detect and assess hikikomori in clinical practice, based on the proposed international diagnostic criteria of pathological social withdrawal; 2) psychopathological features of Hikikomori in the European context, discussing the similarity and differences between Asian and European cases; 3) introducing bio-psycho-social intervention and novel therapeutic approach using digital tools such as communication robots and metaverse (avatar).

Director: Dr Mima Simic, United Kingdom
Co-Director: Dr Asilay Seker, United Kingdom

Background: Family focused therapy on eating disorders is an evidence based treatment option for eating disorders and is recommended as first line in many guidelines including the NICE guidelines. As eating disorders referrals have increased during and post-pandemic, it is important for clinicians to have at least a baseline understanding of systemic approaches for this patient group. >Course description/methods: In this course, Drs Mima Simic and Asilay Seker, will present the basic principles of systemic approaches in assessing and treating patients with eating disorders. The session will be interactive and employ small group discussions, case scenarios and role plays as is often used in systemic therapy teachings, as well as slides. >Target audience: Primarily psychiatrists and psychiatric trainees, but also clinicians from other disciplines with adequate knowledge/experience on eating disorders, who assess and treat eating disorders.

Director: Dr Thomas Gargot, France
Co-Director: Dr Jesper Nørgaard Kjær, Denmark

The methodology of scientific method can be sometimes difficult to understand and implement in psychiatry. Different tools exist to help this process by collecting and interpreting data but they can sometimes be quite expensive. Here we will present open source softwares that help to communicate but also randomize, collect, interpret and publish data. These tools can be easily reused and shared. That could improve validity and reproducibility of scientific research. In order to be interactive, we will involve the participants in the collection of the data of a prototypical scientific study, an international cake testing database! http://bit.ly/cakereport
We will see a study protocol and how we can pregister this protocol defining the primary outcome. Here what is the best cookie from 2 different brands?
We will discuss the issue of sample selection. Who will taste the cookies?
Limesurvey helps to run easy online surveys. What did you think about each characteristic of your cookie?
R helps to analyse and plot the data. What the mean score? How to plot the results? Is the difference significant?
GitHub helps to publish publicly or not our data and analysis script.
We can promote our work then on wikipedia and discuss what are the advantages and issues to promote your own work on wikipedia.

Director: Dr Nikolina Jovanovic, United Kingdom

Psychiatric hospitals are often poorly designed, which can contribute to violent incidents, patients’ complaints, and staff burnout. Little guidance is available how to transform hospitals into therapeutic environments. This course was created to teach the principles of hospital renovation and building.
The course will be organised in two 90-minute long parts.
The first part will be theoretical and will explore the impact of hospital built environment on patients, staff, and carers/visitors. We will discuss concepts such as therapeutic environment, salutogenesis;, and containment. Then we will show how to assess the quality of hospital built environment. Lastly, we will go through main steps of renovating, repurposing and building psychiatric facilities.
The second half of the workshop will be practical. Participants will be invited to share photos, plans, or descriptions of known problematic areas of their wards/hospitals. We will work as a group analyse and propose solutions. Next, participants will be split into three groups to look at interdisciplinary solutions for improving a) communal areas, b) nursing stations, and c) patient bedrooms.

Director: Prof. Rutger Jan van der Gaag, Netherlands
Co-Director: Dr Jan Wise, United Kingdom

Psychiatrists are all medical doctors. As such the World Medical Association Doctor’s Pledge (2017) is fundamental to their professional moral compass, as the Declaration of Helsinki (2015) is for their guidelines and scientific research. But for psychiatrists this is not comprehensive enough as solely they carry the onerous responsibilities of assessing patient’s capacity to make decisions, as well as making decisions about their liberty when they are a danger to themselves or society. The Code of Ethics of the European Psychiatric Association offers guidance to help psychiatrist when they are confronted with ethical questions and dilemmas.
In this course the specifics of medical ehtics will be reviewed as will the specifics in psychiatry ( breeching confidentiality – coercive measures – assessing someones capacity to decide…)
The course will furthermore include case discussions in which ehtical delemmas occured presented both by the directors as by the participants.

Director: Prof. Istvan Bitter, Hungary 
Co-Director: Prof. Matej Stuhec, Slovenia

This interactive, evidence-based course was originally designed for early carrier psychiatrists, however we experienced more interest from mid carrier colleagues in clinical practice. Based on the feedback from participants during the in person course this year we modified the content of the course: Short and long term treatment of schizophrenia with antipsychotics ; Dose response relationship of antipsychotic drugs : How to define the “right dose”? Is there a therapeutic window? The roll Therapeutic (plasma level) drug monitoring ; Different formulations of antipsychotics ; Comparative effectiveness of antipsychotics ; Pharmacological treatment of negative symptoms in schizophrenia ; The role of antipsychotics and other drugs in the management of agitation, suicidal and violent behavior in schizophrenia ; Partial response and treatment resistance: Antipsychotic monotherapy vs. switching to polypharmacy or clozapine treatment ; Length of antipsychotic treatment in schizophrenia; how to discontinue antipsychotic treatment
; Antipsychotic treatment in the elderly: schizophrenia and psychosis related to dementia ; Management of the most frequent side effects and drug-drug interactions during treatment with antipsychotics

Director: Dr Gabriela Stoppe, Switzerland
Co-Director: Dr Filip Bouckaert, Belgium

Affective disorders are the most common neuropsychiatric disorders in the elderly and often unrecognized and untreated. Compared to other age groups, there are differences in risk factors, symptomatology, comorbidity, differential diagnosis and treatment.
In this course, we will give a clear summary for daily work with elderly patients. We present epidemiology and risk factors of affective disorders in the elderly . Diagnosis will be discussed with special focus on the differential diagnosis to grief, dementia, delirium and anxiety disorders. Sleep problems and suicidality will deserve special attention. Regarding therapy relevant modifications of psychoactive drug therapy and psychological therapies will be presented with references to recent guidelines and studies. The different types of psychotherapy for elderly (schema based therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy) will be discussed. We also discuss different neuromodulation therapies and exercise. The management in the presence of physical disability or in special settings requires tailored interventions. Case vignettes regarding diagnosis and therapy are discussed.

Director: Prof. Sandra Kooij, Netherlands
Co-Director: Prof. Toni Ramos-Quiroga, Spain
Co-Director: Dr Dora Wynchank, Netherlands

The annual course by the NDAL section at EPA on Assessment and Treatment of Adult ADHD consists of the latest news about:

1. Neurobiology of Adult ADHD and prevalence in different age and gender groups
2. Assessment of symptoms, impairment and consequences of ADHD and comorbidities in adults
3. Psychiatric and somatic comorbidities and differential diagnosis
4. Order of Treatment of ADHD and comorbidities with psychological and psychopharmacological interventions

Director: Prof. Gil Zalsman, Israel
Co-Director: Dr Carmen Moreno, Spain

Prof. Gil Zalsman and Prof. Carmen Moreno will discuss in an interactive and active course the current updates in mood disorders diagnosis and treatment in children and adolescents. Thew course will start with Prof. zalsman discussing etiology, classification and diagnosis of depression from early childhood to adolelcens. Then the updated practice parametrts and clinical guildince including psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy will be presented and discussed. Then Prof. Moreno will do the same for bipolar disorder including severs mood dysregulation concept and the new data on the efficacy of atypical antipsychotics for this cases. All discussion will be interactive and live with slides, videos, case studies and small groups discussion snd debates. We will also practice interview techniques with the suicidal adoscent. New research data will be presented but the main focus is clinical.

Director: Dr Antoni Gual, Spain
Co-Director: Dr Pilar Lusilla, Spain

Motivational interviewing is defined as a patient-centered approach that guides people to behaviour change through the resolution of their ambivalence. This approach has become the golden standard to manage addictions. Different meta-analysis, have demonstrated its moderate but robust effect in improving both adherence to treatment and addictive behaviours. Brief interventions have proven its efficacy in primary health settings, to help patients reduce their drug use, specially concerning alcohol and tobacco. Motivational adaptations of those brief counselling interventions have been developed and tested in recent years. In this course, attendees will receive training on how to use brief motivational interventions (BMI) with patients suffering addictive disorders in the Emergency Room. The course will address the following topics: How to identify which clinical situations are, and are not, suitable for a brief intervention ; Key elements of a successful brief motivational intervention ; Barriers (and how to overcome them) to deliver BMI in the Emergency Room ; Elements that influence adherence to treatment and successful referral ; Review of the existing scientific evidence.

Director: Dr David Okai, United Kingdom
Co-Director: Dr Ivan Koychev, United Kingdom

Neuropsychiatry sits between the fields of neurology and psychiatry and deals with the psychiatric manifestations of psychiatric disorders. Due to the division of psychiatry and neurology in the past century and the complexity in the management of neuropsychiatric disorders psychiatrists may lack consistent experience with this speciality. The conditions include among others neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy and non-epileptic seizures, head injury and movement disorders.

The first part of the course will aim to provide participants with an overview of the general approach to neuropsychiatric diagnosis, and management. The second half of the course will deal with practical applications to four conditions encountered in neuropsychiatric practice. Firstly we will provide an overview of the current developments in the diagnosis of neuroanatomy and psychiatric manifestations. Secondly, we will review the psychiatric manifestations of epilepsy and the aetiology and management of non-epileptic seizures. Thirdly, we will discuss the psychiatric complications of movement disorders and Parkinson’s disease in particular. Finally, we will provide an overview of the neuropsychiatrist’s role in the assessment and management of acute and chronic effects of head injury.

Director: Prof. Andrea Fiorillo, Italy
Co-Director: Dr Sophia Frangou, United States

Scientific research is essential in improving care of patients with mental health problems. European Psychiatry is the official journal of the European Psychiatric Association and is published since 1986 with the aim to improve the lives of patients with psychiatric disorders and to promote professional excellence through education and research. The course will provide essential information on how to write and successfully publish a paper in European Psychiatry. The teachers of the course are the two editors of the journal who will actively interact with participants in order to improve their writing skills. In particular, during the course, participants will be invited to discuss their experience with scientific journals and will be provided with practical suggestions on how to write good papers. Participants will be guided through the journey of publication from the hypothesis-based approach to Editor’s expectations until acceptance of manuscripts.

Director: Dr Lionel Cailhol, Canada
Co-Director: Dr Rémy Klein, France

The guidelines for treating Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) emphasize the significance of psychotherapy as an effective treatment. However, a significant proportion of BPD patients face barriers to accessing psychotherapy, such as unavailability of treatment or a lack of motivation to pursue it. Additionally, even for those who do access psychotherapy, the dropout rate can be high and the efficacy moderate.
This course aims to review practical strategies that can enhance the outcomes for BPD patients, regardless of their access to psychotherapy. Firstly, we will discuss efficient ways to diagnose the disorder, provide psychoeducation to patients, and establish a crisis plan. Secondly, we will explore methods of treating coexisting clinical conditions such as addiction, PTSD, depressive disorder, and ADHD, and examine common medical issues prevalent in this population. Additionally, we will highlight the potential benefits of lifestyle medicine, including improving nutrition, sleep, and physical activity, and discuss the role of psychopharmacologic treatments.

Director: Prof. Merete Nordentoft, Denmark

The there is strong scientific evidence for the effectiveness a range of outcomes of early intervention services in first episode psychosis in schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Early Intervention Services are characterized by comprehensive, multi-modal and phase-specific treatment of first-episode psychosis, modified to suit the needs of this patient population, including intensive/assertive case management and family involvement.
In this course, the evidence for Early Intervention Services will be presented together with the principles and rationale for involving families.
The format of psychoeducational multifamily groups will be explained in detail.
Participants will be involved actively with polls, and in a physical course, participants will train the problem solving live. We have very good experiences with this format.

Director: Dr Richard Summers, United States
Co-Director: Prof. Jacques Barber, United States

This pragmatically-oriented course will help clinicians provide evidence-based psychodynamic therapy to a wide range of appropriate patients. By providing a clear and consistent model connected to evidence and technique, we simplify and clarify the psychodynamic approach and help clinicians provide state-of-the-art treatment.
The course will focus on change in psychodynamic therapy. What are the mechanisms of change that allow patients to feel and function more adaptively, and what are the strategies of change we employ as therapists to promote change in patients? The course will review new empirical evidence that helps to understand the change process and illustrate clinical applications of these findings.
The faculty are international and include clinicians and researchers. The goal of the course is to bring new evidence on psychotherapeutic change to bear in the real world clinical setting.
Video clips of therapy with participant discussion about technique, and a group exercise on defining the core psychodynamic problem of a presented patient will make for a highly engaging learning experience.
The faculty for the course are: Richard F. Summers, MD, Jacques P. Barber, PhD, and Sigal Zilcha-Mano PhD.