I can only recommend the EFPT exchange in Hamm: it is amazing how much I could see within two weeks in the LWL-University Clinic for child and adolescent psychiatry!
Dr. Birkle came to pick me up at the train station and had already planned a perfect program taking into account what I was interested in and allowing me to see a wide range of activities and different stations they have to offer in the clinic. She was not the only one to be so welcoming: I felt expected and well surrounded everywhere I went in the clinic, where people seemed to work in perfect harmony. The program is under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Holtmann, that I met at the beginning and the end of the program.
The clinic itself is one of the biggest child and adolescent psychiatry clinics in Germany, and has a lot of means to handle and help patients: different kinds of stations (kids unit, eating disorder unit, drug abuse
unit, borderline…) and different kind of therapy and activities (“arbeitstherapy” (work therapy), ergo therapy, psychomotricity, animal therapy…) and also outpatient clinic, unit for diagnose testing…
I noticed a lot of differences from psychiatric hospitals in France, which were very inspiring: there is a clinic school next to the hospital, the patients had access to a lot of activities and were very active. I had the impression that
psychologists and psychiatrists were really working together, which was good and motivating for me!
I was in the clinic for two weeks and spent my time in a different place every day, and then I met with Dr. Birkle to talk about the experiences at the end of each day, which was enriching. She had also set a nice cultural program for me and we could (among other things) go for a nice expedition in Münster which is a very beautiful city near Hamm.
In conclusion, this exchange reached the main goal of the EFPT exchange: a real immersion in the other country, it allowed me to grasp the differences of the psychiatry curriculum in Germany, the difference of approach they had which seemed to be more preventive than in
France, and to discover all of the programs of therapy they offer… this was all very motivating for my future practice and I hope to import some of it to France!!
Written by Claire Le Men