This course provides a general introduction to the theoretical basis and practical approach to issues of psychology of health and health behavior change. It therefore follows two different paths to explain and explore human health issues in order to identify effective methods to enhance the general and individual quality of life.
On the one hand main concepts of Health psychology will be introduced and connected to the question of how healthy or unhealthy Austrians in European and in international comparison live and which specific health issues can be promoted by public health policies. The symptoms and interventions concerning specific health behaviors and illness experiences will build the core of the course.
On the other hand students will be given an overview on communication models and counseling guidelines before undertaking practical training through role-playing within class and analyzing best practice videos. They will learn main communication skills as how to explore, counsel and intervene effectively by respecting and improving clients' health/y resources. The importance of Clinician-Patient-Communication for any health behavior change will be addressed.
The course will include field trips to institutions of public health care and counseling.