Psychiatry of the 21st Century: Context, Controversies and Commitment

You can look forward to an excellent scientific programme with renowned speakers from all over the world. Under the theme “Psychiatry of the 21st Century: Context, Controversies and Commitment” the WPA XVII WORLD CONGRESS OF PSYCHIATRY will consider all relevant mental disorders and take a close look at current developments in prevention, diagnostics, therapy and rehabilitation. 

This World Congress offers an ideal opportunity to take stock of the state of psychiatry in the early part of the 21st century and share the vision and future direction of exciting developments in the field. In addition to focussing on new developments in research and clinical practice the congress will consider the human rights of people with mental illnesses and the German tradition of psychopathology.

The scientific programme will appeal to both national and international professional audiences by offering numerous events in German in addition to its many English language offerings. The language of each event is indicated in the programme.

Main topics

  • Comorbidity of mental and physical diseases
  • Psychiatry and society
  • Prevention of mental illnesses and promotion of mental health
  • German tradition of psychopathology, psychopathology of new diseases worldwide, classification

Opening Ceremony
8 October 2017 | 17:30–18:30
followed by a Networking Reception

Closing Ceremony
12 October 2017 | 12:00–13:00

Diverse programme formats

Keynote Lectures

Duration: 60 min.

The Keynote Lectures feature world-renowned speakers. These invited experts will talk on a main topic of the congress (about 40 minutes). Afterwards the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Presidential Symposia

Duration: 90 min.

The Presidential Symposia, chaired by the WPA President, include events that take a special approach to expand on and develop the main topics of the congress.

State-of-the-art Symposia

Duration: 90 min.

State-of-the-art Symposia on the most important mental illnesses provide a complete update on some significant aspects of current clinical treatments in psychiatry.

Pro-con Debates

Duration: 90 min.

In these moderated discussion formats, experts debate controversial issues regarding diagnosis, clinical history and care of people with mental illness.
A chairperson moderates whilst two speakers (proponent/opponent) offer a lively and fruitful discussion.

Discussion Forum

Duration: 90 min.

A Discussion Forum starts with short statements by 4 to 6 experts. These statements are followed by a moderated discussion.


Duration: 90 min.

The WPA 2017 Programme Committee invites groups and individuals to submit proposals for sessions (i.e. Section Symposia, Zonal Symposia, Regular Symposia and Workshops).
All proposals must be submitted via the online submission form. Each symposium will focus on specific topics of basic, clinical, interface and conceptual issues in psychiatry and represent several points of view. The symposia include a maximum of four presentations and offer an opportunity for discussion.

WPA Section Symposia

Duration: 90 min.

Proposals for WPA Section Symposia are to be submitted on behalf of a WPA Section.

Intersectional Symposia

Duration: 90 min.

These symposia are designed to generate a discussion and intellectual exchange about the benefits of “intersectional” approaches.

Joint Symposia with NGOs, Service Users and Family Carers

Duration: 90 min.

WPA supports the exchange, collaboration and trialogue with NGOs, global organisations and patient and family associations through diverse joint initiatives and events. These sessions promote communication and networking between all involved parties.

Zonal Symposia

Duration: 90 min.

Proposals are to be submitted on behalf of a WPA Zone.


Duration: 90 min.

Workshops are highly interactive sessions with an educational focus. This format is designed to give experts a platform for presentation and networking and to initiate a lively discussion. The workshops consist of 1 or 2 short presentations followed by a round table discussion of at least 45 minutes.


Duration: 4 hours

These sessions present the current state of the art and recent advances in clinically relevant topics. Courses are designed to provide a learning experience. The number of participants is limited. Attendees will be given the opportunity to interact with the faculty of the course, which is composed of well-known experts.

Oral Presentations

Duration: 10 min.

Oral presentations will be selected by the Scientific Committee. They will be grouped by topics into 90-minute sessions chaired by specialists. Each presentation will be 10 minutes long, including discussion time.

Poster Presentations/ePosters

Duration: 5 min.

Accepted posters will be exhibited at the congress and presented in guided tours of thematically grouped posters. The guided poster tours will be chaired by renowned specialists and give authors the opportunity to present their findings and discuss them with the audience.

Guidelines for Poster and ePoster Presentations can be found here.

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Scientific Visits

Explore places of psychiatry-historical significance

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