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Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy


Head of Clinical Department

Prof. Dr. Christian Schmahl

Phone: +49 621 1703-4021

Fax: +49 621 1703-4005


K 3, 21, 3rd Floor, Room 314


Assistant: Sabine Irle-Bieker
Phone: +49 621 1703-4002 e-mail

K 3, 21, 3rd Floor, Room 312


The department focusses on the psychopathology of stress-associated disorders (in particular Borderline Personality Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) and psychotherapeutic interventions derived from a better understanding of mechanisms behind psychopathology. Our goal is a better understanding of disturbed emotion regulation and social interaction as well the influence of stress on cognitive processes. For this, we use methods of experimental psychopathology, i.e. modelling psychopathology in behavioral experiments and investigate them with neuroimaging, peripheral physiology , and neurochemical methods. An example of our work is the investigation of mechanisms behind non-suicidal self-injury, where we combine pain research with investigations of emotion regulation in conjunction with tissue injury.  This better understanding of disturbed mechanisms helps to develop new treatment interventions, e.g. neurofeedback based on real-time fMRI. A further focus of our research is the influence of psychotherapy with neurobiological methods, e.g. by investigating neural correlates of emotion regulation before and after psychotherapy.

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI) - https://www.zi-mannheim.de