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RG Experimental Psychotherapy


Nikolaus Kleindienst

Phone: +49 621 1703-4422

Fax: +49 621 1703-4405


C4, 11, 4. OG

68159 Mannheim


The RG is mainly focusing on the development and improvement of psychotherapeutic interventions. This includes research on basic neural and psychological mechanisms, mediators, moderators, outcome and dissemination. In order to concentrate the small resources, the RG closely cooperates with the other three RGs and focuses on psychiatric disorders related to emotion dysregulation. Within the last five years we have developed and evaluated (DFG STE 1818) a residential treatment program for patients with PTSD after childhood sexual abuse, resulting in high treatment response rates with large effect sizes. Currently this is the first treatment worldwide for this group of patients. Regarding basic mechanisms, the WG is closely linked to the SFB 636, studying the impact of dissociation on emotional learning, and the interaction of the HPA system with memory retrieval. Of further importance is the cooperation with the National Cancer Centre (NCT), Heidelberg “Physical Exercise Training and Relaxation in Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation (PETRA-Study)” funded by the José Carreras Foundation R10/42pf. Here we studied the impact and mechanisms of physical exercise interventions on mental behavior and survival rates after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in cancer patients. The highly promising results of the first funding period resulted in an ongoing large multicenter-trial.

Current and future projects: As already mentioned above, the RG is currently running the BMBF funded collaborative research project RELEASE, which evaluates outcome, mediators, moderators and neural consequences of the newly developed treatment for PTSD related to childhood sexual abuse under outpatient conditions. In the frame of the KFO 256 the RG is developing a DBT treatment module “training in social interaction” for patients with BPD. The collaborative project with the NCT (see above) is currently continued, resulting in a total of 250 patients participating in a RCT comparing the impact of physical exercise with standard physical care on the survival rates after hematopoietic stemm cell transplantation.

The RG is part of the Centre of Competence in Psychotherapy Baden-Württemberg, funded by the Innovation Fond Medicine, Baden-Württemberg. Another important field is the development of didactics in communicative competence for medical students. The RG has risen funding by the Ministry of Science and Arts Baden-Württemberg.

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