Klinische Psychologie





Main Research Interests

Prof. Dr. Thomas Ehring

The main research interests of our group are (1) the etiology and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and (2) the role of transdiagnostic processes (e.g. repetitive negative thinking; emotion regulation; childhood trauma; sleep and sleep disorders; information processing biases) in the maintenance of emotional disorders.
In our research, we strive for an integration experimental psychopathology research on the one hand and the development and empirical evaluation of novel interventions on the other hand.


Prof. Dr. Katja Bertsch

We are interested in clinical research concerning psychoneuroendocrinological and neurobiological principles of (1) social interaction and emotions as well as (2) interoceptive processes and integration, as well as their relation to psychopathology.
As many psychological disorders, such as borderline personality disorder, or social phobia, elicit dysfunctional cognitions of themselves and others, we aim to disentangle specific psychological and neurobiological aspects of social- and self-perception and -processing to further characterize and ameliorate multidisciplinary interventions of these disorders. In our research, we combine experimental psychopathology research with psychoneuroendocrinological methods (stress-, sex- and attachment-specific hormones), functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging as well as psychophysiology (ECG, EEG, EMG and Eyetracking).

Research Projects

Childhood Trauma as a Transdiagnostic Risk Factor for Psychopathology

Our group is currently conducting a series of studies investigating psychological mediators between childhood trauma and psychopathology in adulthood, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Major Depression, and Substance Use Disorder.
In collaboration with Prof. Dr. Corinna Reck, we are additionally investigating characteristics of parent-child interactions in survivors of childhood trauma. more

Cognitive Biases and Cognitive Bias Modification Across Different Types of Psychopathology

We use behavioral measures to assess and modify cognitive biases on the basis of response time and accuracy. Studies include (a) the assessment of latent aggression and perfectionism in obsessive-compulsive disorder and major depression using implicit association tests, (b) parameterization of attention bias in the dot-probe task, (c) the assessment of different cognitive biases in PTSD, and (d) the investigation of the efficacy and working mechanisms of CBM. more

Cognitive Control as a Transdiagnostic Risk Factor for Psychopathology

Our research focuses on the role of individual differences in cognitive control for the development and maintenance of mental disorders (e.g., PTSD or affective disorders), deficits in emotion regulation and repetitive negative thinking. Therefore, we conduct analogue studies, use transcranial direct current stimulation and conduct clinical studies in different patient groups. more

Computational modeling of pessimistic future views in individuals with depressive symptoms: dynamics in affective forecasts

The focus of the proposed project is to (a) model process details in generating negative affective forecasts by using computational modeling and (b) systematically test individual differences in these forecasting processes linked to depressive symptoms. more

Culturally-Adapted Psychotherapy for Refugees (ReCAP)

Culturally-Adapted Psychotherapy for Refugees (ReCAP). more

Website: http://project-recap.de/


The ECoWeB project aims to develop, evaluate, and disseminate a comprehensive mobile web-based application (app) to ubiquitously assess deficits in three major components of Emotional Competence (production, regulation, and knowledge). more

Effectiveness research in crisis intervention (Psychosoziale Notfallversorgung für Betroffene, PSNV-B)

For about three decades crisis intervention teams have been supporting people immediately after psychologically stressful events such as a death in the family or a serious accident. At a first glance this kind of support for people with acute mental distress seems important and helpful, but so far there is a lack of reliable scientific studies on the effectiveness of such support services. more

Effects and Working Mechanisms of Imagery Rescripting

Imagery Rescripting (ImRs) is a promising therapeutic technique for the treatment of several psychological disorders that are associated with aversive emotional memories. The major goal of our research is to gain deeper understanding of the working mechanisms underlying ImRs as well as on the effects of ImRs in different psychological disorders. more

Körperwahrnehmung bei Borderline-Persönlichkeitsstörung

Körperwahrnehmung bei Borderline-Persönlichkeitsstörung
Veränderungen in der interozeptiven Körperwahrnehmung als Mediator zwischen traumatischen Kindheitserlebnissen und emotionaler Dysregulation: Untersuchung neurophysiologischer und psychologischer Mechanismen.

Network approaches to psychopathology

Our group is currently conducting different studies aiming to investigate network approach for PTSD, anxiety, worry, and repetitive negative thinking. The main aim of our research is to explore network analysis as a tool for individualization of psychological treatment. more

Psychosoziale Entwicklungseinflüsse der Borderline-Persönlichkeitsstörung: Eine internationale, multizentrische Online-Studie

Bei der Entstehung der Borderline-Persönlichkeitsstörung wird in neueren Ansätzen ein Zusammenhang zwischen traumatischen Erlebnissen und interozeptiver Körperwahrnehmung diskutiert, bei denen der Interozeption eine mediierende Rolle im Zusammenhang zwischen Kindheitstraumta und emotionaler Dysregulation als Hauptsymptom der BPD zukommt. Bislang fehlen allerdings empirische Bezüge zu anderen Kernbereichen der BPD (wie z.B. instabiles Selbstbild, innere Leere und zwischenmenschliche Beziehungsschwierigkeiten). Diese Zusammenhänge sollen im Rahmen dieses Forschungsprojektes genauer exploriert werden. mehr

Perfectionism as a Transdiagnostic Process for Psychopathology

We are interested in the role of perfectionism as a risk and maintaining factor across different mental disorders. In a current research project, we test the causality and specificity of possible pathways from perfectionism to psychopathology (i.e., OCD and eating disorders). Studies include (a) a longitudinal assessment of perfectionism, possible moderators, and symptoms over the course of 12 months, to understand the role of perfectionism as a risk factor across disorders while accounting for moderating variables; and (b) experimental studies which induce moderators (responsibility and body dissatisfaction) to test causality and determine why one type of pathology develops over another. more

Refugees, Forced Migration and Intercultural Therapy

In close cooperation with Refugio München - treatment center for traumatized refugees and torture survivors - we investigate the consequences of forced migration and traumatic experiences in refugees. Based on these results we develop and evaluate intercultural therapy modules. Currently we are focusing on emotion regulation and transdiagnostic culture-sensitive treatment methods for traumatized refugees. more

The Relationship between Social Cognition and Neural Function in Psychopathology

Many psychiatric disorders depict dysfunctional characteristics with regard to social functioning. Although there is extensive literature on social cognition, research concerning learning processes of social abilities and neural systems that support social behavior is limited. Identifying these deficits may allow for interventions and treatment opportunities in patient groups.

The Role of Trauma-Related Sleep Disturbances in PTSD

Sleep disturbances are one of the main symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This project investigates different aspects of sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, nightmares as well as related psychological factors like fear of sleep, in people with and without PTSD. more