Psychotherapy and Social Neuroscience Research Unit
Section of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy
- Dr. Matthias Reinhard, M.Sc.
- Dr. Richard Musil
- Dr. Aline Übleis
- PD Dr. Eva Hoch
- PD Dr. Andrea Jobst-Heel
- Prof. Dr. Frank Padberg
Our research focuses primarily on improving our understanding and treatment of complex affective disorders, in particular therapy-resistant or persistent depressive disorder (PDD), borderline personality disorder (BPD) and trauma-related disorders. Currently, we are running studies scrutinising psychological (trauma, attachment, loneliness, paranoia, resilience) and neurobiological factors (oxytocin, genetics, epigenetics) involved in the aetiology and maintenance of these disorders. For instance, we are conducting standardized behavioural experiments (e.g., ostracism/social exclusion) to better understand the interpersonal difficulties our patients often present with and which negatively affect their psychological well-being, quality of life and psychosocial functioning. As such, we modulate potential pathomechanisms such as the effect of the oxytocin system on both the experience of social exclusion and the capacity for social conflict resolution.
Further, we are testing the effects of state-of-the-art and novel psychotherapeutic approaches for these patient groups (Cognitive Behavioural Analysis System of Psychotherapy, CBASP; Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, DBT). As part of our studies, we are collecting clinical and biological data to make inferences on potential mechanisms and predictors of psychotherapeutic effects (e.g., changes in the oxytocin system at the genetic, epigenetic and physiological levels before and after psychotherapy). In addition, we are developing and investigating psychotherapeutic techniques to support patients’ abilities to use messenger-based communication. Finally, a large multicentre randomised controlled trial is currently prepared investigating different psychotherapies in the treatment of PDD (CBASP vs. Behavioural Activation, BA).
Main areas of interest:
Psychotherapy of complex affective disorders (persistent depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder, trauma-related disorders)
- Interpersonal experience and behaviour
- Social exclusion / Social rejection / Ostracism / Social conflict resolution
- Psychosocial impact of the COVID-19-pandemic
- Messenger-based communication
- Psychoneuroendocrinology: Effects of Oxytocin on social interactions
- Genetics and epigenetics of response to psychotherapy
Interpersonal behavior and experience of patients with chronic depression or borderline personality disorder: Examining the long-term effectiveness of disorder-specific psychotherapy regarding biological (oxytocin), (epi-)genetic and clinical variables
Naturalistic study to assess clinical and biological predictors, mediators and moderators of 10-week disorder-specific psychotherapy (CBASP, DBT)
- Sponsor: LMU Klinikum
- Registration: DRKS00019821
CHANGE-PDD: Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) vs. Behavioral Activation (BA) in persistently depressed treatment-resistant inpatients: Efficacy, moderators, and mediators of change
Randomized multicenter trial to compare CBASP conducted over 16 weeks (acute and continuation treatment) with BA (same dose and duration) in PDD inpatients with treatment resistance regarding efficacy, moderators and mediators of change
- Funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
- Start: March 2021
NEAR-Corona-Study: My network, the others and resilience
Study to better understand the psychosocial impact of the current corona pandemic in psychiatric inpatients and individuals from the general population
- Sponsor: LMU Klinikum
MEHIRA: Mental Health in Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Multicenter randomized controlled trial to evaluate a stepped and collaborative care model for the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers with affective disorders
- Funded by the Innovationsfond and German Ministry of Health and carried out in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Malek Bajbouj, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
- Evaluation of interpreter-assisted Empowerment group interventions for refugees and asylum seekers with depressive symptoms in our MEHIRA consultation hour, which is integrated in the outpatient department
Study recruitment / Studienrekrutierung:
For our psychotherapy studies, we are constantly recruiting patients with PDD and non-psychiatric participants (German language required). Please refer to our flyer for more information. Furthermore, we invite you to participate in our NEAR Corona study.
Für unsere Psychotherapie-Studien suchen wir kontinuierlich Patient*innen mit chronischer Depression, Patient*innen mit Borderline Persönlichkeitsstörung und nicht-psychiatrische Kontroll-Proband*innen. Weitere Informationen entnehmen Sie bitte dem Flyer. Auch für unsere NEAR-Corona-Umfrage suchen wir noch Teilnehmer*innen.
Here you can find an overview of our key publications:
Dynamics of the immediate behavioral response to partial social exclusion (2020)
Julia F. Dewald-Kaufmann, Torsten Wüstenberg, Barbara B. Barton, Stephan Goerigk, Matthias A. Reinhard, Richard Musil, Jana Werle, Peter Falkai, Andrea Jobst, Frank Padberg. Scientific reports (in press)
Loneliness, social isolation and their difference: A cross-diagnostic study in persistent depressive disorder and borderline personality disorder (2020)
Tabea Nenov-Matt, Barbara B. Barton, Julia Dewald-Kaufmann, Stephan Goerigk, Stephanie Rek, Katharina Zentz, Richard Musil, Andrea Jobst, Frank Padberg, Matthias A. Reinhard. Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.608476
Psychosocial support during the COVID-19 pandemic: interdisciplinary concept of care at a university hospital (2020) - Psychosoziale Unterstützung während der COVID-19-Pandemie: interdisziplinäres Versorgungskonzept an einem Universitätsklinikum
Matthias A. Reinhard, Gerrit Burkhardt, Fabienne Grosse-Wentrup, Daniela Eser-Valerie, Friederike H. A. Mumm, Bernhard Barnikol-Oettler, Claudia Bausewein, Michael von Bergwelt-Baildon, Matthias Klein, Peter Falkai, Karl-Walter Jauch, Kristina Adorjan, Frank Padberg, Eva Hoch. Der Nervenarzt, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00115-020-01014-8
The vicious circle of social exclusion and psychopathology: a systematic review of experimental ostracism research in psychiatric disorders (2019)
Matthias A. Reinhard, Julia Dewald-Kaufmann, Torsten Wüstenberg, Richard Musil, Barbara B. Barton, Andrea Jobst, Frank Padberg. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00406-019-01074-1
Oxytocin plasma levels predict the outcome of psychotherapy: A pilot study in chronic depression (2018)
Andrea Jobst, Lena Sabaß, Deborah Hall, B. Brücklmeier, Anna Buchheim, J. Hall, Nina Sarubin, Peter Zill, Peter Falkai, Eva-Lotta Brakemeier, Frank Padberg. Journal of Affective Disorders, 227, 206-213. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2017.10.037
Effects of social exclusion on emotions and oxytocin and cortisol levels in patients with chronic depression (2015)
Andrea Jobst, Lena Sabass, Anja Palagyi, Christine Bauriedl-Schmidt, Maria Christine Mauer, Nina Sarubin, Anna Buchheim, Babette Renneberg, Peter Falkai, Peter Zill, Frank Padberg. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 60, 170-177. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.11.001
Social Exclusion Leads to Divergent Changes of Oxytocin Levels in Borderline Patients and Healthy Subjects (2014)
Andrea Jobst, Anna Albert, Christine Bauriedl-Schmidt, Maria Christine Mauer, Babette Renneberg, Anna Buchheim, Lena Sabass, Peter Falkai, Peter Zill, Frank Padberg Psychotherapy Psychosomatics, 83, 252–254. https://10.1159/000358526
Barbara Barton, M.Sc.
- Sabrina Boger, M.Sc.
- Prof. Dr. Julia Dewald-Kaufmann (Hochschule Fresenius München)
- Kai Fischer, MD
- Dr. rer. nat. Dipl.-Psych. Fabienne Grosse-Wentrup
- Prof. Dr. Lena Sabaß (Hochschule Fresenius München)
- Stephan Goerigk, M.Sc.
- Franziska Konvalin, M.Sc.
- Tabea Nenov-Matt, MD
- Stephanie Rek, M.Sc.
- Felix Segger, MD
- Ann-Sophie Störmann, M.Sc.
- Michael Strupf, M.Sc.
- Maren Wiechers, M.Sc.
- Doctoral students and psychology students
- Research Group Mental Health and Infectious Diseases (Head: PD Dr. Kristina Adorjan)
- Prof. Dr. Eva-Lotta Brakemeier (Philipps University Marburg, Germany)
- Prof. Dr. Anna Buchheim (Universität Innsbruck, Austria)
- Dr. Torsten Wüstenberg (Charité Berlin, Germany)
- Prof. Dr. Katja Bertsch, Prof. Dr. Thomas Ehring, Prof. Dr. Markus Bühner (LMU Munich, Germany)
- PD Dr. Stephanie Witt (Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany)
We are happy to invite psychology students (at an advanced level) to apply for a research internship with us at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University Hospital Munich, Germany. For your internship, we can offer you a placement at a renowned, multidisciplinary University hospital, the opportunity to participate in our scientific curriculum (including attending seminars and congresses), and will provide excellent experience in our clinical care. Resulting from the diversity of collected data in the research group, you will have the opportunity to conduct a research internship project based on established projects or your own ideas if feasible. We are happy to discuss potential projects with you to suit your specific interests. Students are encouraged and supported to write for international scientific journals in English (i.e., publishing their research project / master thesis).
From our side, we are happy to host national and international students. Because of potential interactions with patients, however, basic German language skills are necessary. If you are interested in joining our projects for your internship, send us your CV and get in contact via email: