Building a bridge between basic research and psychotherapy research

Our aim is to bridge the gap between basic psychological research and clinical practice to improve the treatment of individuals with mental disorders.

We use a plethora of bio-behavioral methods to investigate psychological processes, e.g. emotion regulation or inhibitory control in individuals with mental disorders. Based on our findings we are dedicated to translate them into targeted, innovative or optimized psychotherapeutic interventions.

Our main research focus are processes relevant in emotional disorders and eating disorders. Still, all these processes might be relevant for other mental disorders as well, as most of these processes are present in a transdiagnostic manner.

As most of us work in clinical context, as well, our work is influenced by the challenges we are confronted with in psychotherapies with our patients.


  • +++ Funding approval by the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Foundation for the project "What works best and for whom? - Optimization of exposure treatment and predictors for treatment response" +++ 

    +++ Quick Reminder: German Psychotherapy Congress on May 10 - 13, 2023 in Berlin. Our contributions at a glance:
    E. Schrammen - Poster presentation: May 10 from 6 p.m. onwards.
    L. Leehr - Symposium: May 11, 2023 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
    J. Böhnlein - Lecture: May 11 from 5 pm to 6:30 pm +++

    +++ Research Stay University of Melbourne: We welcome back our colleague, Elisa, from her 2,5-month research stay in Australia. We thank Prof Ben Harrison and Dr Alec Jamieson at the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre for welcoming her to their team and the successful collaboration! Check out the project’s preregistration on OSF: +++

  • More News

    +++ First Patient In: The PACE study started on 01.02.2023 with the first participant. Further information about the project and participation at: +++

    +++ Poster at the German Psychotherapy Congress by Elisabeth Schrammen: "Optimizing Exposure Therapy for Treatment Non-Responders" +++

    +++ Presentation at the German Psychotherapy Congress by Joscha Böhnlein on May 11, 2023 from 5 pm to 6:30 pm: "Lack of evidence for predictive utility of resting state fMRI data for individual exposure-based cognitive behavioral therapy outcomes: a machine learning study in two large multi-site samples in anxiety disorders" +++

    +++ Symposium at the German Psychotherapy Congress by Lisa Leehr on May 11, 2023 10:30 am to 12:00 pm: "Neuro-bio-behavioral research and its potential for optimizing psychotherapeutic interventions" +++

    +++ We wish you a Happy New Year! +++

    +++ New Statistical Analysis Plan (SAP) preregistered for the first section of the SPIN study: Antisaccade performance in spider phobia and its association with multimodal correlates of fear +++

    +++ We warmly welcome our new student assistants Lilly Hub, Alea Bexten and Emily Keppler to the TARGET team! ++++

    +++ We are happy to announce that Elisa Schrammen's research stay with Prof. Harrison at the University of Melbourne is supported by the Santander Mobility Fund! +++

    ++First Patient In: Die SPIN-Studie ist am 01.04.2022 mit dem ersten Probanden gestartet! Bei der SPIN-Studie handelt es sich um ein Kooperationsprojekt mit der Universität Siegen zur Untersuchung neurobiologischer Mechanismen von Angsterkrankungen. Weitere Informationen hier:

    ++Poster auf dem Deutschen Psychotherapie Kongress 7.-11. Juni 2022 Berlin: „Zusammenhang zwischen Therapieprozessvariablen und Ansprechen auf virtueller Exposition bei PatientInnen mit Spinnenphobie“++

    ++Symposiums-Vortrag auf der Tagung "Psychologie und Gehirn" 16.-18. Juni 2022 in Freiburg : "Inhibitory control and its modification in specific phobia – An antisaccade study" - Fabian Breuer++

    ++Wir gratulieren unserer Kollegin Lisa Sindermann zur erfolgreichen Verteidigung ihrer Dissertation!++

    ++Neue Präregistrierung der SPIN-Studie bei RSCTN:

    ++DGPPN 25.11.21 in Berlin – Unsere Poster Präsentationen:
    Fabian Breuer: Deficits in inhibitory control as a transdiagnostic biomarker of mental disorders? A meta-analysis of the antisaccade task. (P-05)
    Elisabeth Schrammen: Functional neural effects of psychotherapy in anxiety disorders – A meta-analysis of longitudinal neuroimaging studies. (P-02)++

    ++Wir gratulieren Fabian Breuer zum DGPs Peer Mentoring Programm über 1000 Euro gemeinsam mit Dr. Kati Roesmann vom Lehrstuhl für klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie der Universität Siegen (05.21)++

    ++Wir freuen uns, dass unsere Kollegin Elisa Schrammen das DAAD Stipendium für Doktoranden und Doktorandinnen für ihren Forschungsaufenthalt bei Prof. Harrison in Melbourne erhalten hat!++

    ++Neue Publikation: Sindermann, L., Redlich, R., Opel, N., Böhnlein, J., Dannlowski, U., & Leehr, E. J. (2021). Systematic transdiagnostic review of magnetic-resonance imaging results: Depression, anxiety disorders and their co-occurrence. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 142, 226–239.

    ++Neue Publikation: Leehr, E. J.*, Roesmann, K.*, Böhnlein, J., Dannlowski, U., Gathmann, B., Herrmann, M. J., Junghöfer, M., Schwarzmeier, H., Seeger, F. R., Siminski, N., Straube, T., Lueken, U., & Hilbert, K. (2021). Clinical predictors of treatment response towards exposure therapy in virtuo in spider phobia: A machine learning and external cross-validation approach. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 83.

    ++Neue Publikation: Böhnlein, J., Leehr, E. J., Roesmann, K., Sappelt, T., Platte, O., Grotegerd, D., Sindermann, L., Repple, J., Opel, N., Meinert, S., Lemke, H., Borgers, T., Dohm, K., Enneking, V.,Goltermann, J., Waltemate, L., Hülsmann, C., Thiel, K., Winter, N., … Dannlowski, U. (2021). Neural processing of emotional facial stimuli in specific phobia: An fMRI study. Depression and Anxiety, 38(8), 846–859.

    ++Neue Präregistrierung:
    Investigating the presence of intrusive images across emotional disorders – a systematic review (Elisabeth Leehr)++

    ++Neue Präregistrierung:
    Functional neural effects of psychotherapy in anxiety disorders – A meta-analysis of longitudinal neuroimaging studies (Elisabeth Schrammen)++

    ++Symposium auf der Pug2021, Freitag 04.06.21 13:00-14:00: Neurobiological markers for psychotherapy response++