The sub-group “Biopsychological mechanisms of psychotherapeutic interventions” investigates the interactions between psychological and biological mechanisms during effective psychotherapeutic treatment.
We are especially interested in inspecting alterations in various biological systems, such as the HPA axis, the autonomic nervous system or the oxytocin system, as correlates of the development and maintenance of mental disorders, and in further investigating whether these alterations normalise in response to successful psychotherapeutic treatment. Additionally, we are interested if these alterations predict treatment response.
Therefore, we include markers of biological systems (e.g., cortisol, α-amylase, oxytocin) into psychotherapeutic treatment studies by using multi-methodological approaches (saliva-, blood- or hair-based markers). By the parallel investigation of various biological systems, we aim to pursue a multi-dimensional approach in our studies, allowing us to understand/inform on the interplay between these systems.
Next to empirical studies, we also conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses on the above-mentioned topics.
Head: Dr. Sarah Schumacher
Doctoral students: M.Sc. Sinha Engel, M.Sc. Sebastian Laufer