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I-REACH Project

BMBF-funded collaborative project I-REACH: Effectiveness of transdiagnostic psychotherapy in an online-based versus face-to-face setting for Arabic- and Farsi-speaking refugees

Duration: 2019-2024

Project lead: Prof. Dr. Babette Renneberg

Academic staff: Dr. Johanna Böttcher, M.Sc. Martina Hernek

Contact: M.Sc. Martina Hernek

Prof. Dr. Christine Knaevelsrud (Freie Universität Berlin) is in charge of the overall cooperation network




Refugees and migrants are particularly vulnerable to mental illness due to traumatic events in their home countries, during their flight as well as post-migration stressors. Mental disorders such as PTSD, anxiety and depression are widely spread among refugees. At the same time, treatment resources for this group are limited and refugees suffering from a mental disorder are rarely given psychological treatment or advice.


The aim of the randomized control group study is the scientific evaluation of an Arabic- and Farsi-speaking, culturally adapted, transdiagnostic psychotherapy based on the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA). Two therapy formats are to be compared. An internet-based version of the transdiagnostic therapy is compared with face-to-face therapy as well as with a waiting control group. The study follows a threefold (online versus face-to-face versus waiting list) randomized-controlled design.

Network partners of the research network I-REACH:

  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Medical School Berlin
  • Universitätsklinikum Leipzig
  • LVR-Klinik Köln
  • Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf