School of Psychology and Psychotherapy

Chair of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy II

Clinical psychology focuses on mental disorders and psychological aspects of somatic disorders and diseases.

The Chair covers the following areas:

  • Etiology of disorders and factors that maintain them
  • Classification and diagnostics
  • Psychological treatment of mental and somatic disorders

The Chair of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy II offers courses in both degree programmes of the School of Psychology and Psychotherapy. The chair's research focuses on mindfulness-based psychotherapy, embodiment of mental disorders and disability-adapted psychotherapy.

Research

Mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy

Being mindful means directing one's attention in an open and non-judgmental way to the experiences of the here and now. This principle originates from Eastern meditation, but recently has been increasingly used in the field of psychotherapy. One example is "Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy" (MBCT) for depressive patients: They are supported by mindfulness exercises to get out of mental states of negative brooding. The chair's research focuses on mechanisms of mindfulness-based interventions. We have also investigated the effects of MBCT in chronic depression.

Qi Gong exercise, part 1
Qi Gong exercise, part 1

In a current study, we investigate the effects of Qi Gong movements on memory processes of depressive patients. An upward and opening Qi Gong movement (part 1) opposed to the slumped movement pattern of depressive persons led to a normalization of disturbed memory processes.

Qi Gong exercise, part 2
Qi Gong exercise, part 2

In a current study, we investigate the effects of Qi Gong movements on memory processes of depressive patients. A downward and closing movement (part 2) had no effect on memory processes.

1 / 4

Embodiment in Clinical Psychology

In this area, interactions between physical and emotional processes in mental disorders are investigated. In basic research, a large number of studies have shown that certain movements or body postures have an influence on emotional processes. The Chair is currently investigating the significance of motor aspects for mental disorders; for example, the gait patterns of depressed patients, the effects of changes in the gait pattern on depressive processes and the movement behavior of depressed people in everyday life. The aim is to explore the possibilities of influencing mental disorders by changing patterns of movement and posture.

In a recent study we were able to show the effects of Qi Gong movements on memory processes of depressed patients. An upward and opening Qi Gong movement (first video), which is opposed to the slumped movement pattern of depressed individuals, led to a normalization of disturbed memory processes, while a downward and closing movement (second video) had no such effect.

The results of this study were published in: Michalak, J., Chatinyan, A., Chourib, H. & Teismann, T. (2018). The impact of upward vs. downward movement patterns on memory characteristics of depressed individuals. Psychopathology, 51, 326-334.

Disabled-Orientated Psychotherapy

Creating equal access to health care for people with and without disabilities is a key aspect of inclusion. The implementation of inclusive structures and treatment approaches in the field of mental disorders in people with disabilities is particularly challenging. Mental disorders, in particular, contribute to further impairing the participation of people with disabilities in social life. One of the Chair’s research focuses, which is currently being established, investigates how mental health can be promoted and the treatment of mental disorders be enhanced for people with disabilities.

Team

Die Universität Witten/Herdecke ist durch das NRW-Wissenschaftsministerium unbefristet staatlich anerkannt und wird – sowohl als Institution wie auch für ihre einzelnen Studiengänge – regelmäßig akkreditiert durch: