»Early psychosocial intervention pays off!«

Prof. Dr. Silvia Schneider

Intervention research across the life span

Mechanisms of psychological treatments

Even though effective cognitive-behavioral treatment approaches are available today for most mental disorders for adults as well as for children and adolescents, some patients still do not benefit in the desired way. A precise understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of therapeutic interventions can help to improve their outcome in the future. With a focus on exposure-based treatments, our translationally oriented group is therefore working at the interface between basic and applied research to evaluate the efficacy of mechanisms identified in laboratory studies in clinical contexts.  A major challenge for enhancing mechanistic understanding has been to conduct psychotherapy with sufficient standardization, and to implement experimental paradigms in sufficiently large samples, in order to be able to uncover often subtle underlying mechanisms. Our group has newly developed a highly standardized “Large Group One Session Treatment (LG-OST)” protocol, in which psychotherapeutic interventions are carried out in large groups of up to 125 patients. This not only generates large sample sizes, but also eliminates unwanted variability and thereby provides a novel efficient method for investigating biopsychosocial mechanisms of change during psychotherapy.