Forschungsprojekt: What works for whom – when, how and why? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders within the range of different levels of personality functioning

Leitung: Brakemeier, Gumz, Hörz-Sagstetter, Jacobi, Stenzel, Storck, Zimmermann et al.
Förderung: Hausmittel (Pilotstudie); Drittmittelantrag in Vorbereitung
Mitarbeiter PHB: Jacobi, Stenzel, HSA-Therapeut/-innen, PHB-PT2-PiAs
Kooperationspartner: u.a. Prof. Dr. Cord Benecke (Universität Kassel)
Zeitperspektive: 4/2016 – 4/2020 (Pilotierung/Feasibility)

Zusammenfassung: There is sufficient evidence that both cognitive-behavioral (CBT) and psychodynamic (PT) therapies are effective in the treatment of the two most prevalent mental disorders: depressive and anxiety disorders. However, there is still poor evidence regarding differential efficacy in specific subgroups (i.e. which treatment works better for whom).

As a result, whether an individual patient is referred to CBT or PT is often based on untested clinical assumptions or arbitrary circumstances rather than on evidence-based guidelines. Of note, in both depressive and anxiety disorders the heterogeneity concerning severity and style of personality functioning (PF) is large. Some studies indicate that specific subgroups of patients with impairment in PF might benefit more from longer and/or insight-focused therapies (typical for PT) than from shorter, disorder-focused therapies (typical for CBT). On the other hand, patients without or with only minor impairment in PF might not need long treatments and benefit more from shorter and more directive therapies.

Thus, the main research question of our study refers to the still unsolved core problem of differential efficacy: Which psychotherapy works for whom? In particular, we will investigate whether severity of impairment in PF (according to the alternative DSM-5 model) moderates the effects of CBT vs. PT on symptom change. In addition, we want to identify mediators of change and to provide more answers to the question: How and why does psychotherapy work? In an innovative design we investigate whether the psychotherapeutic techniques being used and/or the dose are responsible for differential effects of CBT vs. PT in patients with different levels of PF.


Schlagwörter: Psychotherapie, Wirksamkeits- und Prozessforschung, differenzielle Indikation, Angst und Depression, Beeinträchtigung von Persönlichkeitsfunktionen