Therapist talking to a patient

Welcome to the Max Planck Day Clinic for Depression

Since 2002, we have been successfully specialized in treating depression, one of the most common consequences of stress. Initially started as a pilot project for health insurance, we began disease-specific therapy for depression. In 2005, it became an integral part of what we offer at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry hospital.

As a small independent clinic within an excellently equipped hospital, we are able to provide a very personal therapeutic environment. In addition, we have access to all hospital departments and are backed by our renowned research department, which always keeps us medically up to date.

The goal of our treatment is not only the mental and somatic health of our patients, but also their professional and social reintegration. We accompany our patients in partnership on this path and provide support in a variety of areas.

In cooperation with our colleagues in neurology, internal medicine and endocrinology, we begin by carrying out a thorough differential diagnosis of depression at the first visit to the day clinic. We have years of experience in the selection of effective and well tolerated drug treatment strategies for depression, even in previously treatment-resistant patients. We take advantage of our neurochemical laboratory’s capacity to determine an individual’s plasma concentrations of psychotropic drugs by rigorously checking levels. The differentiation of depression from early forms of neurodegenerative diseases is part of our range of skills.

We run a daily behavioral therapy group and personal interviews. In these meetings, patients learn how to deal with the different problems caused by their illness such as a lack of energy, lack of activity, negative stress, ruminating and dysfunctional beliefs, social withdrawal or weight problems.

Approximately 90% of our patients are of working age. It is therefore important to avoid long periods of absence from work or incapacity. To address this, we focus on the treatment of any cognitive impairment (e.g., memory or concentration problems). A return to work and sustaining the ability to work are high priorities in our treatment.

To achieve this, our patients visit our occupational therapy department as soon as they have reached a phase of psychological stabilization. Here, patients are given training in the basic work skills, after which they can move on to other more complex tasks for a longer period. In parallel, our social worker will contact the employer to mutually arrange a successful stepped reintegration into working life. Even after being discharged from our care, both the patient and the employer will continue to receive outpatient support.

Additionally, we can offer job coaching for patients who have lost their jobs. This helps patients to see their own capabilities and priorities and to look for ways to find a suitable job or training.

Our high re-employment rate reaffirms the importance of our efforts in this aspect.

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