Which psychotherapy is best?

Which psychotherapy is best?

OPTIMA - the psychotherapy study

By now, it is clear beyond doubt that psychotherapy helps patients. Yet, how psychotherapy works and what kind of psychotherapy suits which patient is still a matter of debate.

At the Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry, we tried to delineate the mechanisms of action of different psychotherapies. We collected various measures of clinical-psychological, imaging, and biological information that helped us to individually direct patients towards the treatment they require.

In addition to psychotherapeutic treatment, patients received a comprehensive, multidisciplinary diagnostic investigation.

We collected information on genetics and different blood levels, applied psychological questionnaires and interviews, tested neuropsychological functioning, and assessed patients’ day- and night-time activity via an “activity watch”. Moreover, patients participated in neuroimaging paradigms on social interaction and emotion regulation.

The goal of our study was to identify biological mechanisms of psychotherapy. In this way, a multidisciplinary, biologically-driven understanding of treatment might constitute the stepping stone towards a “personalised psychotherapy”.

Behavioural Therapy
Behavioral therapy is based on recognizing that the way we think determines how we feel and behave and how we react physically. more

Schema Therapy
Schema therapy is currently one of the most effective and pragmatic methods of therapy for unhealthy personality traits that can contribute to the development of e.g., depression. more
Individual Supportive Therapy
The individual supportive therapy consists of various therapeutic interventions in the clinic, which are individually tailored to the patients’ needs. For therapy planning, we use biological, psychological and social aspects of the respective disorder. more

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