Which psychotherapy is best for you?

Which psychotherapy is best for you?

OPTIMA - the psychotherapy study

Join in! Patients of our wards and day clinics may participate in our psychotherapy study

That psychotherapy helps patients is beyond doubt by now. Yet, how psychotherapy works and what kind of psychotherapy suits what patients is still a matter of debate.

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

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

We will collect information on genetics and different blood levels, apply psychological questionnaires and interviews, test neuropsychological functioning, and assess patients’ day- and night-time activity via an “activity watch”. Moreover, patients will participate in neuroimaging paradigms on social interaction and emotion regulation.

The goal of our study is 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”.


In this study, we aim to recruit patients from our clinic (wards & day clinics) within the next years. These patients will receive an intense psychotherapy programme over a time course of seven weeks.

<h1 class="serif">Behavioural Therapy</h1>
Behavioral therapy is based on recognizing that the way we think determines how we feel and behave and how we react physically. more

<h1 class="serif">Schema Therapy</h1>
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
<h1 class="serif">Individual Supportive Therapy</h1>
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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