Which psychotherapy is best?

Which psychotherapy is best?

OPTIMA - the 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 tried to delineate the mechanisms of action of different psychotherapies. We collected 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 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”.


<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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