Our research group deals with questions concerning the effect and therapeutic factors of various psychotherapy procedures, especially body-oriented psychotherapy and group psychotherapy, as well as the special psychiatric-psychotherapeutic care offered by the day hospital. Special attention is paid to patient-related characteristics such as patient experience and the patients' attachment style.
Although there are already many research results on the effects and therapeutic factors of psychotherapy, comparatively little is known about this for certain therapeutic services. These include, for example, body-oriented psychotherapy or day hospital. But body-oriented psychotherapy, especially in the form of group therapy, is an integral part of inpatient psychotherapy and day treatment in psychosomatic medicine and psychiatry and the day hospital has gained increasing importance in the psychotherapeutic-psychiatric care landscape in recent years in terms of the number of treatment places.
Our research group aims to develop suitable instruments with which the effect and therapeutic factors of these therapeutic offers, which have so far been too little considered by research, can be tested. Besides this patient-related issues are particularly pursued: What do patients experience as helpful and what as stressful in therapy? Does patients’ attachment style, i.e. whether patients can develop trust in their therapist and are able to disclose themself in therapy, have an influence which treatment they can benefit? In the end, the aim is to be able to develop empirically based guidelines on how psychotherapeutic treatment and services can be best adapted to the needs and possibilities of patients.
Negative effects or side effects of psychotherapy have received increasing attention in psychotherapy research in recent years. In clinical practice, possible risks and negative effects of therapy must be taken into account in the informing of patients in accordance with the patient rights act. For body-oriented psychotherapy, however, not any empirically findings on possible negative consequences of therapy exist. In view of existing reservations about body-oriented psychotherapy the question is raises of whether this form of therapy has specific adverse effects or these are more severe than in verbal therapy procedures. This question is examined using the example of concentrative movement therapy (CMT), which is an established adjuvant body-oriented group psychotherapy method in in-patient psychotherapy. First results show that negative effects are frequently observed in inpatient CMT group treatment as well as in other psychotherapeutic methods. There is hardly any evidence of a typical risk profile or that this form of treatment is a particular burden for patients compared to other treatments.
Seidler KP, Grützmacher S, Epner A, & Schreiber-Willnow K. Negative Therapiefolgen körperorientierter Gruppenpsychotherapie am Beispiel der Konzentrativen Bewegungstherapie [Negative effects of body-oriented group psychotherapy using the example of concentrative movement therapy]. Psychotherapeut. 2020;65(4):244-256. DOI
Concentrative movement therapy (CMT) is a psychodynamically oriented method of body psychotherapy, which is used in Germany especially in psychotherapeutic-psychosomatic (rehabilitation) clinics, mainly as group treatment. Even though a number of empirical studies on CMT are already available, many questions about its effect and therapeutic factors are still unanswered. A questionnaire has therefore been developed to help patients evaluate the effects and therapeutic factors of CBT in group setting. Initial results indicate that this questionnaire is sufficiently reliable and factorially valid. It was possible to identify assessment dimensions which, on the one hand, cover KBT-related factors and effects (e.g. positive physical experiences and effects) and, on the other hand, reflect general therapeutic factors (e.g. positive group atmosphere).
The attachment theory describes different strategies how people emotionally and interpersonal manage situations of threat or (inner) distress due to earlier attachment experiences. A distinction is made between a secure, deactivating and hyperactivating strategy and corresponding patterns of secure, insecure-avoiding and insecure-ambivalent attachment. It seems plausible to assume that the attachment style of patients has an influence on their experience and behaviour in psychotherapy. The research group is specifically investigating whether the self-experience of patients in therapy varies depending on their attachment style. The results of a pilot study largely confirm the hypotheses that the self-experience of patients with a secure attachment style is less problematic or more positive than that of patients with an insecure attachment style and that the insecure attachment styles shows different characteristics.
Seidler KP, Höger D. Hängt das Selbsterleben von Patient*innen in der Psychotherapiestunde mit ihrem Bindungsmuster zusammen [Is the self-experience of patients in the psychotherapy session related to their attachment pattern]? Person 2020;24(2):1-13
Meta-analyses have shown that patients' attachment style is a predictor of success in psychotherapy. Little is known, however, about the processes in psychotherapy with which this is connected. A study by the research group is investigating whether psychiatric patients experience the therapeutic relationship differently depending on their attachment style and can therefore benefit in different ways from day treatment. Initial results show that patients with an insecure attachment style tend to experience the therapeutic relationship congruently with their attachment style, i.e. how this is reflected in their expectations of the therapeutic relationship at the beginning of therapy. Patients with a so-called “partially secure" attachment style tend to have a certain amount of corrective experience in the therapeutic relationship: While they state at the beginning of therapy that they expect hardly any care from their therapist, at the end of therapy they state that they have received a lot of care. Patients with partially secure attachment style who have had this corrective experience in the therapeutic relationship show the strongest improvement in their complaints at the end of the day treatment.
We are looking for highly motivated doctoral students with an interest in psychotherapy research, expecially clinical attachment research.
- Research Group of the German Association for Concentrative Movement Therapy
- German Working Group for Research in Inpatient Group Psychotherapy
Research group leader
Prof. Dr. phil. Klaus-Peter Seidler
Outpatient clinic manager and training officer at the Institute for Psychotherapeutic Education and Training (IPAW) of MHH
Phone: +49 511 532 7369
Fax: +49 511 532 7375
Excellence at one glance
- Psychological psychotherapist
- Graduate psychologist ('Diplom')
- Supervisor depth psychology