Profile

Our working group (head of unit: Prof. Steffen Moritz, founding members: Prof. Burghard Andresen & Prof. Reinhard Maß) is engaged in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychiatric disorders, and particularly in research on (meta) cognitive deficits present in psychiatric disorders.

Research

We conduct research on a variety of psychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and borderline personality disorder in collaboration with both national and international research partners funded by grants from the government and mental health research organizations, as well as donations from individual sponsors. Our research includes clinical research utilizing established neuropsychological tasks and questionnaires, as well as self-developed experimental cognitive paradigms. We are also at the forefront of online research methods and have recently conducted several studies of online psychological treatments. Our work has been featured in the media, including recent articles in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Behaviour Research and Therapy, Schizophrenia Bulletin and Epilepsia. Our current research projects are described in more detail on the following pages. Any comments or questions are appreciated at any time!

Treatment of cognitive disorders

Since 2005, we have offered psychotherapy training called Metacognitive Training (MCT), which was developed by our group. The training is based on recently evolving conceptualizations of treatment approaches to schizophrenia, and targets metacognitive processes (i.e., thinking about thinking) with the goal of improving everyday functioning. MCT has been adapted and developed for other disorders (borderline personality disorder and depression) and is available for treatment in a group setting. A manual for the individual treatment of patients with schizophrenia (MCT +) and a self-help manual for patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (myMCT) are also available. We are currently conducting several studies to assess all interventions for their acceptance, feasibility and effectiveness among patients. Moreover, we have devised a new technique to decrease obsessive thoughts, which has been successfully evaluated in a pilot study (Association Splitting). Cognitive remediation training is administered for neurocognitive rehabilitation. Please see the other menu items for more information on these interventions.

Diagnostics

Standard methods of neuropsychology are used for the neuropsychological and psychometric assessment of our patients. The most frequent diagnostic questions are as follows:

  • diagnostic verification of dementia (especially differential diagnosis of depression), amnestic syndrome (in the context of substance dependence) or attention deficit disorder
  • Validation of subjective cognitive complaints
  • Intelligence assessment (e.g. in cases of suspected intellectual deficit / F70)
  • Assessment of the ability to drive or operate machinery
  • Assessment of work performance and the ability to attend school/university
  • Verification of drug-induced neuropsychological dysfunctions

The possible influences of psychopathological conditions and medication on neuropsychological functioning are carefully considered for our final written report. Each year we process approximately 350 applications from the various stations of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.

Internship & Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. theses

We regularly award internships to psychology students. After an intensive training phase, you have the opportunity to perform neuropsychological assessments, which includes compiling and interpreting test results in diagnostic reports. You will be guided, supported and supervised by experienced diagnosticians. We also offer interns the possibility of co-leading (with experienced therapists) group MCT for patients with schizophrenia. In addition, interns are involved in the various research projects of our group. As a part of this, we offer students the opportunity to work on their bachelor, master and Ph.D. theses. For an internship, you should be available for at least four months (four days/week). For applications: write an email with attachments (e.g., letters of reference) to moritz [@] uke.de [please, no "snail mail"].

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