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Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie

Research group Schramm

Psychotherapy Research in Psychiatry
Research group leader: Prof. Dr. phil. Elisabeth Schramm
Phone: +49 (0)761 270 - 69670
Fax: +49 (0)761 270 - 69660
Email: elisabeth.schramm@uniklinik-freiburg.de  
Postal address: Hauptstr. 5, 79104 Freiburg
Group members: Phone [+49 (0)761] E-Mail
Dr. Hannah Piosczyk 270-69410 hannah.piosczyk@uniklinik-freiburg.de
Dr. Thomas Fangmeier 270-69680 thomas.fangmeier@uniklinik-freiburg.de
Nicola Thiel 270-69820 nicola.thiel@uniklinik-freiburg.de
Moritz Elsaeßer 270-69420 moritz.elsaesser@uniklinik-freiburg.de
Christoph Breuninger 270-69720 christoph.breuninger@uniklinik-freiburg.de
Nadine Zehender 270-69700 nadine.zehender@uniklinik-freiburg.de

Research focus

The current research activities of the work group of Prof. Schramm focuses on the evaluation of specific psychotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of acute episodic and chronic depressive disorders. Recent studies are based on the “Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy” (CBASP) in comparison to other psychotherapeutic or pharmacologic treatments. CBASP therapy had been developed by McCullough and is the only therapeutic strategy specifically developed for chronic depression so far. We investigate the acute and longterm effects of inpatient and outpatient CBASP programs. Further fields of interest relate a) to the investigation of corresponding changes in neural functions by fMRI; b) to the evaluation of a group maintenance treatment for recurrently depressed patients (Nature- and animal assisted Mindfulness Therapy) and c) Work-focused Interpersonal Psychotherapy (W-IPT) for patients with a depression related to work stress d) Psychotherapy approaches for the treatment of late life depression, e) evaluation of an online coach for significant others of depressed patients, and e) Modular psychotherapy for comorbid depression.

Research projects

A modular add-on approach for patients with comorbid depression and a history of childhood maltreatment German Research Council DFG 2020-2023
Increasing the effectiveness  of a web-based selfhelp program for significant others of depressed persons / WESPA Innovationsfonds Projektträger DLR 2020-2023
Development and evaluation of an online coach for significant others of depressed individuals* AOK-Bundesverband (AOK-BV) 2017-2019
Cognitive behavioural therapy for the treatment of late life depression – a multicentre, randomized, observer-blinded, controlled trial (CBTlate) Bundesministerium
für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Effectiveness of a nature- and animal based mindfulness program in preventing depressive relapse or recurrence in unstable or partially remitted high risk patients Stiftung zur Förderung der Erforschung der Zivilisationserkrankungen 2016-2019
Work-focused Interpersonal Psychotherapy (W-IPT) versus treatment as usual for major depression related to work stress Programm Klinische Studien, Universität Freiburg 2016-2018
Competence Center Psychotherapy at the medical faculties of Baden-Württemberg (4 centers) Ministry for Science, Research and Art 2010-2016
Differential Response to CBASP versus escitalopram in chronic Major Depression with and without early trauma (PI, 2 centers) Lundbeck, Copenhagen, Denmark 2010-2016
Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) versus CBASP for the treatment of chronically depressed patients (Co-PI, 2 centers) German Research Council DFG 2011-2015
Longterm effects of CBASP compared to supportive psychotherapy: 1- and 2- years follow up (PI, 8 centers) German Research Council DFG 2012-2016
A comparison of the Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) against supportive psychotherapy (PI, 8 centers)
Substudy: Neuronal Mechanism and predictors of affect regulation by psychotherapy: FMRI study (center)
German Research Council DFG 2010-2014

*) Das interaktive Online-Programm "Familiencoach Depression" ist nun fertig und kann kostenlos genutzt werden. [Erfahren Sie mehr ...]

Selected peer-reviewed publications

  • Schramm E, Klein D, Elsaesser M, Furukawa TA, Domschke K (in press). Review of dysthymia and persistent depressive disorder: history, correlates, and clinical implications. Lancet Psychiatry
  • Schramm E, Mack S, Thiel N, Jenkner C, Elsaesser M, Fangmeier T. (2020) Interpersonal Psychotherapy vs. Treatment as Usual for Major Depression Related to Work Stress: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Study. Front. Psychiatry, 11:193. doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00193
  • Schramm E, Kriston L, Elsaesser M, Fangmeier T, Meiter R, Bausch P, Zobel I, Bailer J, Wambach K, Backenstrass M, Klein JP, Schoepf D, Schnell K, Gumz A, Löwe B, Walter H, Wolf M, Domschke K, Berger M,     Hautzinger M, Härter M. (2019). Two-Year Follow-Up after Treatment with the Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy Supportive Psychotherapy for Early-Onset Chronic Depression. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, doi.org/10.1159/000500189
  • Schramm E & Bausch P (2018) Psychotherapie bei chronischer Depression – Führen störungsspezifische Ansätze zu besseren Behandlungserfolgen? Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie, Psychologie und Psychotherapie, 66 (1), 41–47. doi.org/10.1024/1661-4747/a000338
  • Furukawa TA, Efthimiou O, Weitz ES, Cipriani A, Keller MB, Kocsis JH, Klein DN, Michalak J, Salanti G, Cuijpers P, Schramm E (2018) Cognitive-behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP), drug, or their combination for persistent depressive disorder: Personalizing the treatment choice using individual participant data network meta-regression. Psychother Psychosom 2018;87:1–14
  • Klein JP, Erkens N, Schweiger U, Kriston L, Bausch P, Zobel I, Hautzinger M, Schoepf D, Serbanescu I, Bailer J, Backenstrass M, Wambach K, Walter H, Härter M, Schramm E (2018) Does Childhood Maltreatment Moderate the Effect of CBASP versus Supportive Psychotherapy in Persistent Depressive Disorder? Psychother Psychosom 87(1): 46-48
  • Erkens N, Schramm E, Kriston L, Hautzinger M, Härter M, Schweiger U, Klein JP (2018) Association of comorbid personality disorders with clinical characteristics and outcome in a randomized controlled trial comparing two psychotherapies for early-onset persistent depressive disorder. J Affect Disord., 229:262-268. doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2017.12.091
  • Eich HS, Schramm E, Kriston L, Bailer J (2018) Psychometric properties of the German Helping Alliance Questionnaire (HAQ), BMC Psychiatry, 18:107 doi.org/10.1186/s12888-018-1697-8
  • Brakemeier EL, Dobias J, Hertel J, Bohus M, Limberger MF, Schramm E, Radtke M, Frank P, Padberg F, Sabaß L, Jobst A, Jacob G, Struck N, Zimmermann J & Normann C (2018) Childhood maltreatment in women with Borderline Personality Disorder, Chronic Depression, Episodic Depression, and in Healthy Controls. Psychother Psychosom, 87(1):49-51
  • Schramm E, Kriston L, Zobel I, Bailer J, Wambach K, Backenstrass M, Klein JP, Schoepf D, Schnell K, Gumz A, Bausch P, Fangmeier T, Meister R, Berger M, Hautzinger M & Harter M (2017) Effect of Disorder-Specific vs Nonspecific Psychotherapy for Chronic Depression: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry 74(3):233-242
  • Schramm E & van Schaik A (2017) Identification of childhood abuse in patients with late-life depression may help to optimize treatment. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 25(6):644-645.
  • Bausch P, Fangmeier T, Zobel I, Schoepf D, Drost S, Schnell K, Walter H, Berger M, Normann C & Schramm E (2017) The impact of childhood maltreatment on the differential efficacy of CBASP versus escitalopram in patients with chronic depression: A secondary analysis. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy 24(5): 1155-1162. doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2081
  • Frodl T, Janowitz D, Schmaal L, … Schramm E et al. (2017). Childhood adversity impacts on brain subcortical structures relevant to depression. J Psychiatr Res 86:58-65. doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2016.11.010
  • Rentería ME, Schmaal L, Hibar DP,…Schramm E, et al. (2017). Subcortical brain structure and suicidal behaviour in major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis from the ENIGMA-MDD working group. Transl Psychiatry 7(5):e1116. doi.org/10.1038/tp.2017.8
  • Schmaal, L., Hibar, D.P. , Sämann, P.G…. Schramm, E., et al. (2017). Cortical abnormalities in adults and adolescents with major depression based on brain scans from 20 cohorts worldwide in the ENIGMA Major Depressive Disorder Working Group. Mol Psychiatry 22(6):900-909. doi.org/10.1038/mp.2016.60
  • Jobst A, Brakemeier E L, Buchheim A, Caspar F, Cuijpers P, Ebmeier KP, . . . Padberg F (2016) European Psychiatric Association Guidance on psychotherapy in chronic depression across Europe. Eur Psychiatry, 33:18-36. doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2015.12.003
  • Schmaal L, Veltman DJ, van Erp TG, Samann PG, Frodl T, Jahanshad N, . . . Hibar DP (2016) Subcortical brain alterations in major depressive disorder: findings from the ENIGMA Major Depressive Disorder working group. Mol Psychiatry 21(6): 806-812. doi.org/10.1038/mp.2015.69
  • Riemann D, Hertenstein E, Schramm E (2016) Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for depression. The Lancet 387:1054-1061
  • Forkmann T, Brakemeier EL, Teismann T, Schramm E, Michalak J. (2016) The effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy on suicidal ideation in chronic depression: Results of a randomized-clinical trial. Journal of Affective Disorders 200: 51-57
  • Hentze C, Walter H, Schramm E, Drost S, Schoepf D, Fangmeier T, Mattern M, Normann C, Zobel I, Schnell K (2016) Functional correlates of childhood maltreatment and symptom severity during affective theory of mind tasks in chronic depression. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 250:1-11
  • Schramm E, Zobel I, Schoepf D, Fangmeier T, Schnell K, Walter H, Drost S, Schmidt P, Brakemeier EL, Berger M, Normann C. (2015) Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy versus escitalopram in chronic major depression. Psychother Psychosom 84:227–240 doi.org/10.1016/j.pscychresns.2016.02.004
  • Brakemeier EL, Radtke M, Engel V, Zimmermann J, Tuschen-Caffier B, Hautzinger M, Schramm E, Berger M, Normann C. (2015) Overcoming treatment-resistance in chronic depression: A pilot study on outcome and feasibility of the Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy as an inpatient treatment program. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 84:51–56. (https://doi.org/10.1159/000369586)
  • Michalak J, Schultze M, Heidenreich T, Schramm E (2015) A Randomized Controlled Trial on the Efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and a Group Version of Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy for Chronically Depressed Patients. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology Advance online publication. dx.doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000042
  • Mattern M., Walter H, Hentze C, Schramm E, Drost S, Schoepf D, Fangmeier T, Normann C, Zobel I, Schnell K. (2015) Behavioural Evidence for an Impairment of Affective Theory of Mind Capabilities in Chronic Depression. Psychopathology 48:240-250
  • Schramm PJ, Zobel I, Mönch K, Schramm E, Michalak J (2015) Sleep quality changes in chronically depressed patients treated with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System for Psychotherapy: A Pilot Study. Sleep Med, 17:57-63 doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2015.09.022
  • Schramm E, Hediger K, Lang UE (2015) From animal behavior to human health: An animal-and nature-assisted mindfulness intervention for recurrent depression. Zeitschrift für Psychologie 223:192-200 doi.org/10.1027/2151-2604/a000220
  • Schramm E, Zobel I, Dykierek P, Kech S, Brakemeier EL, Külz A, Berger M (2011) Cognitive Behavioural Analysis System of Psychotherapy versus Interpersonal Psychotherapy for early-onset chronic depression: a randomized pilot study. Journal of Affective Disorders 129(1-3): 109-116.
  • Stangier U, Schramm E, Heidenreich T, Berger M, Clark D (2011) Cognitive Therapy versus Interpersonal Psychotherapy in Social Phobia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Archives General Psychiatry 68(7):692-700.
  • Bodenmann G, Plancherel B, Widmer K, Gabriel B, Meuwly N, Charvoz L, Hautzinger M, Schramm E. (2009) Effects of coping-oriented couple therapy on depression: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology 76(6):944-54.
  • Schramm E, Schneider D, Zobel I, van Calker D, Dykierek P, Kech S, Härter M & Berger M (2008) Efficacy of Interpersonal Psychotherapy plus pharmacotherapy in chronically depressed inpatients. Journal of Affective Disorders 109:65-73
  • Schramm E, van Calker D, Dykierek P, Lieb K, Kech S, Zobel I, Leonhart R, Berger M (2007) An intensive treatment program of Interpersonal Psychotherapy plus pharmacotherapy for depressed inpatients: acute and long-term results. American Journal of Psychiatry 164:768-777.


  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
  • Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst
  • Lundbeck
  • Stiftung zur Förderung der Erforschung der Zivilisationserkrankungen
  • AOK-Bundesverband
  • Programm Klinische Studien, Universität Freiburg
  • Innovationsfonds Projektträger DRL

Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie

Hauptstraße 5
79104 Freiburg

Information: 0761 270-65010

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