Institute for Psychosocial Prevention

Welcome to the website of the Institute for Psychosocial Prevention at the Zentrum für Psychosoziale Medizin of the University of Heidelberg!

Our research focus is on the influence of mentalization and attachment on experience, behavior, and health in development across the lifespan and in change processes (prevention and intervention). In the area of developmental psychopathology, we conduct studies with the aim of broadening our understanding of the development of disturbances in cognition, affect, and behavior under stressful psychosocial conditions. Based on this, we develop and evaluate mentalization-based prevention and intervention programs that promote the development and maintenance of mental health. In addition, we are investigating the professional trainining of health care professionals as a critical juncture for the successful implementation of psychosocial prevention and intervention. Finally, in our Center for Psychotherapy Research (FOST), an independent research group deals with various areas of psychotherapy and health care research (e.g., quality assurance in psychotherapy) as well as with E-Mental Health. In recent years, the FOST has developed and evaluated numerous Internet- and mobile phone-based interventions (e.g., for prevention, long-term care, and relapse prophylaxis).

Counseling and therapy in the Outpatient Clinic for Family Therapy is aimed at families in various transitional situations, for each of which we offer specialized consultation hours. Parent-infant consultation is provided for parents with children between 0 and 3 years of age, whose children show regulation disorders (e.g., sleep problems, or excessive crying). Adolescent counseling is aimed at 12-18 year olds and their families who exhibit externalizing problems (e.g. breaking rules or laws, aggressive behavior). Adolescents and their families can participate in 12 months of therapy during the consultation hours. We have recently established a third consultation hour for parents with high psychosocial stress, which takes place within the framework of a combination of individual and group therapy according to the concept of mentalization-based therapy Lighthouse©. All counseling and therapy services are evidence-based.

Our research and clinical focus is also reflected in our academic teaching. On the one hand, students can participate in running projects themselves, on the other hand, we presents the results of our research in our courses with regards to medicine, psychology and psychotherapy.



Secretary of Prof. Dr. phil. Svenja Taubner

You may contact us through
Bergheimer Str. 54
69115 Heidelberg
Building 4490

+49 6221 56-4701
+49 6221 56-4702


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