2019: On the move

2019 had a running start, kept its pace and left us with a strong finish. Not only did we exceed any previous numbers for publications (35 publications with a summed-up impact factor of 92.1), members of the division (29) and funded projects (overall 9 grants, with 5 running SNF grants, including a new SNF PostDoc Mobility grant), we also sucessfully completed two postgraduate trainings (CAS in Animal-Assisted Therapy and CAS in Motivational Interviewing), started the second cohort of our Master of Advanced Studies in Person-Centered Psychotherapy in our Advanced Studies in Psychotherapy program as well as had another substantial increase in the number of appointments in the Center for Psychotherapy. This all left us rather breathless at times, running from meeting to teaching to writing to brain-storming to giving therapy to submitting manuscripts to giving talks to enjoying lunch together and to having a good time, all in all. JG/January 2020

AR 2019


Members of the division 2019

Judith Alder, Sarah Bürgler, Rainer Bürki, Carmina Grob, Bojana Degen, Antje Frey Nascimento, Jens Gaab, Heike Gerger, Lena Greschner, Mareike Rytz, Karin Hediger, Nadja Heimgartner, Marc Inderbinen, Joe Kossowsky, Linda Kost, Helen Koechlin, Roshin Kunnel John, Cosima Locher, Emma Marchal-Jones, Yoon Phaik Ooi, Milena Petignat, Marnie Reed, Rahel Marti, Otto Schmid, Dilan Sezer, Ronan Zimmermann, Noortje Vriends, Felicitas Theis, Cora Wagner

External PhD's

Mareike Busmann, Lukas Fürer Kugel, Astrid Grossert-Leugger, Evelin Hug, Nina Kind, Can Nakkas, Stefanie Neubrand, Nathalie Schenk, Tania Perez, Christian Schrobildgen, Süheyla Seker, Stefanie Christina Urech


Publications (total impact factor 96.0)
  1. Krauss L, Ott C, Opwis K, Meyer A, & Gaab J (2019). Impact of contextualizing information on aesthetic experience and psychophysiological responses to art in a museum: A naturalistic randomized controlled trial. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/aca0000280, IF: 2.3
  2. Barke A, Koechlin H, Korwisi B, & Locher L (2019). Emotional Distress: Specifying A Neglected Part Of Chronic Pain. European Journal of Pain, DOI: 10.1002/ejp.1525. IF: 3.2
  3. Gerger H, Bürgler S, Sezer D, Grethler M, Gaab J, Locher C (2019). The Healing Encounters and Attitudes Lists (HEAL): Psychometric properties of a German version in comparison with the original HEAL. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10, 897. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00897 IF: 3.2
  4. Naber, A., Kreuzer, L., Zink, R., Millesi, E., Palme, R., Hediger, K., & Glenk, L. M. (2019). Heart rate, heart rate variability and salivary cortisol as indicators of arousal and synchrony in clients with intellectual disability, horses and therapist during equine-assisted interventions. Pet Behaviour Science, (7), 17-23. https://doi.org/10.21071/pbs.v0i7.11801
  5. Rescorla LA, Adams A,  Ivanova MY the International ASEBA Consortium (including Ooi YP) (2019). The CBCL/11⁄2–5’s DSM‐ASD Scale: Confirmatory Factor Analyses Across 24 Societies. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, doi.org/10.1007/s10803-019-04189-5, IF: 2.8
  6. Rescorla LA, Adams A,  Ivanova MY the International ASEBA Consortium (including Ooi YP) (2019). International Comparisons of Emotionally Reactive Problems in Preschoolers: CBCL/11⁄2–5 Findings from 21 Societies. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2019.1650366, IF: 4.4
  7. Aeberhard A, Gschwind L, Kossowsky K, Luksys G, Papassotiropoulos A, de Quervain D, Vogler C (2019). Introducing COSMOS: a Web Platform for Multimodal Game-Based Psychological Assessment Geared Towards Open Science Practice. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science 4 (3), 234-244
  8. Koechlin H, Whalley B, Welton NJ & Locher C (2019). The best treatment option (s) for adult and elderly patients with chronic primary musculoskeletal pain: a protocol for a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Systematic reviews, 8(1), 1-10. doi.org/10.1186/s13643-019-1174-6, IF: 1.7
  9. Hediger K, Petignat M, Marti R, Hund-Georgiadis M (2019). Animal-assisted therapy for patients in a minimally conscious state: A randomized two treatment multi-period crossover trial. PLoS ONE 14(10): e0222846. doi.org 10.1371/journal.pone.0222846, IF: 2.8
  10. C Blease, C Locher, M Leon-Carlyle, PM Doraiswamy, (2019). Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Psychiatry: Qualitative Findings from a Global Physician Survey. arXiv preprint arXiv:1910.09956
  11. Wagner C, Lang UE & Hediger K (2019). “There Is a Cat on Our Ward”: Inpatient and Staff Member Attitudes toward and Experiences with Cats in a Psychiatric Ward. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(17), 3108, IF: 2.5
  12. Locher C, Koechlin H, Gaab J, Gerger H (2019). The Other Side of the Coin: Nocebo Effects and Psychotherapy. Frontiers in psychiatry, 10, 555. doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00555, IF: 3.2
  13. Grossert A, Heinz S, Müller L, Gaab J, Urech C, Berger T, Hess V (2019). Usability Testing of the Online Stress Management Intervention (STREAM) for Cancer Patients: Results and Implementations. Cancer Stud Ther J, Volume 4(2). IF: 0.8
  14. Gaab J, Wagner C, Petignat M, Hediger K (2019). Vom animalischen Magnetismus zur tiergestützten Therapie: Warum das Placebo und seine Effekte für die Theorie und die Praxis wichtig ist. tiergestützte, 2-2019
  15. Blease CR, Bernstein MH, Locher C (2019). Open-label placebo clinical trials: Is it the rationale, the interaction or the pill? BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, Published Online First: 26 June 2019. doi: 10.1136/bmjebm-2019-111209
  16. Merz J, Schwarzer G, Gerger H. Comparative Efficacy and Acceptability of Pharmacological, Psychotherapeutic, and Combination Treatments in Adults With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Network Meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online June 12, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.0951, IF: 16.6 / Gerger H. (2019). Concerns Regarding a Meta-analysis Comparing Psychotherapy with Medications for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder—Reply. JAMA Psychiatry, doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.2927, IF: 16.6
  17. Gaab J, Bürgin D, Locher C, Werner C, Urech S, Bratschi C, Bartomomé Garcia L, Hauke M, Bitter S, Bohny M, Bentz D (2019). Endogenous cortisol and conditioned placebo effects on pain–A randomized trial. Journal of psychosomatic research, 123, 109739. doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2019.109739, IF: 2.9
  18. Markert C, Gomm C, Ehlert U, Gaab J, Nater UM (2019). Effects of cognitive-behavioral stress management training in individuals with functional somatic symptoms–an exploratory randomized controlled trial. Stress, 1-11. doi.org/10.1080/10253890.2019.1625329, IF: 3.0
  19. Ong JG, Lim-Ashworth NS, Ooi YP, Boon JS, Ang RP, Goh DH, Ong SH, Fung DS (2019). An Interactive Mobile App Game to Address Aggression (RegnaTales): Pilot Quantitative Study. JMIR Serious Games, (2):e13242, games.jmir.org/2019/2/e13242, IF: 2.2
  20. Rescorla LA, Given C, Glynn S, Ivanova MY, Achenbach TM and The International ASEBA Consortium (including Ooi YP) (2019). International comparisons of autism spectrum disorder behaviors in preschoolers rated by parents and caregivers/teachers. Autism, 1362361319839151. doi.org/10.1177/1362361319839151, IF: 3.9
  21. Brupbacher G, Gerger H, Wechsler M, Zander-Schellenberg T, Straus D, Prschke H, Gerber M, von Känel R, Schmidt-Trucksäss A (2019). The effects of aerobic, resistance, and meditative movement exercise on sleep in individuals with depression: protocol for a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Syst Rev, doi.org/10.1186/s13643-019-1018-4, IF: 1.8
  22. Kunnel John R, Thaiparambil BX, Waldmeier A, Meyer A & Gaab J (2019) Psychometric Evaluation of theBFI-10 and the NEO-FFI-3 in Indian Adolescents. Front. Psychol. 10: 1057.doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01057, IF: 2.1
  23. Denzinger A,  Bingisser M-B, Ehrbar V, Huggenberger HJ, Urech C, Woessmer B,  Gaab J, Roth B, Rochlitz C & Alder J (2019). Web-based counseling for families with parental cancer: Baseline findings and lessons learned. Journal of psychosocial oncology, 1-17. doi.org/10.1080/07347332.2019.1602576, IF: 1.3
  24. Gloster AT, Klotsche J, Aggeler T, Geisser N, Juillerat G, Schmidlin N, Müller-Siemens S, Gaab J (2019). Psychoneuroendocrine evaluation of an acceptance and commitment based stress management training. Psychother Res. May;29(4):503-513. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2017.1380862. IF: 2.8
  25. Busmann M, Wrege J, Meyer AH, Ritzler F, Schmidlin M, Lang UE, Gaab J, Walter M and Euler S (2019). Alternative Model of Personality Disorders (DSM-5) Predicts Dropout in Inpatient Psychotherapy for Patients With Personality Disorder. Front. Psychol. 10:952. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00952, IF: 2.1
  26. Hediger K, Thommen S, Wagner C, Gaab J, Hund-Georgiadis M (2019). Effects of animal-assisted therapy on social behaviour in patients with acquired brain injury: a randomised controlled trial. Scientific reports, 9(1), 5831. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-42280-0, IF: 4.1
  27. Hediger K, Meisser A, Zinsstag JA (2019) One Health Research Framework for Animal-Assisted Interventions. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 15. IF: 2.1
  28. Locher C, Meier S, Gaab J (2019). Psychotherapy: A world of meanings. Frontiers in psychology, 10. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00460, IF: 2.1
  29. Gaab J, Kossowsky J, Ehlert U, Locher C (2019). Effects and components of placebos with a psychological treatment rationale – three randomized-controlled studies. Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37945-1. IF: 4.1
  30. Fischer S, Spoerri CM, Gmuer A, Wingeier M, Nater UM, Gaab J, Ehlert U, Ditzen B (2019). Psychobiological impact of speaking a second language in healthy young men. Stress, 22(3), 403-407. doi.org/10.1080/10253890.2019.1575805, IF: 3.0
  31. Hediger, K. (2019) Tiergestützte Therapie bei Kinder und Jugendlichen [Animal-assisted therapy in children and adolescents]. Pädiatrische Praxis, 91(3), 373-379
  32. Locher C, Frey Nascimento A, Meier A, Kossowsky J, Gaab J (2019). Open-label Placebo Response – Does Optimism Matter? A Secondary-Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Psychosom Res 116, 25-30, IF: 2.9
  33. Locher C, Messerli M, Gaab J, Gerger H (2019). Long-term effects of psychological interventions to improve adherence to antiretroviral treatment in HIV-infected persons: A systematic review and meta-analysis. AIDS Patient Care STDS.  Mar;33(3):131-144. doi: 10.1089/apc.2018.0164, IF: 4.0
  34. Enders-Slegers M-J & Hediger K (2019). Pet ownership and human–animal interaction in an aging population: Rewards and challenges. Anthrozoös, 32(2), 255-265. doi.org/10.1080/08927936.2019.1569907, IF: 1.6
  35. Dörr C & Hediger K (2019). Tiergestütztes Training emotionaler und sozialer Kompetenzen mit Hunden im Strafvollzug. Standardisierung eines niederschwelligen Behandlungsangebots. Forum Strafvollzug. 2019/3, 30-34.
  36. Raine A, Ang RP, Choy O, Hibbeln JR, Ho RM-H, Lim CG, Lim-Ashworth NSJ, Ling S, Liu JCJ, Ooi YP, Tan YR & Fung DSS  (2019). ω-3 and social skills interventions for reactive aggression and childhood externalizing behavior problems: a randomized, stratified, double-blind, placebo-controlled, factorial trial. Psychological Medicine Jan;49(2):335-344.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291718000983, IF: 5.2
  37. Frey Nascimento A, Tondorf T, Rothschild SI, Koller MT, Rochlitz C, Kiss A, Schaefert R, Meinlschmidt G, Hunziker S, Gaab J, Zwahlen D (2019). Oncologist Recommendation Matters! – Predictors of Psycho-Oncological Service Uptake in Oncology Outpatients. Psychooncology. 2019 Feb;28(2):351-357. doi: 10.1002/pon.4948. IF: 3.5
Grants (new and running)
  1. Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Schweiz SNF: PostDoc Mobility Grant (2019-2021). Towards a deeper understanding of chronic pediatric pain: Exploring the role of sensory processing sensitivity. Antragsstellerin und Principal Investigator: Dr. Helen Koechlin, CHF 108’400
  2. Fondation Botnar (2019). Using Technology to Facilitate International Research on Diagnosis and Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescence including Low- and Middle-lncome Countries - A Strategy based on Direct Clinical Benefit. Principal investigator and grant recipient: Dr. phil. Ronan Zimmermann (University of Basel), CHF 748’751
  3. The Boston Children’s Hospital Anesthesia Research Distinguished Trailblazer Award (2019). Identifying Objective Physiological and Behavioural Markers for Self-Reported Sleep, Activity and Functional Status in Post-Operative Settings and Chronic Pain Patients. Antragssteller und Principal Investigator: PD Dr. Joe Kossowsky, $22'000.
  4. Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Schweiz SNF: PostDoc Mobility Grant (2018-2020). Overcoming Classificatory and Methodological Hurdles to Improve Treatment of Chronic Primary Pain: A Network Meta-Analytic Approach. Antragsstellerin und Principal Investigator: Dr. Cosima Locher, CHF 108’292
  5. Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (2017-2021). Ambizione: Psychophysiological effects of animal-assisted interventions in patients with brain injury. Antragstellerin und Principal investigator: Dr. Karin Hediger, CHF 706'727
  6. Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (2017). Ethical and legal regulation of Big Data research – towards a sensible and efficient use of electronic health records and social media data [BigResearchEthics]. Principal investigator and grant recipient: Prof. Dr. Elger Bernice Simone (Universität Basel), National scientific collaborator/Projektpartner: Prof. Dr. Jens Gaab, CHF 400'062
  7. Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Schweiz SNF (2016-2019). Taking the placebo further: open placebo. Principal investigator: Prof. Dr. Jens Gaab, CHF 218'008
  8. Stiftung pro REHAB Basel (2016 – 2019): Unterstützung des Forschungsprojektes «effects of animal-assisted therapy in patients with brain-injuries» und Teilfinanzierung der post-doc Stelle von Karin Hediger. Antrassteller: Dr. Karin Hediger & Prof. Dr. Jakob Zinsstag. CHF 144'069
  9. Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Bischöfliches Ordinat (2016-2019). Finacial Assitance of Sr. Roshin Kunnel for Studies in Clinical Psychology. Donation, € 36'000





Dr. phil. Anna Denzinger: Enhancing adjustment to parental cancer: Counselling interventions for families with a parent with cancer
Dr. phil. Martina Barbara Bingisser: FAMOCA – Family online counseling for families with parental cancer
Dr. phil. Theresa Tondorf: Comprehensive cancer care: Cancer patients’ and oncologists’ perspectives on psycho-oncological support

Master theses
  1. Andrina Baitella: Heart Rate (HR) and Heart Rate Variability (HRV) during an Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) in healthy subjects
  2. Joana Bally: The impact of the open-hidden administration of exposure training on treatment outcome in spider-fearful participants
  3. Laura Bondenbender: Move more, sleep better
  4. Noëmi Borer: Dunkle Triade/Narzissmussubtypen und Humor
  5. Cora Cottiati: Qualitätssicherung im klinischen Kontext: Effekte und Prädiktoren stationärer Behandlung
  6. Dilan Sezer: The role of expectancy and adherence on open- label placebo effects in premenstrual syndrome: preliminary results of a randomized controlled trial
  7. Gabriela Faustino: "Diabetes ist kein Zuckerschlecken” – Der Zusammenhang zwischen der emotionalen Belastung der Diabetes mellitus Typ 2-Erkrankung, der depressiven Symptomatik und dem Schlaf
  8. Lisa Gerspacher: Stimmparameter für die Erkennung von emotionaler Erregung im naturalistischen psychotherapeutischen Setting bei Patienten mit einer Borderline Persönlichkeitsstörung
  9. Gina Frei: The Therapeutic Alliance trialled with the administration of the Open/Hidden Paradigm: Exploring experimentally induced guilt affects
  10. Karin Fankhauser: Mental toughness and ist influence on depressive symptoms, diabetes-related distress and diabetes severity in individuals with diabetes mellitus type 2
  11. Ajoub Kolditz: Open/hidden Behandlungsadministration eines Expositionstrainings bei Spinnenangst
  12. Giulia Napoli: Association between Alliance Ruptures and Change Moments in Youths with Symptoms of Borderline Personality Pathology
  13. Monika Weber Müller: Mentale Stärke, Dunkle Triade, vulnerabler Narzissmus, gefühlskalte, emotionslose Eigenschaften: Welche Zusammenhänge bestehen?
  14. Carolina Macina: Is the therapeutic alliance in psychotherapy considered as a verum? – A randomised controlled open/hidden psychotherapy trial in the context of guilt-induction
  15. Rahel Marti: Einfluss der Anwesenheit und des Kontakts eines Hundes auf die frontale Hirnaktivität von Patienten im Minimally Conscious State (MCS): Eine randomisierte Kontroll-Studie
  16. Tabea Sarah Greterr: Good psychotherapeutic treatment: A qualitative conventional content analysis in psychotherapists’ point of view
  17. Felicitas Theis: Influences of animal-assisted therapy on episodic memory in patients with acquired brain injuries
  18. Anna Becker: Depressive symptoms, minority stress and sexual orientation – a secondary analysis of a retrospective cross-sectional survey
  19. Sarah Bürgler: Open-label placebo treatment in premenstrual syndrome (PMS): preliminary results of a randomized controlled trial on health-related quality of life, PMS impact, and daily interference
  20. Patrick Riegger: Mind recurrent activities – an approach to increase phases of recovery




Advanced Studies in Psychotherapy

The division is running three postgraduate psychotherapy trainings, which complement our contextual and humanistic understanding of psychological interventions. All three trainings started in 2018. In 2019, the CAS in Animal-Assisted Therapy as well as the CAS in Motivational Interviewing were successfully completed with 18 and 10 participants, respectively. The Master of Advanced Studies in Person-Centered Psychotherapy saw the successful completion of Modul 1 with 13 participants as well as the start of the second cohort with 15 participants. 2020 will see the second runs of the CAS in Animal-Assisted Therapy as well as the CAS in Motivational Interviewing, which are both sold out already.


Center for Psychotherapy

The Center for Psychotherapy experienced yet another increase in appointments in 2019, with specialized services for internationals and their families and for students of the University of Basel as well as a strong cooperation with COMPAS, providing animal-assisted psychotherapy at the Bäumlihof. The mean number of appointments per month in 2019 was 154, wihich constitutes yet another increase of 24% from last year. The mean numbers of appointments per month for 2019 and since the start of the Center for Psychotherapy are shown in the graph below.

Members Centre for Psychotherapy 2019
  • Directorate: Jens Gaab, Karin Hediger, Nadja Heimgartner, Milena Petignat
  • Administration: Lena Greschner
  • Psychotherapists: Jens Gaab, Karin Hediger, Nadja Heimgartner, Cora Wagner, Milena Petignat, Debora Neyer, Sibylle Meier, Marnie Reed, Emma Jones, Daniela Taborelli, Dorothée Bentz, Salvator Corbisiero