2022: Exploring

Looking back, 2022 flew by and saw us exploring new ways, but also deepening known trails. Cold showers are the new warm showers now, impathy is here to stay, placebos might replace penance, Mozart might have been more appreciative of Irving Kirsch than he was with Franz Anton Mesmer and what we could do to replacement, reduction, refinement animal research are just a few steps into new territory and there is more to come. As mentioned in the last annual report, the division has undergone some considerable brain drain, but seeing how their places are picked up by new ideas and new people as much as seeing how well those who left for new horizons now flourish and bloom, is just as rewarding as reassuring. However, there will be some changes to come. First, our research will step up the open-label placebo to see how it fares in the harsh winds of clinical reality. Second, our understanding of individual change wil be made available for pressing societal problems, such as climate change. We need to change and we know what is needed for this. Third, our models and ideas deserves to see the daylight to take root and grow and thus our approach will be cooperational, reaching out to other disciplines and colleagues. There is still a lot to explore! Looking forward... JG/March 2023

Members of the division 2022

Antje Frey Nascimento, Nadja Heimgartner, Emil Nissen, Magdalena Ridder, Juliana Forster, Albiona Kiska, Julia Wichmann, Dilan Sezer, Judith Alder, Berfin Bakis, Sarah Bürgler, Yoon Phaik Ooi, Sara Hotz, Jana Hochreuter, Rainer Bürki, Lena Glaser, Yannick Schulz, Marc Inderbinen, Oliva Andereggen, Emma Marchal-Jones, Marnie Reed, Otto Schmid, Oleksandr Tokhtamysh, Ronan Zimmermann, Clara Bruhin, Cora Wagner and Jens Gaab


Publications 2022 (total impact factor: 58.5)
  1. Sezer D, Locher C, Gaab J. Deceptive and open-label placebo effects in experimentally induced guilt: a randomized controlled trial in healthy subjects. Sci Rep. 2022 Dec 8;12(1):21219. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-25446-1. PMID: 36481801; PMCID: PMC9731964, IF: 4.4
  2. Vincent A, Beck K, Thommen E, Widmer M, Becker C, Loretz N, Gross S, Mueller J, Amacher SA, Bohren C, Schaefert R, Gaab J, Marsch S, Emsden C, Tisljar K, Sutter R, Hunziker S. Post-intensive care syndrome in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients: A prospective observational cohort study. PLoS One. 2022 Oct 14;17(10):e0276011. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0276011. PMID: 36240252; PMCID: PMC9565684, IF: 3.8
  3. Allemann-Su YY, Vetter M, Koechlin H, Paul SM, Cooper BA, Oppegaard K, Melisko M, Levine JD, Conley Y, Miaskowski C, Katapodi MC. Pre-Surgery Demographic, Clinical, and Symptom Characteristics Associated with Different Self-Reported Cognitive Processes in Patients with Breast Cancer. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Jul 5;14(13):3281. doi: 10.3390/cancers14133281. PMID: 35805053; PMCID: PMC9265628. IF: 6.6
  4. Zimmermann R, Steppan M, Zimmermann J, Oeltjen L, Birkhölzer M, Schmeck K, et al. (2022) A DSM-5 AMPD and ICD-11 compatible measure for an early identification of personality disorders in adolescence–LoPF-Q 12–18 latent structure and short form. PLoS ONE 17(9): e0269327. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0269327, IF: 3.8
  5. Allemann-Su YY, Vetter M, Koechlin H, Conley Y, Paul SM, Cooper BA, Kober KM, Levine JD, Miaskowski C, Katapodi MC. Distinct Cognitive Function Profiles Are Associated With a Higher Presurgery Symptom Burden in Patients With Breast Cancer. Cancer Nurs. 2022 Dec 1. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000001114. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35439196. IF: 2.8
  6. Walther LM, von Känel R, Heimgartner N, Zuccarella-Hackl C, Stirnimann G, Wirtz PH. Alpha-Adrenergic Mechanisms in the Cardiovascular Hyperreactivity to Norepinephrine-Infusion in Essential Hypertension. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 Jul 22;13:824616. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2022.824616. PMID: 35937820; PMCID: PMC9355707, IF: 6.1
  7. Gaab J. The reasons for its effectiveness, however, remain in dispute-A tribute to Irving Kirsch. Front Psychol. 2022 Nov 14;13:1037678. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1037678. PMID: 36452382; PMCID: PMC9702557. IF: 2.3
  8. Schmeck, K., Weise, S., Schlüter-Müller, S., Birkhölzer, M., Fürer, L., Koenig, J., Krause, M., Lerch, S., Schenk, N., Valdes, N., Zimmermann, R., & Kaess, M. (2022). Effectiveness of adolescent identity treatment (AIT) versus DBT-a for the treatment of adolescent borderline personality disorder. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/per0000572 , IF: 4.6
  9. Bäumer AV, Fürer L, Birkenberger C, Wyssen A, Steppan M, Zimmermann R, Gaab J, Kaess M, Schmeck K. The impact of outcome expectancy on therapy outcome in adolescents with borderline personality disorder. Borderline Personal Disord Emot Dysregul. 2022 Dec 5;9(1):30. doi: 10.1186/s40479-022-00200-1. PMID: 36464739; PMCID: PMC9721041, IF: 4.2
  10. Jones, E. M., Reed, M., Gaab, J., & Ooi, Y. P. (2022). Adjustment in third culture kids: A systematic review of literature. Frontiers in Psychology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.939044, IF: 2.3
  11. Neubrand S, Gaab J. The missing construct: Impathy. Front Psychol. 2022 Oct 6;13:726029. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.726029. PMID: 36389598; PMCID: PMC9650987, IF: 2.3
  12. Ooi YP, Reed M, Marchal-Jones E, Meyer AH, Gaab J. Sociocultural Adjustment and Well-being Among Third Culture Kids and Their Families: Protocol for a Longitudinal Study. JMIR Res Protoc 2022;11(7):e30088, doi: 10.2196/30088
  13. Cottin M, Blum K, Konjufca J, Quevedo Y, Kaaya S, Behn A, Schmeck K, Sharp C, Zimmermann R. Digital use of standardised assessment tools for children and adolescents: can available paper-based questionnaires be used free of charge in electronic format? BMC Psychiatry. 2022 Jun 3;22(1):379. doi: 10.1186/s12888-022-04023-w. PMID: 35659275; PMCID: PMC9166519. IF: 3.4
  14. Wagner, C., Grob, C., & Hediger, K. (2022). Specific and Non-specific Factors of Animal-Assisted Interventions Considered in Research: A Systematic Review. Front. Psychol., 28 June,https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.931347, IF: 2.3
  15. Bühlmann V, Schlüter-Müller S, Fürer L, Steppan M, Birkhölzer M, Schmeck K, Koenig J, Kaess M, Zimmermann R. Therapists' emotional state after sessions in which suicidality is addressed: need for improved management of suicidal tendencies in patients with borderline personality pathology. BMC Psychiatry. 2021 Nov 23;21(1):590. doi: 10.1186/s12888-021-03549-9. PMID: 34814860; PMCID: PMC8609732. IF: 3.4
  16. Locher C, Buergler S, Heimgartner N, Koechlin H, Gerger H, Gaab J, Buechi S (2022). Greater than the sum of the parts? A qualitative content analysis of what constitutes a good treatment in inpatients.BMC Health Services Research, 22(1), 565 IF: 2.5
  17. Koné I, Rumetsch V, Elger B, Gaab J (2022). Einsatz von Placebo im ärztlichen Alltag unter Einbezug der ethischen und rechtlichen Rahmenbedingungen. Swiss Medical Forum | 2022;22(40):660–663
  18. Gross S, Beck K, Becker C, Gamp M, Mueller J, Loretz N, Amacher SA, Bohren C, Gaab J, Schuetz P, Mueller B, Fux CA, Leuppi JD, Schaefert R, Langewitz W, Trendelenburg M, Breidthardt T, Eckstein J, Osthoff M, Bassetti S, Hunziker S. Perception of physicians and nursing staff members regarding outside versus bedside ward rounds: ancillary analysis of the randomised BEDSIDE-OUTSIDE trial. Swiss Med Wkly. 2022 Jan 19;152:w30112. doi: 10.4414/smw.2022.30112. PMID: 35072414. IF: 2.2
  19. Wicht, C.A., Mouthon, M., Nsimire Chabwine, J., Gaab, J. & Spierer L. (2022). Experience with opioids does not modify the brain network involved in expectations of placebo analgesia. European Journal of Neuroscience. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/ejn.15645 IF: 3.1
  20. Ehrbar V, Roos S, Denzinger A, Bingisser MB, Scherer S, Gaab J, Vetter M, Heinzelmann-Schwarz V, Urech C (2022). Managing Cancer as a Family Disease-Feasibility, Satisfaction and Family Functioning after Short-Time Counselling for Families with Parental Cancer. The Family Journal, doi:10.1177/10664807211052484, IF: 0.9
  1. Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Schweiz, NRP (2022-2025). 3R-sTrategies and Harm-benefIt analysis: uNnderstanding decision-maKing and improving consistency and accountability in animal experiment evaluations in Switzerland [THINK-3R]. Gaab Jens, Würbel Hanno, Blattner Charlotte, Lüscher Christian, Elger Bernice, CHF 444'494.
  2. Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Schweiz, NRP (2022-2025). Implementing 3Rs in Switzerland: an interdisciplinary in-depth exploration of barriers and facilitators [Implement-3R].  Bernice Elger, Markus Affolter, Charlotte Blattner, Brenda Renata Kwak, Hanno Würbel, CHF 546'531, (Jens Gaab Projektpartner).
  3. Fondation Botnar (2019-2023). 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.

Qualifications in 2022

  1. Sandra Sefidan (UZH): Impact of positive characteristics of leaders and subordinates on motivation, stress and performance
  2. Süheyla Seker: Mental Disorders Among Out-of-Home Placed Children and Adolescents Into Adulthood: A Multimodal Approach
  3. Cora Wagner: Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Mechanisms of Animal-Assisted Interventions: How important is the Animal?
  4. Stefanie Neubrand: The missing construct: Impathy – Conceptualization, operationalization, and clinical considerations
Master theses
  1. Kathrin Blum: Addressing barriers to the usage of evidence based assessment for early detection of mental health conditions in children and adolescents in low- and middle-income countries
  2. Germaine Léa Bongenge : Self-and clinician-rated level of personality functioning and potential associations to subclinical maladaptive personality traits in healthy controls
  3. Evelyne Bruttin: Childhood adversity, mental health problems, and inflammation – exploring associations in a high-risk sample of young adult care leaver
  4. Alina Burkart: The role of expectancy on open-label placebo and imaginary pill effects – a randomized controlled trial in test anxiety
  5. Alexander Busch: Placebo efficacy on test anxiety - A Thematic Analysis on Attitudes and Experiences with the Open-Label Placebo and Imaginary Pill Intervention
  6. Nicola Campagnolo: Subjektives Erleben einer Open-label Placebo- Behandlung beim Prämenstruellen Syndrom – eine qualitative Folgebefragung mit Teilnehmerinnen einer randomisierten kontrollierten Studie
  7. Laila Cerino Garcia: Sensory Processing Sensitivity in Adolescents suffering from Chronic Pain: Distribution and Correlations
  8. Hanan Dahmane: Kalt oder Warm? Die Effekte von kaltem Duschen auf psychische und körperliche Gesundheit – Eine randomisierte kontrollierte Onlinestudie
  9. Soraya Eggimann: Der Einfluss von Lichttherapie auf den Chronotyp und chronotypspezifische Ruhe- und Aktivitätsparameter
  10. Manuela Ganz: Primary Care Physicians’ Opinion on Placebo Regulations
  11. Judith Theresia Glatz: Vergleich der Effektivität und Sicherheit von Placebos gegenüber zugelassenen Medikamenten bei der Behandlung von juveniler primärer chronischer Migräne. Ein systematisches Review
  12. Luana Giuliano: The Association Between Dizziness and Psychiatric Comorbidities: A Systematic Review
  13. Silea Häusermann: Wirkung einer tiergestützten Schmerztherapie für Kinder mit chronischen Schmerzen – eine qualitative Inhaltsanalyse einer Pilotstudie
  14. Natalie Heger: Keine echten Medikamente, aber eine echte Alternative – Konzeptualisierungen von Placebos und ihrer Wirkungs- weise bei Frauen mit Prämenstruellem Syndrom nach einer open-label Placebobehandlung
  15. Jana Hochreuter: Effects of Open-label Placebos on Chronic Back Pain: A Meta-Analysis
  16. Imân Hofer: Open-label Placebo Treatment of Women with Premenstrual Syndrome: A Qualitative Follow up of Participants’ Experiences
  17. Lena Hornstein: Besides ethical and clinical debates on placebo – are placebos legally permissible? An investigation in Swiss regulations concerning the placebo use in clinical practice
  18. Sascha Iselin: What are the attitudes of chronic back pain patients towards open-label placebo implementation into clinical practice?
  19. Christophe Künsch: Withdrawal Ruptures in Adolescents with Borderline Personality Disorder Psychotherapy are Marked by Increased Pauses and Silence – can Minimal Responses be Automatically Detected?
  20. Samira Lengacher: Pain Catastrophizing: A Predictive Factor of Acute Postoperative Pain in an Open-Label Placebo Study
  21. Sophia Maier: Stress and Well-Being: The Mediating Role of Family Functioning from a one-year longitudinal study on Third Culture Kids and their Parents
  22. Paula Muser: Kann tiergestützte Gruppenpsychotherapie die psychische Belastung von Kind und Eltern bei chronischen Schmerzen des Kindes verbessern?
  23. Nadja Muehlebach: Grandparental Support for Childhood Cancer Patients and Their Families: A Qualitative Study
  24. Sarah Marie Hanig: Open-label Placebos for Induced Pain in Healthy Subjects: A Review and Meta-Analysis
  25. Victoria Räber: Do preoperative depression scores predict pain perception after spine surgery in people participating in an open-label placebo treatment study?
  26. Catarina Rodrigues: How does the development status of low- and middle- income countries affect mental illness stigma? A Systematic review and Meta-Analysis
  27. Camilla Rutschmann: Investigating Stigma towards Mental Illness in LMICs – a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
  28. Michelle Sedlák: Treasures of Therapy: Interpersonal elements and their influence on recovery in an inpatient psychiatric setting
  29. Sarah Simmen: Opioid Beliefs as a Predictor for Postoperative Morphine Consumption and Maximum Pain in an Open-Label Placebo Study
  30. Bohdan Stehlik: Placebos in clinical practice - A qualitative overview of legal regulations, codes of conduct, guidelines, and ethical considerations on the use of placebo in clinical practice
  31. Caroline Stumm: Evaluation der psychometrischen Güte eines Fragebogens zur Fremdbeurteilung der Beeinträchtigung im Funktionsniveau der Persönlichkeit im Kindes- und Jugendalter (LoPF-Q 6- 18 Elternfragebogen)
  32. Laura Tincknell: Effect of open-label placebos in patients with a psychiatric disorder: A meta-analysis
  33. Michelle Vogel: Now or Later? A qualitative content analysis of students' perspectives on a preferred intervention for academic procrastination
  34. Jasmin Zingg: Now or Later? A qualitative content analysis for a deeper understanding of why students procrastinate and what they wish for an intervention

Advanced Studies in Psychotherapy

The division is now hosts four postgraduate psychotherapy trainings, which complement our contextual, processual and humanistic understanding of psychological interventions. In 2022, all our trainings (CAS in Motivational Interviewing, CAS in Animal-Assisted Therapy, Master of Advanced Studies in Person-centered Psychotherapy and the Master of Advanced Studies in Process-based Psychotherapy) were running on full steam and in several cohorts, summing up to over 120 students.


Oliva Andereggen, Magdalena Ridder, Juliana Forster, Albiona Kiska, und Julia Wichmann

Chairs of the program committees


Center for Psychotherapy

The Center for Psychotherapy keeps on growing and we again outperformed last years numbers in appointments, with a mean number of appointments per month of 354, which constitutes yet another substandial increase from last year. In 2022, our specialized services for internationals and their families, for students of the University of Basel, in animal-assisted psychotherapy at the Bäumlihof  and our cost-free Uraine support services to all members of the University of Basel was highly sought after. The mean numbers of appointments per month for 2022 and since the start of the Center for Psychotherapy are shown in the graph below.

Members of the Center for Psychotherapy 2022
  • Directorate: Jens Gaab, Karin Hediger, Nadja Heimgartner
  • Head of Administration: Oliva Andereggen
  • Administration: Sara Hotz, Jana Hochreuter
  • Psychotherapists: Jens Gaab, Karin Hediger, Nadja Heimgartner, Lena Glaser, Mayte Parada, Cora Wagner, Milena Petignat, Cosima Locher, Carmina Grob, Debora Neyer, Marc Inderbinen, Marnie Reed, Bojana Degen, Emma Jones, Judith Leisibach, Elena Pauli, Salvatore Corbisiero, Johanna Hersberger, Rahel Marti, Antje Frey Nascimento, Dilan Sezer, Sarah Bürgler, Süheyla Seker, Sarah Müller, Wanda Arnskötter, Marc Bohny