Dr. Cosima Locher

Dr. Cosima Locher


Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie Fakultät für Psychologie
Universität Basel
Missionsstrase 62
4055 Basel

+41 61 207 03 85

Büro: Missionsstrasse 62

  • Date of Birth: 15.05.1989
  • Nationality: Swiss
  • Researcher ID: N-5671-2017
  • OrcID: 0000-0002-9660-0590
  • Researchergate ID: Link
  • Google Scholar ID: Link

1. Articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals

2019Locher, C., Nascimento, A. F., Kossowsky, J., Meyer, A., & Gaab, J. (2019). Open-label placebo response–Does optimism matter? A secondary-analysis of a randomized controlled trial.Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 116, 25-30. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2018.11.009. IF: 3.3
Contribution: process of theory forming,application for ethical approval, recruitment, data monitoring, performing experiment, data analyses, writing manuscript    
LocherC., Messerli M., Gaab J., Gerger H. (in press). 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 and STDs. IF: 4.0
Contribution: process of theory forming,systematic search, full-text review, screening, extraction, data analyses, writing manuscript    
2018Locher C., Gaab, J., Blease C. (2018). When a Placebo is not a Placebo: Problems and Solutions to the Gold Standard in Psychotherapy Research. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 2317. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02317. IF: 2.1.
Contribution: process of theory forming,writing manuscript    
Koechlin, H., Kossowsky, J., Gaab, J., & Locher, C. (2018) How to address the placebo response in the prescription of SSRIs and SNRIs in children and adolescents.Expert Opinion on Drug Safety, 17(6), 537-540.doi:10.1080/14740338.2018.1475558. IF: 3.156
Contribution: process of theory forming,writing manuscript    
Locher, C., Gaab, J., Loughlin, M., & Blease, C. (in press). Book Review. After Placebo: In Medical Research and Clinical Practice. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. IF = 1.25
2017Locher, C., Koechlin, H., Zion, S. R., Werner, C., Pine, D. S., Kirsch, I., Kessler, R., & Kossowsky, J. (2017). Efficacy and safety of SSRIs, SNRIs, and placebo in common psychiatric disorders: A comprehensive meta-analysis in children and adolescents. JAMA Psychiatry, 74(10), 1011. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.2432. IF = 15.3
Locher, C., Frey Nascimento, A., Kirsch, I., Kossowsky, J., Meyer, A., & Gaab, J. (2017). Is the rationale more important than deception? A randomized controlled trial of open-label placebo analgesiaPAIN, 158(12), 2320-2328. doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001012. IF = 5.4
Tondorf, T., Kaufmann, L.-K., Degel, A., Locher, C., Birkhäuer, J., Gerger, H., Ehlert, U., & Gaab, J. (2017). Employing open/hidden administration in psychotherapy research: A randomized-controlled trial of expressive writing. PLoS ONE, 12(11), e0187400. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0187400. IF = 4.4
Gaab, J., Locher, C., & Gerger, H. (2017). Placebo und Psychotherapie – Selbstabschaffung oder Erkenntnisgewinn? Stellungnahme der Autoren zum Leserbrief von Harald Walach. Verhaltenstherapie, 27(1), 59-60. doi:10.1159/0004530564. IF = 0.6
2016Locher, C., Hasler, S., & Gaab, J. (2016). When do placebos in psychotherapeutic research work? A systematic review on the example of systematic desensitization. Verhaltenstherapie, 26(1), 9-20. doi: 10.1159/000443464. IF = 0.6
Gaab, J., Blease, C., Locher, C., & Gerger, H. (2016). Go open: A plea for transparency in psychotherapy. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 3(2), 175. doi:10.1037/cns0000063  
2015Locher, C., Kossowsky, J., Gaab, J., Kirsch, I., Bain, P., & Krummenacher, P. (2015). Moderation of antidepressant and placebo outcomes by baseline severity in late-life depression: A systematic review and meta-analysisJournal of Affective Disorders, 181, 50-60. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2015.03.062. IF = 3.4 
2013Kossowsky, J., Pfaltz, M. C., Schneider, S., Taeymans, J., Locher, C., & Gaab, J. (2013). The separation anxiety hypothesis of panic disorder revisited: A meta-analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry, 170(7), 768-781. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2012.12070893. IF = 14.2 

2. Contributions to books  

2018Gaab, J., Locher, C., & Blease, C. Placebo and Psychotherapy: Differences, Similarities and Implications. Neurobiology of the Placebo Effect. Editor: Colloca L, Book Series: International Review of Neurobiology, Elsevier. IF = 1.9


 3. Contributions to conferences

Talks 06.2018Discussant and organization of a Symposium at the “World Congress of Psychotherapy” at Amsterdam, the Netherlands: “Placebo-Like Effects in Psychotherapy”  
07.2017     Talk at the “European Congress of Psychology” (ECP) at Amsterdam, the Netherlands: “Open-label Placebos in Healthy Participants: An Experimental Pain Investigation”    
04.2017     Talk at the “Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies” (SIPS) Congress at Leiden, the Netherlands: “Open-label Placebos in Healthy Participants: An Experimental Pain Investigation”    
06.2014     Talk at the Placebo Congress at the Foundation Brocher, Hermance, Switzerland: “Placebo Response in Geriatric Depression”    
09.2013     Talk at the SSP-SGP Congress in Basel, Switzerland: “The Separation Anxiety Hypothesis of Panic Disorder Revisited: A Meta-Analysis”     
Posters04.2017 Poster at the SIPS Congress at Leiden, the Netherlands: “Inpatients’ perspectives on therapeutic moments”    
06.2016     Poster Presentation at the Association for Psychological Science (APS) Congress in Chicago, USA: "Efficacy of Psychological Interventions in Improving Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence. A meta-analysis of controlled studies"    
09.2014     Poster Presentation at the European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (EABCT) Congress in The Hague, the Netherlands: “Baseline Severity: A Moderator of Antidepressant and Placebo Outcomes in Late-Life Depression” 


  4. Outreach activities

11.2018 Talk at the “Training Course: Treating Fibromyalgia” at the Postgraduate Medical Centre, Plymouth University: “Breaking Good News: What we can learn from placebo research in the treatment of fibromyalgia” 
09.2017 Talk at the “3. Schweizer Fachtag Psychosomatik” at Zürich: “Subjektive Krankheits- und Behandlungsmodelle”    
08.2017     Talk at the “Interdisziplinäre Fortbildung am Kantonsspital Frauenfeld“: „Placebo ist ein wirksames Medikament - wie wirkt es, wie kann es genutzt werden und was sind ethische Implikationen für die Praxis?“    
07.2017     Talk at the „Privatklinik Hohenegg, Meilen“: „Placebos und deren Konsequenzen in der Klinik sowie in der Grundlagenforschung: Effekte und Möglichkeiten, sie zu nutzen”    


5. General contributions to science

Since 2017International Reproducibility Project
Lakens, D., van Assen, M., Anvari, F., Corker, K. S., Grange, J. A., Gerger, H., Hasselman, F., Koyama, J., Locher, C., Miller, I., Page-Gould, E., Schönbrodt, F. D.,  Sharples, A., Spellman, B. A., & Zhou, S. (2017). Examining the reproducibility of meta-analyses in psychology: A preliminary report.
Since 2015     FS 2018, FS 2017, FS 2016, FS 2015: Talk for the seminar “Resilienz und Ressourcen” at the Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Psychologie, ZHAW, Switzerland: “Placebo und die Bedeutung für die Therapie“    
05.2015Talk for the lecture “Forschungsethik in der Psychologie” at the University of Basel: “Placebo and Ethics”    

 6. Submitted publications

Locher, C., Messerli, M., Gaab, J., & Gerger, H. (submitted). Long-term Effects of Psychological Interventions to Improve Adherence to Antiretroviral Treatment in HIV-infected Persons: A Meta-analysis.
Locher, C.,Meier, S., & Gaab, J. (submitted).Psychotherapy: The World of Meanings. Contribution: Process of theory forming, writing manuscript     


7. Unpublished work

06.2017     Dissertation: „Placebos and their Consequences in Clinical and Basic Research: Effects and Possible Ways to Harness them“     


From 09.2018SNF Postdoc.mobility fellowship at Plymouth University, the University of Bristol, and Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Title of the Project: “Overcoming Classificatory and Methodological Hurdles to Improve Treatment of Chronic Primary Pain: A Network Meta-Analytic Approach” (P400PS_180730)    
Since 03.2017    Postgraduate education in Integrative Coaching IBP (BSO, SGfB) at the IBP Institute in Winterthur, Switzerland    



PhD / Dr. phil. (summa cum laude) at the University of Basel, Switzerland 

„Placebos and their Consequences in Clinical and Basic Research: Effects and Possible Ways to Harness Them“
Date of Defense: 22.06.2017
Advisor: Prof. Jens Gaab

Master of Science(summa cum laude) in Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Basel, Switzerland

Master thesis: “Baseline severity: A moderator of antidepressant and placebo outcomes in late-life depression    
08.2009-07.2012Bachelor of Science (insigni cum laude) in Psychology at the University of Basel, Swizerland 

Bachelor thesis
: Geschlechtsunterschiede chronisch depressiver Patienten: Ansprechen auf eine CBASP-Therapie und interpersonelles Verhalten” 
Since 12.2016Courses in Educational Development, University of Basel
11.2017Good Clinical Practice Basiskurs, Clinical Trial Unit Basel 
02.2016-11.2016  Courses of antelope@university, University of Basel (Dr. Andrea Flora Bauer & Patricia Zweifel) 
 05.2016 Workshop: How to publish in peer-reviewed Journals (Dr. Gunther Tress) 
 09.2016Workshop: How to present at International Conferences (Dr. Gunther Tress)
 05.2015  Workshop: Self-Branding and Self-Promotion (Petra Wüst)
 01.2015Workshop: Writing (PD Dr. Jürgen Barth)
04.2013-05.2013  Online Meta-Analysis course at Statistics.com (Dr. Michael Borenstein & Dr. Hannah Rothstein)  
From 09.2018PostDoc research assistant, University of Bristol, Bristol Medical School
Advisor: Prof. Nicky Welton    
From 09.2018PostDoc research assistant, Plymouth University, School of Psychology
Advisor: Prof. Michael Hyland    
From 09.2018Adjunct senior researcher, University of Basel, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Advisor: Prof. Jens Gaab    
Since 08.2017Research associate, Swiss private clinic (Privatklinik Hohenegg, Meilen)  
Since 07.2017PostDoc research assistant, University of Basel, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
09.2014-06.2017PhD Candidate, University of Basel, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy 
Advisor: Prof. Jens Gaab 
12.2011-06.2014Research assistant, University of Basel, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. Project: Meta-Analyses. 
Advisors: Prof. Jens Gaab and Dr. Joe Kossowksy 
11.2013-12.2013Research assistant of the study “Genetische Polymorphismen in Assoziation mit Placebo Analgesie” at the University of Basel 
Advisor: Dr. Peter Krummenacher
05.2013-09.2013 Research assistant for the SSP-SGP Congress at the University of Basel
Advisor: Prof. Jens Gaab
02.2013-05.2013Internship at the Universitäts-Kinderspital beider Basel (UKBB): “Diabetes na und? Eine Studie zur Befindlichkeit bei Kindern mit Diabetes und deren Familie”
Advisor: Prof. Tina In-Albon 
09.2012-10.2012Research assistant of the study “Ambulatory monitoring in PD and PTSD” at the University of Basel 
Advisor: Prof. Monique Pfaltz 
10.2011-12.2011Research assistant, University of Basel, Department of Cognitive and Decision Sciences
Advisor: Prof. Ralph Hertwig
06.2011-09.2011Internship at the Universitätsklinikum Freiburg, Germany: station for affective disorders, specialized for chronic depression
Advisor: Prof. Eva-Lotta Brakemeier
09.2010-06.2011Tutor for statistics, University of Basel 
Advisor: Dr. Markus Stöcklin
Since 08.2017 Masterproject “PMS – an open-label placebo study” (Supervision of 3 students: Dilan Sezer, Sarah Bürgler, Bojana Degen)    
Since 08.2015Supervision of 4 Bachelor Theses  
02.2016-06.2017     Masterproject “Subjective narratives of the placebo - qualitative approach” (Supervision of 2 students: Sebastian Hasler and Xenia Zheleznyak)    
08.2015-06.2017     Masterproject “Open-label placebo- experimental study”
(Supervision of 3 students: Nafisa Müller, Larissa Tellini, Christoph Werner    
From 02.2018     FS 2018: Seminar „Meta-Analysen“    
08.2015-12.2017     HS 2015, HS 2016, HS 2017: Seminar “Einführung in die Placebo- und Noceboforschung”    
08.2015-12.2017     HS 2015, FS 2016, HS 2016, FS 2017, HS 2017: Seminar “Kolloquium Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie”    
02.2016-06.2016     FS 2016: Lecture “Klinische Somatopsychologie” (with Prof. Jens Gaab)    
09.2010-06.2011     Tutor for statistics, University of Basel    
Since 2015 Reviewing activities for the Journal of Affective Disorders, PLoS ONE, andthe Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Since 2013 Member of the Society of Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies (SIPS)