Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy is about how mental disorders arise and are maintained and about how psychological interventions can be improved and evaluated. It also involves understanding psychological mechanisms of physical illness and its treatment.
In Hamburg, one main aim of our research group is to find out how and why psychotic symptoms arise and how they are maintained. This research involves identifying factors on an individual level and in the environment that make a person vulnerable to developing psychosis. At present, this research involves two main areas. One area focuses on the psychological mechanisms of delusions, looking at what are the relevant vulnerability factors that explain how delusions arise in response to stress.
At the same time, we are beginning to look into the mechanisms of negative symptoms of psychosis, such as lack of volition, and are trying to understand the emotional factors that are involved in maintaining them.
Although we believe that focusing on single symptoms or syndromes is necessary on order to understand the exact mechanisms that cause them, we also consider it important to reflect upon the specificity of these mechanisms. The strong overlap of psychosis with anxiety and depression and their high comorbidity suggests that they might involve some common vulnerability factors, such as dysfunctional self- and other related schemata and biased information-processing. Therefore, an additional approach of our research is to also look at the psychological factors relevant to explaining depression and anxiety.
All of our projects involve researchers at different levels of expertise, including bachelor and master level students, doctoral students, post-docs and fully qualified researchers. If you are a student and have a special interest in one of the on-going projects, please do not hesitate to contact the person who is responsible and inquire about opportunities for participating. You may participate by conducting your bachelor or master thesis in this project, or by joining our team as a research apprentice (Forschungspraktikant/in) or a student research assistant (Stud. Hilfskr.).
I appreciate your interest in our projects and thank you for taking time to study the information on our website under "Projekte".
Prof. Dr. Tania Lincoln