Visual Universitätsmedizin Mainz

Research at the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy


The Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy investigates the entire spectrum of psychosomatic health. In a holistic research approach we study somatic, psychological, ecological and lifestyle factors. In our interdisciplinary research groups, psychologists, physicians, health scientists, social and communication scientists use and develop a wide range of psychological, social scientific, biological and neurobiological diagnostic procedures and methods. In large-scale cohort studies and representative surveys we investigate health over the life span. From the very beginning, we have been a central unit and part of the management team of the Gutenberg Health Study and cooperate closely with other leading German cohort studies. We regularly conduct representative surveys on health, social and psychological issues in the German population. In the area of gender, migration and diversity we determine the influence of biological gender, psychological and social gender characteristics and migration experiences on health and health behavior. A further focus is psychological stress and resilience research.

It is important to us to translate scientific results (translation) into health promotion and prevention to promote resilience and health. This helps chronically ill patients in our clinical focus areas of psycho-oncology, psychocardiology, transplantation and palliative care to remain mentally healthy and mentally ill to remain physically healthy. The focus on psychotherapy research serves the further development and evaluation of disorder-related psychotherapy methods.

Since digitalization has become increasingly relevant not only in our everyday life but also in the various sectors of the health care system in recent years, we have been developing and evaluating innovative digital treatment strategies in the research area E-Mental-Health since 2010.

The frequent addictive derailment of ubiquitous media use is an essential part of the focus on media use and behavioral addiction, which has been doing pioneering work in this field in Germany since 2007.

Recently, we have intensified research on the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. As part of the Gutenberg Covid Study (GCS) we investigate the psychosocial consequences of the pandemic. In the University Medical Network (Netzwerk Universitätsmedizin) we are developing an Employee Assistance program for employees of the German university medical centers.


Biopsychosocial Model: Expanded Exposom Concept (following Vermeulen et al. 2020)*


*Vermeulen, R., Schymanski, E. L., Barabasi, A. L., & Miller, G. W.; “The exposome and health: Where chemistry meets biology;” Science, 2020, 367(6476), 392-396; DOI: 10.1126/science.aay3164.


Our clinic is a member of the Research Centers Translational Vascular Biology (CVTB), Translational Neuroscience (FTN), the University Tumor Center (UCT), the Allergy Center Rhineland-Palatinate, the Interdisciplinary Pain Therapy Center and the Research Focus Media Convergence of the Johannes Gutenberg University. The Department of Psychosomatic Medicine is a central unit of the Mainz Research Center for Mental Health (MZPG) and the Study Center for Clinical Trials in Mental Disorders (SPE). We are a member of the Graduate School Life Sciences-Life Writing (DFG) and the Graduate School Transmed. We cooperate closely with the Institute for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine and the Institute for Teacher Health (IfL) with regard to the prevention of work stress in the context of employee assistance programs. The clinic plays a leading role in the development of national and international treatment guidelines for mental and somatic diseases (anxiety disorders, depersonalization, psychocardiology). We are nationally and internationally networked with numerous research institutions and clinics and we are also pleased about your interest in our work.

Opportunities for doctorate and habilitation

For more information about the opportunities for a doctorate and habilitation at the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, please click here.

Research activities

Further information on our research activities from the year 2000 onwards can also be obtained from the research database.

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