ENHANCE - Biomolekulare Effekte traumafokussierter Psychotherapie bei Patienten mit Gewalt und Missbrauchserfahrungen in der Kindheit und Jugend

Copyright © • Heiko Grandel

Project Management
Prof. Dr. Iris-Tatjana Kolassa

Dr. Matthias Mack
M.Sc.-Psych Melissa Hitzler
Maxi Hickmann

Cooperation partners
Dr. Alexander Karabatsiakis

Prof. Dr. Iris-Tatjana Kolassa


Molecular Psychotraumatology

Research Question

The multicenter study ENHANCE, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), examines which psycho-biological factors influence the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with childhood maltreatment. The long-term goal of ENHANCE is to improve the psychological and biological understanding of PTSD as a consequence of childhood maltreatment and to improve the psychotherapeutic treatment of individuals suffering from PTSD after adverse childhood experiences.
Successful treatment of PTSD after childhood maltreatment should be able – besides the improvement in clinical PTSD symptoms – to normalize trauma-associated biomolecular alterations. Hence, the department of Clinical & Biological Psychology is particularly interested in answering the question, whether current trauma-focused psychotherapy for PTSD after childhood maltreatment is also effective in treating biomolecular alterations due to lifetime traumatic stress and whether it can improve health outcomes on a biomolecular level.

The project is important for all individuals affected by childhood maltreatment and trauma-spectrum disorders as well as practitioners and scientists in the field: The results of the project can enhance the psychotherapeutic care of affected individuals and reduce their suffering significantly.

Funding and project network

  • 02/2019 – 03/2022 BMBF: Enhancing understanding and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder related to child maltreatment - "ENHANCE". F. Leichsenring (coordinator), C. Steinert, I.T. Kolassa, A. Hermann, H. König

The research network comprises the following institutions:

  • Ulm University, Institute of Psychology and Education, Department of Clinical & Biological Psychology (Prof. Dr. Iris-Tatjana Kolassa)
  • Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy Ulm (Prof. Dr. Harald Gündel)
  • Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Clinic for Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy (Prof. Dr. Eva Peters)
  • MSB Medical School Berlin, Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy (Prof. Dr. Christine Steinert)
  • Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Department of Psychotherapy & Neuroscience (PD Dr. Andrea Hermann)
  • Hamburg University, Institute of health economy and healthcare research (Prof. Dr. Hans-Helmut König)