Prof. Birgit Kleim, PhD
What factors lead to the development of mental illness and, conversely, which promote resilience and resistance in the context of potentially traumatic events? What active mechanisms make current and evidence-based psychotherapy effective? And how can we make them even more effective, by translating findings from basic science, for example on autobiographical memory and "offline" memory consolidation during sleep? We investigate these questions using empirical and experimental methods in naturalistic and randomized clinical as well as experimental laboratory studies. The dual affiliation of the Department of Psychology and the Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich (PUK) supports the link of our research to clinical practice (and vice versa). Characteristic for our research is a close integration of experimental psychopathology research with the further development of current effective psychological interventions. The department includes a sleep/EEG laboratory, which extends and complements the capabilities of our research.
The focus of our teaching is based on our research interests in «Experimental Psychopathology und Psychotherapy». More information about our teaching can be found in the course catalog.
The affiliation with the Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich, PUK, enables an extension of teaching and research in the field of psychotherapy into the applied clinical setting of the largest psychiatric university hospital for adult psychiatry in Switzerland. As a department, we are professionally involved in the expansion and evaluation of psychiatric services at the PUK, where we also conduct research projects. Thus, the therapeutic offers are also up to date with the latest research. Concerning outpatient treatment, we are involved in the treatment of stress and trauma-related disorders within the framework of the Outpatient Clinic for Specialized Psychotherapy, ASP, at the PUK. Psychology students have the opportunity to work as interns in this setting, as well as in PUK's inpatient psychotherapy programs, and to participate in research projects in this area to gain early insight into psychotherapeutic practice, as well as psychotherapy research.