Thomas Berger

Thomas Berger
Universität Bern | UniBe · Institute of Psychology

Prof. Dr.

About

296
Publications
96,633
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7,400
Citations
Citations since 2017
193 Research Items
5818 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,200

Publications

Publications (296)
Article
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Objective: Internet-based cognitive-behavioral treatments (ICBT) have shown promise for various mental disorders, including social anxiety disorder (SAD). Most of these treatments have been delivered on desktop computers. However, the use of smartphones is becoming ubiquitous and could extend the reach of ICBT into users' everyday life. Only a few...
Article
Background: Internet-based cognitive behavioural treatment (ICBT) for anxiety disorders has shown some promise, but no study has yet examined unguided ICBT in primary care. This randomised controlled trial (RCT) investigated whether a transdiagnostic, unguided ICBT-programme for anxiety disorders is effective in primary care settings, after a face-...
Article
A growing body of evidence suggests that internet-based cognitive behavioural treatments (ICBT) are effective to treat social anxiety disorder (SAD). Whereas the efficacy of clinician-guided ICBT has been established, ICBT in a group format has not yet been systematically investigated. This three-arm RCT compared the efficacy of clinician-guided gr...
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Objectives: Research on Internet interventions has grown rapidly over the recent years and evidence is growing that Internet-based treatments often result in similar outcomes as conventional face-to-face psychotherapy. Yet there are still unanswered concerns such as whether a therapeutic alliance can be established over the Internet and whether th...
Article
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Internet-delivered self-help with minimal therapist guidance has shown promising results for a number of diagnoses. Most of the evidence comes from studies evaluating standardized disorder-specific treatments. A recent development in the field includes transdiagnostic and tailored Internet-based treatments that address comorbid symptoms and a broad...
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Digitale Interventionen zur Behandlung psychischer Störungen wurden in den letzten beiden Dekaden intensiv erforscht. Die vielversprechenden Wirksamkeitsnachweise in kontrollierten Studien stehen in den meisten Ländern im Kontrast zur tatsächlichen Nutzung in der Routinepraxis. In diesem Beitrag werden die Ergebnisse einer qualitativen Interviewstu...
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Within the ideation-to-action framework, existing theories of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs) primarily focus on the linear progression of suicide risk. This, however, neglects growing evidence that many suicidal individuals do not experience their suicide attempt as a planned action, and in some instances deny even having experienced any su...
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Introduction The combination of internet-based intervention and psychotherapy, commonly termed blended therapy (BT), has gained popularity in recent years. While advantages and disadvantages of BT have been identified from the patient and therapist perspective, the two perspectives have rarely been examined within the same treatment. Moreover, almo...
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Guided web-based self-help programs for individuals with depressive symptoms have shown to be more efficacious than unguided programs. However, research has paid little attention to why guided interventions are superior. The present study investigated whether working alliance and adherence to the program mediated the effect of guidance on depressiv...
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Background According to a landmark decision by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, people with a substance use disorder (SUD) are now eligible for disability benefits if their disorder impairs their ability to work. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is one of the most common SUDs in Switzerland and is associated with high societal and economic costs. This st...
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Background The long-standing view that auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) or hearing voices is a sign of schizophrenia has been challenged by research demonstrating that they lie on a continuum ranging from normal to pathological experience related to distress and need for care. Hearing voices is more prevalent in adolescence than in later life,...
Article
Background The low level of adherence in internet-based self-help interventions for depression suggests that in many existing programs, the motivational fit between the program and the user is unsatisfactory (eg, the user seeks autonomy, but the program provides directive guidance). Personalized, motive-oriented, self-help interventions could enabl...
Article
The therapeutic alliance is considered a robust predictor of psychotherapy outcome. Ruptures and resolutions in the alliance have been the focus of recent alliance literature. Most previous studies investigated their between-patient effects. We used hierarchical linear models to disaggregate the between- and within-patient effects of ruptures on th...
Article
Objectives: This paper presents a randomized controlled trial on assimilative integration, which is aimed at integrating elements from other orientations within one approach to enrich its conceptual and practical repertoire. Elements from Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) were integrated into a form of cognitive behavior therapy: Psychological Therapy...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Only 11-40% of those affected by a mental disorder in Germany receive treatment. New approaches to improve the German health care system are needed in order to counter chronification. Online-interventions have been shown to be effective as stand-alone as well as add-ons to routine practice. Interventions designed for a wide range of ment...
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Background: Loneliness, or perceived social isolation, is prevalent in both the general population and clinical practice. Although loneliness has repeatedly been associated with mental and physical health, research on interventions that reduce loneliness effectively is still rather scarce. Objective: This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of a...
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Objective: Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) with a lifetime prevalence rate of 1,8% is an under-researched psychiatric diagnosis. The present study therefore aimed to investigate both the processes and outcomes of psychotherapy for HPD in a non-controlled study. Methods: A total of 159 patients diagnosed with HPD were recruited and received...
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IntroductionFirst evidence suggests that internet-based self-help interventions effectively reduce COVID-19 related psychological distress. However, it is yet unclear which participant characteristics are associated with better treatment outcomes. Therefore, we conducted secondary analyses on data from a randomized controlled trial investigating th...
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Using a three-wave prospective cross-lagged panel design, the study examined six-month stability of burnout, self-compassion and social support among sports coaches in terms of measurement invariance, mean-level change, rank-order stability, and structural stability. The participating coaches (N = 422; Mage = 44.48, SD = 11.03) completed an online...
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Background: Prevalence rates for lifetime cannabis use and cannabis use disorder are much higher in people with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder than in those without. CANreduce 2.0 is an intervention that is generally effective at reducing cannabis use in cannabis misusers. This self-guided web-based intervention (6-week duration) consists...
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Background Adverse childhood experiences increase the risk for psychological disorders and lower psychosocial functioning across the lifespan. However, less is known about the processes through which ACE are linked to multiple negative outcomes. The aim of the FACE epidemiological study is to investigate emotion regulation (emotional reactivity, pe...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Loneliness, or perceived social isolation, is prevalent in both the general population and clinical practice. Although loneliness has repeatedly been associated with mental and physical health, research on interventions that reduce loneliness effectively is still rather scarce. OBJECTIVE This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of a gui...
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Web-based self-help programs for individuals with depressive symptoms are efficacious. Differences in effect sizes and adherence rates might be due to contextual factors. This randomized factorial trial investigated the effects of four potentially supportive contextual factors on outcome and adherence. Two factors were provided through human contac...
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Background Although major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by a pervasive negative mood, research indicates that the mood of depressed patients is rarely entirely stagnant. It is often dynamic, distinguished by highs and lows, and it is highly responsive to external and internal regulatory processes. Mood dynamics can be defined as a comb...
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Guidance is commonly used in Internet interventions. However, there is little work on how guidance can be optimally implemented in guided self-help approaches. Despite some general models on guidance, there is no theoretical framework as how to optimally individualize the guidance to the participants needs. The Motive-Oriented Therapeutic Relations...
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Introduction: Treatment as usual (TAU) is the most frequently used control group in randomized trials of psychotherapy for depression. Concerns have been raised that the heterogeneity of treatments in TAU leads to biased estimates of psychotherapy efficacy and to an unclear difference between TAU and control groups like waiting list (WL). Objecti...
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Almost 70% of patients with mental disorders report sleep difficulties and 30% fulfil the criteria for insomnia disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is the first-line treatment for insomnia according to current treatment guidelines. Despite this circumstance, insomnia is frequently treated only pharmacologically especially in...
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By applying a diary study design, we investigated the role of self-compassion during sport-specific daily stress (SSDS) with regard to the negative self-conscious emotions of shame and guilt and training motivation. We hypothesised that self-compassion would protect athletes from certain self-conscious emotions, namely shame, after SSDS. We also pr...
Chapter
Es liegt ein breites Spektrum an online- und computer-gestützten Interventionen bei psychischen Erkrankungen vor. Angebote reichen von Selbsthilfeprogrammen, die mit wenig oder gar keinem Kontakt mit Fachpersonen auskommen, bis zu Videosprechstunden, die das Internet als Kommunikationsmedium nutzen. Im Weiteren können online und computergestützte I...
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Background The COVID-19 pandemic and its far-reaching impact on physical and mental health generate high demand and, accordingly, a great need for treatment opportunities that promote well-being and manage psychological distress. Internet-based interventions are particularly suitable for this purpose. They are easily scalable, readily accessible, a...
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Objectives: The primary aim of this research was to develop a questionnaire that assesses perceived injustice among survivors of war and trauma in conflict areas and to evaluate its psychometric properties. This paper presents the first preliminary validation. Furthermore, the assumption that the general perception of injustice correlates with one...
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Background Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by a marked fear of negative evaluation in social situations and significant impairments. Even with the most effective treatments, remission rates are around 50%. An important reason for the limited effectiveness of treatments is the lack of evidence-based explanation of how treatments work...
Article
Bereaved siblings often receive insufficient social support and are at higher risk for mental disorders. This study aimed to examine the role of the therapist-rated working alliance in an online intervention for bereaved siblings. Clients (n = 74, 95% female), aged 17–59 received writing assignments and individual feedback by CBT trained therapists...
Article
The ability to mentalize has been discussed as potential change mechanism in psychotherapy. Reflective functioning (RF) offers an empirical framework for the assessment of mentalization in therapy sessions. In the present study, we assessed RF longitudinally and examined its association with symptomatic distress, symptom severity of depression and...
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Importance Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a severe mental disorder that is often inadequately treated. Objective To determine if adding a self-management intervention to care as usual (CAU) is effective and safe. Design Randomised, controlled, rater-blind trial. Duration of treatment and assessments: 12 months. Setting Secondary care,...
Article
Emerging evidence suggests that Internet-based interventions for people with psychosis (ICBTp) are feasible and efficacious. However, predictors of adherence and treatment outcomes are largely unknown. To narrow this research gap, we conducted secondary analyses on data from a randomized controlled trial, which evaluated an eight-week ICBTp interve...
Article
b> Hintergrund: Beziehungsprobleme gehen mit psychischen und physischen Problemen einher. Auch wenn effektive Behandlungsmöglichkeiten existieren, suchen viele Paare spät oder keine professionelle Hilfe. Die Kombination eines Online-Programms mit einer Paarberatung kann helfen, Barrieren wie hohe Kosten, lange Anfahrtswege oder Wartezeiten zu reduz...
Preprint
Background: Treatment as usual (TAU) is the most frequently used control group in randomised trials of psychotherapy for depression and meta-analyses that summarise these trials. Concerns have been raised over imprecise and biased efficacy estimates because of substantial variability in the treatments provided in TAU. We set out to investigate the...
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Background Online preventive interventions can help to reduce the incidence of mental disorders. Whereas knowledge on stakeholders’ attitudes and factors relevant for successfully integrating online treatment into existing healthcare systems is available, knowledge is scarce for online prevention. Methods Stakeholders from Germany, Switzerland, Au...
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Background Students beginning university are at a heightened risk for developing mental health disorders. Online prevention and early intervention programmes targeting mental health have the potential to reduce this risk, however, previous research has shown uptake to be rather poor. Understanding university stakeholders’ (e.g. governing level and...
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Background Over the last decades various approaches to digitalization of psychotherapy (PT) have been developed. The concept of blended PT, the combination of face to face and online interventions is one such example. While research interest on blended PT has greatly increased in the past years, the implementation of blended PT has lagged behind in...
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While mental health treatments have proven to be effective for a range of mental health problems, there is comparably little research on its effects on personality disorders or difficulty (PD). New dimensional conceptualizations of PD such as the ICD-11 PD model enable the cost-and time-effective dimensional assessment of severity and style of PD....
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Background One of the relevant case formulation methods for personality difficulties is plan analysis. The present study aimed at delivering a prototypical plan analysis for clients presenting with a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). The sample consisted of 14 participants diagnosed with an NPD. Based on audio clinical material...
Article
Background: Sleep disturbance symptoms are common in major depressive disorder (MDD) and have been found to hamper the treatment effect of conventional face-to-face psychological treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy. To increase the dissemination of evidence-based treatment, blended cognitive behavioral therapy (bCBT) consisting of web-...
Article
Background Internet cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) is a viable delivery format of CBT for depression. However, iCBT programmes include training in a wide array of cognitive and behavioural skills via different delivery methods, and it remains unclear which of these components are more efficacious and for whom. Methods We did a systematic revi...
Preprint
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Prevalence rates for lifetime cannabis use and cannabis use disorder are much higher in people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than those without. CANreduce 2.0 has been shown to be generally effective at reducing cannabis use in cannabis misusers. This self-guided web-based intervention (duration=6 weeks) consists o...
Article
Full-text available
Background Prevalence rates for lifetime cannabis use and cannabis use disorder are much higher in people with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder than in those without. CANreduce 2.0 is an intervention that is generally effective at reducing cannabis use in cannabis misusers. This self-guided web-based intervention (6-week duration) consists...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Despite increasing demand for treatment among cannabis users in many countries, most users are not in treatment. Internet-based self-help offers an alternative for those hesitant to seek face-to-face therapy, though low effectiveness and adherence issues often arise. Objective: Through adherence-focused guidance enhancement, we aimed to...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Depression is a highly prevalent mental disorder, but only a fraction of those affected receive evidence-based treatments. Recently, Internet-based interventions were introduced as an efficacious and cost-effective approach. However, even though depression is a heterogenous construct, effects of treatments have mostly been determined us...
Article
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Recent developments of novel in-vehicle interventions show the potential to transform the otherwise routine and mundane task of commuting into opportunities to improve the drivers' health and well-being. Prior research has explored the effectiveness of various in-vehicle interventions and has identified moments in which drivers could be interruptib...
Article
Background: University students with depression and anxiety do not easily receive or seek treatment; therefore, internet-based interventions have been suggested to be a promising way to improve treatment accessibility and availability. However, it has not been examined whether a guided, culturally adapted, transdiagnostic, internet-based interventi...
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Background The coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) has reached pandemic status and is affecting countries all over the world. The COVID-19 pandemic is accompanied by various stressors that require adjustment in everyday life and possibly changes in personal future prospects. While some individuals cope well with these challenges, some develop psychological d...
Preprint
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BACKGROUND Internet interventions for mental disorders and psychological problems such as prolonged grief have established their efficacy. However, less is known about how internet interventions work and through which mechanisms they are linked to the outcomes. OBJECTIVE As a first step in identifying mechanisms of change, this study examined emot...
Article
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Background: Internet interventions for mental disorders and psychological problems such as prolonged grief have established their efficacy. However, little is known about how internet interventions work and the mechanisms through which they are linked to the outcomes. Objective: As a first step in identifying mechanisms of change, this study aim...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To explore the moderating effects of sociodemographic variables on treatment benefits received from participating in an internet intervention for depression. Design Randomised, assessor-blind, controlled trial. Setting Online intervention, with participant recruitment using multiple settings, including inpatient and outpatient medical a...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Despite increasing demand for treatment among cannabis misusers in many countries, most misusers are not in treatment. Internet-based self-help offers an alternative for those hesitant to seek face-to-face therapy, though low-effectiveness and adherence issues often arise. Through adherence-focused guidance enhancement (AFGE), we aimed t...
Article
Full-text available
Background Despite increasing demand for treatment among cannabis users in many countries, most users are not in treatment. Internet-based self-help offers an alternative for those hesitant to seek face-to-face therapy, though low effectiveness and adherence issues often arise. Objective Through adherence-focused guidance enhancement, we aimed to i...
Article
Full-text available
Importance Personalized treatment choices would increase the effectiveness of internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT) for depression to the extent that patients differ in interventions that better suit them. Objective To provide personalized estimates of short-term and long-term relative efficacy of guided and unguided iCBT for depressi...
Article
Background: Accidents and the resulting injuries are among the world's biggest health care issues, often causing long-term effects on psychological and physical health. With regard to psychological consequences, accidents can cause a wide range of burdens including adjustment problems. Although adjustment problems are among the most frequent mental...
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Background Accidents and the resulting injuries are among the world’s biggest health care issues, often causing long-term effects on psychological and physical health. With regard to psychological consequences, accidents can cause a wide range of burdens including adjustment problems. Although adjustment problems are among the most frequent mental...
Article
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Background: Chronic pain is a complex problem for many older adults that affects both physical functioning and psychological well-being. Mobile health (mHealth) technologies have shown promise in supporting older persons in managing chronic conditions. Cognitive behavior therapy is recommended for older people with chronic pain. However, web-based...
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Specific psychological treatments for depressive disorders delivered on the Internet have shown effectiveness and presented advantages over face-to-face treatments (potentially less expensive, flexible schedules, available in remote areas). This paper aims to describe the characteristics of those who sought help from an online self-guided intervent...
Article
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Objective. Experience sampling assessments (multiple assessments per day for approximately one week) indicate that