Practicing procedures



Psychiatric diseases and concomitant physical illnesses are often accompanied by changes in physiological bodily functions, e.g. depressive illnesses with a stress regulation disorder, pain syndromes with muscular tension and migraine with vasodilatation of the meningeal vessels. Biofeedback is a method with which a patient can learn to voluntarily influence a changed body function and initiate relaxation.



With the biofeedback device, physiological parameters are made visible by sensors on the computer screen and coupled with a visual or acoustic feedback signal. Typical parameters represent skin conductivity, respiratory rate, temperature, muscle tension, brain waves, pulse volume curve and heart rate. Typical feedback signals represent animations in the form of a rising sun, an opening rose, a balloon or a blood vessel.


Treatment steps

The treatment steps comprise in detail a diagnostic unit with information about the cause of the disturbed parameter as well as the possibility of intentional influence. In a second observation and experimental unit, the patient learns ways to deliberately change the selected signal and is informed about the need to see the success on the screen. In the subsequent training phase of 8 - 10 exercise units, attainable goals are trained with a gradual increase in self-efficacy expectations in the presence of the therapist. The session sequence of an exercise unit is characterised by the alternation between training and guided relaxation in the ratio 3:1. After the training phase there is a transfer phase to everyday conditions and stress situations


Summary and treatment in our clinic

In summary, biofeedback combines psychophysiological and behavioural basics under learning theory aspects. Biofeedback is an easy-to-learn, side-effect free and effective treatment method by which changes in physiological bodily functions in psychiatrically ill patients can be normalised by the patients themselves.

Use in the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University of Bonn: Biofeedback is available as an additional treatment method in special indications. Due to insufficient scientific evaluation, health insurance companies in Germany do not yet cover the costs of biofeedback.


Cognitive Training/Cognitive Remediation

Mental illnesses are often accompanied by disturbances in mental performance. These can also impair the ability to function in everyday life. Cognitive disorders, e.g. memory disorders, slow reactions, reduced sustained attention can be improved by practising procedures. Training of mental functions on the computer has proved to be very effective. After initial instruction, the training can be carried out at one's own pace and the difficulty of the training can be adapted to the individual's abilities. In addition to objective improvements in performance, the small sensations of success during training are also motivating and help to realistically assess one's own performance.


Stress management through mindfulness

People with psychiatric illnesses are under great mental stress. In the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University of Bonn, stress management through mindfulness is regularly carried out in groups. Here it is taught how to get back in touch with oneself, how to recognise one's needs better and how to perceive physical symptoms as helpful signals in order to deal constructively with difficult feelings such as anger and fear.

It is an easy-to-learn, side-effect free and effective treatment method that helps you to find peace of mind, achieve physical and emotional balance, minimise stress and strain, increase concentration and presence and develop new perspectives and individual solutions.

In summary, intensive mindfulness training stimulates a more positive attitude towards life and the development of new perspectives.


Enjoyment group

Enjoy with all senses

In a pleasant and trusting atmosphere, the participants are sensitised to enjoy the beautiful moments of everyday life.

The introductory session begins with an explanation of the rules of enjoyment:

  1. Enjoyment takes time....
  2. Enjoyment must be allowed....
  3. Enjoyment does not go by the way....
  4. Less is more.....
  5. Choosing enjoyment that does you good....
  6. No pleasure without experience.....
  7. Enjoyment is everyday

In each of the following sessions, one of the five sensory perceptions is in the foreground. In practical exercises, which are naturally associated with enjoyment, you will learn step by step to enjoy (again) with all your senses!


Cooking therapy

Cooking therapy is about the (re)acquisition of everyday skills, activation and joy in cooking together.