Eichen­berg, Huss & Küsel (2017): From online dating to online divorce


The deve­lop­ment of digi­tal media over the last 20 years has led to seis­mic chan­ges wit­hin many aspects of daily life. This inclu­des nume­rous facets of family rela­ti­ons­hips that have not escaped the digi­tal revo­lu­tion of the last two deca­des. From the very early sta­ges of initia­ting rela­ti­ons­hips to types of post-break-up beha­vi­ors, the Inter­net has the poten­tial to play an influ­en­tial role in all areas of family and par­ti­cu­larly couple rela­ti­ons­hips. This paper exami­nes how ICTs (“infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­no­logy”) can shape such rela­ti­ons­hips. The impact on the various sta­ges of rela­ti­ons­hips is sys­te­ma­ti­zed (rela­ti­ons­hip deve­lop­ment, couple and family for­ma­tion, sepa­ra­tion) with a spe­cial focus on inter­ge­ne­ra­tio­nal oppor­tu­nities and con­flicts asso­cia­ted with modern media usage. Against the back­ground of psy­cho­lo­gi­cal and media com­mu­ni­ca­tion theo­ries and psy­cho­the­ra­peutic approa­ches as well as empi­ri­cal fin­dings the fol­lo­wing topics are con­side­red: 1. Initia­tion of rela­ti­ons­hips through ICTs (e.g. meet new part­ners through online dating); 2. Impact of digi­tal media on rela­ti­ons­hip deve­lop­ment and exis­ting part­nerships (e.g. new oppor­tu­nities and internet-related chal­len­ges that have to be faced by cou­ples) 3. Influ­ence of ICTs on sepa­ra­ti­ons (e.g. online media­tion, get­ting divorced online). In sum­mary, the role of ICTs in new, exis­ting and sepa­ra­ted part­nerships and fami­lies is mul­ti­fa­ce­ted. An out­look on fur­ther deve­lop­ments as well as rese­arch desi­de­rata is given.

Eichen­berg, C., Huss, J. & Küsel, C. (2017). From online dating to online divorce: An over­view of couple and family rela­ti­ons­hips shaped though digi­tal media. Con­tem­porary Family The­rapy, 39, 249–260.

Tha­b­rew, Sawyer & Eichen­berg (2018): Patient-Targeted Goog­ling by New Zea­land Men­tal Health Pro­fes­sio­nals


Back­ground: Patient-targeted goog­ling (PTG) descri­bes the sear­ching on the inter­net by health­care pro­fes­sio­nals for infor­ma­tion about pati­ents with or without their know­ledge.

Intro­duc­tion: Little rese­arch has been con­duc­ted into PTG inter­na­tio­nally. PTG can have par­ti­cu­lar ethi­cal impli­ca­ti­ons wit­hin the field of men­tal health. This study was under­ta­ken to iden­tify the extent of PTG by New Zea­land men­tal health­care pro­fes­sio­nals and needs for fur­ther gui­dance regar­ding this issue.

Mate­ri­als and Methods: All (1850) psych­ia­trists, cli­ni­cal psy­cho­lo­gists and psy­cho­the­ra­pists working in New Zea­land were elec­tro­ni­cally sur­veyed about their expe­ri­ence of PTG and know­ledge about the asso­cia­ted prac­tice of therapist-targeted goog­ling (TTG). Due to ethics and adver­ti­sing restric­tions, only one indi­rect approach was made to poten­tial par­ti­ci­pants.

Results: Eighty eight cli­ni­ci­ans (5%) respon­ded to the sur­vey invi­ta­tion. More than half (53.4%, N=47) of respond­ents repor­tedly enga­ged in PTG, but only a mino­rity (10.3%, N=9) had ever recei­ved any edu­ca­tion about the sub­ject. Rea­sons for under­ta­king PTG inclu­ded faci­li­ta­ting the the­ra­peutic pro­cess, infor­ma­tion being in the public domain and miti­ga­ting risks. Rea­sons against under­ta­king PTG inclu­ded impair­ment of the the­ra­peutic rela­ti­ons­hip, unethi­cal inva­sion of pri­vacy and con­cerns regar­ding the accu­racy and cli­ni­cal rele­vance of online infor­ma­tion. Two-thirds of par­ti­ci­pants repor­ted being the sub­ject of TTG.

Dis­cus­sion: New Zea­land psych­ia­trists, cli­ni­cal psy­cho­lo­gists and psy­cho­the­ra­pists are enga­ging in PTG with limi­ted edu­ca­tion and pro­fes­sio­nal gui­dance. Fur­ther dis­cus­sion and rese­arch are requi­red so PTG is under­ta­ken in a man­ner that is safe and use­ful for pati­ents and health prac­ti­tio­ners.

Tha­b­rew, H., Sawyer, A. & Eichen­berg, C. (2018). Patient-Targeted Goog­ling by New Zea­land Men­tal Health Pro­fes­sio­nals: A New Field Of Ethi­cal Con­side­ra­tion in the Inter­net Age. Tele­me­di­cine & e-Health, DOI: 10.1089/tmj.2017.0247.

Selbstbehandlung und Selbstmedikation

Eichenberg & Kühne (2014)

Viele Men­schen nut­zen bestimmte For­men der Selbst­be­hand­lung, sei es bei kör­per­li­chen oder psy­chi­schen Erkran­kun­gen oder auch zur Prä­ven­tion und Reha­bi­li­ta­tion. Ins­be­son­dere wird dabei auf nicht ver­schrei­bungs­pflich­tige Medi­ka­mente zurück­ge­grif­fen. Die Bei­träge des vor­lie­gen­den Ban­des set­zen sich aus ver­schie­de­nen Blick­win­keln und unter Berück­sich­ti­gung wis­sen­schaft­li­cher Befunde mit die­sem Thema aus­ein­an­der.

Zunächst gibt der Band in meh­re­ren Kapi­teln einen Über­blick über den all­ge­mei­nen Medi­ka­men­ten­ge­brauch bei ver­schie­de­nen Pati­en­ten­grup­pen. Anschlie­ßend wird auf die Selbst­be­hand­lung und Selbst­me­di­ka­tion bei ver­schie­de­nen Indi­ka­tio­nen wie z.B. Kopf­schmer­zen, Such­ter­kran­kun­gen, Zwangs- und Ess­stö­run­gen ein­ge­gan­gen. Wei­tere Kapi­tel dis­ku­tie­ren die Selbst­be­hand­lung im Rah­men der soge­nann­ten komplementär-alternativen Medi­zin sowie den Ein­satz von krea­ti­ven Ver­fah­ren wie Musik-, Schreib-, Tanz- und Biblio­the­ra­pie. Abschlie­ßend wer­den Akti­vi­tä­ten der Selbst­hilfe wie die Nut­zung von Rat­ge­ber­li­te­ra­tur und Selbsthilfe­gruppen im rea­len und vir­tu­el­len Set­ting the­ma­ti­siert.

Der Band bie­tet somit Infor­ma­tio­nen und Hil­fe­stel­lun­gen für alle Per­so­nen, die in der Behand­lung und Bera­tung von Pati­en­ten tätig sind, sowie für Men­schen, die gene­rell an ihrer Gesund­heit inter­es­siert sind.

Wei­tere Infor­ma­tio­nen auf der Verlags-Website

Eichen­berg, C., Bräh­ler, E. & Hoefert, H.-W. (Hrsg.) (2017). Selbst­be­hand­lung und Selbst­me­di­ka­tion – medi­zi­ni­sche und psy­cho­lo­gi­sche Aspekte. Göt­tin­gen: Hog­refe.

Einführung Psychotraumatologie

Eichenberg & Kühne (2014)

Die Bedeu­tung der Psy­cho­t­rau­ma­to­lo­gie ver­zeich­net einen rasan­ten Zuwachs in Kli­nik, For­schung und Lehre. Psy­chi­sche Trau­mata zu erken­nen und zu behan­deln wird in psy­cho­so­zia­len Beru­fen immer wich­ti­ger. Die­ses Buch gibt einen kom­pak­ten Ein­blick in Ätio­lo­gie, Dia­gnos­tik und Behand­lung psy­chi­scher Trau­mata. Fall­bei­spiele und Inter­ven­ti­ons­stra­te­gien berei­ten auf den Umgang mit trau­ma­ti­sier­ten Men­schen vor. Berück­sich­tigt wird ins­be­son­dere die Rolle von Res­sour­cen und Resi­li­enz sowie digi­ta­ler Medien. Das Spek­trum der Inter­ven­tio­nen reicht von Prä­ven­tion, Akut­in­ter­ven­tion und Psy­cho­edu­ka­tion bis hin zu diver­sen psy­cho­the­ra­peu­ti­schen Ver­fah­ren und Stra­te­gien der Psy­cho­hy­giene für Hel­fer. Ein Über­blick über die Begut­ach­tung von Trau­ma­fol­ge­stö­run­gen, Fra­gen zu den Kapi­teln und Inter­net­links run­den das Lehr­buch ab.

Wei­tere Infor­ma­tio­nen auf der Verlags-Website

Eichen­berg, C. & Zim­mer­mann, P. (2017). Ein­füh­rung Psy­cho­t­rau­ma­to­lo­gie. Mün­chen: UTB.

Christiane Eichenberg und Markus Schott (2017): Serious Games for Psychotherapy: A Systematic Review


Intro­duc­tion: In the evol­ving digi­tal age, media app­li­ca­ti­ons are increa­sin­gly play­ing a grea­ter role in the field of psy­cho­the­rapy. While the Inter­net is alre­ady in the phase of being esta­blis­hed when it comes to the care of men­tal dis­or­ders, expe­ri­men­ta­tion is going on with other modern media such as serious games. A serious game is a game in which edu­ca­tion and beha­vior change is the goal, along­s­ide with enter­tain­ment.

Objec­tive: The objec­tive of the pre­sent arti­cle was to pro­vide a first empi­ri­cal over­view of serious games app­lied to psy­cho­the­rapy and psy­cho­so­ma­tic reha­bi­li­ta­tion.

Method: The­re­fore, a sys­te­ma­tic lite­ra­ture search, inclu­ding the terms “serious game” or “com­pu­ter game” and “psy­cho­the­rapy” or “reha­bi­li­ta­tion” or “inter­ven­tion” or “men­tal dis­or­ders” in the data­ba­ses Med­line and Psy­cINFO, was per­for­med. Sub­se­quently, an Inter­net search was con­duc­ted to iden­tify stu­dies not publis­hed in jour­nals. Publi­ca­ti­ons not pro­vi­ding empi­ri­cal data about effec­tiven­ess were exclu­ded.

Results: On the basis of this sys­te­ma­tic lite­ra­ture review, the results of N = 15 stu­dies met inclu­sion cri­te­ria. They uti­li­zed pri­ma­rily cogni­tive beha­vio­ral tech­ni­ques and can be use­ful for trea­ting a range of men­tal dis­or­ders. Serious games are effec­tive both as a stand-alone inter­ven­tion or part of psy­cho­the­rapy and appeal to pati­ents inde­pen­dent of age and sex.

Con­clu­si­ons: Inclu­ded serious games pro­ved to be an effec­tive the­ra­peutic com­po­nent. Nonethe­l­ess, fin­dings are not con­clu­sive and more rese­arch is nee­ded to fur­ther inves­ti­gate the effec­tiven­ess of serious games for psy­cho­the­ra­peutic pur­po­ses.

Eichen­berg, C. & Schott, M. (2017). Serious Games for Psy­cho­the­rapy: A Sys­te­ma­tic Review. Games for Health, 3, 127–135.

Eichenberg et al. (2017): Attachment Style and Internet Addiction: An Online Survey


Back­ground: One of the cli­ni­cally rele­vant pro­blems of Inter­net use is the pheno­me­non of Inter­net addic­tion. Con­side­ring the fact that there is ample evi­dence for the rela­ti­ons­hip bet­ween attach­ment style and sub­stance abuse, it stands to rea­son that attach­ment theory can also make an important cont­ri­bu­tion to the under­stan­ding of the patho­ge­ne­sis of Inter­net addic­tion.

Objec­tive:The aim of this study was to examine people’s ten­dency toward patho­lo­gi­cal Inter­net usage in rela­tion to their attach­ment style.

Methods: An online sur­vey was con­duc­ted. Soci­ode­mo­gra­phic data, attach­ment style (Bie­le­feld ques­ti­on­naire part­nership expec­ta­ti­ons), sym­ptoms of Inter­net addic­tion (scale for online addic­tion for adults), used Web-based ser­vices, and online rela­ti­ons­hip moti­ves (Cyber Rela­ti­ons­hip Motive Scale, CRMS-D) were asses­sed. In order to con­firm the fin­dings, a study using the Ror­schach test was also con­duc­ted.

Results: In total, 245 sub­jects were recrui­ted. Par­ti­ci­pants with inse­cure attach­ment style showed a hig­her ten­dency to patho­lo­gi­cal Inter­net usage com­pa­red with secu­rely atta­ched par­ti­ci­pants. An ambi­va­lent attach­ment style was par­ti­cu­larly asso­cia­ted with patho­lo­gi­cal Inter­net usage. Esca­pist and social-compensatory moti­ves played an important role for inse­cu­rely atta­ched sub­jects. Howe­ver, there were no signi­fi­cant effects with respect to Web-based ser­vices and apps used. Results of the ana­ly­sis of the Ror­schach pro­to­col with 16 sub­jects corr­o­bo­ra­ted these results. Users with patho­lo­gi­cal Inter­net use fre­quently showed signs of infan­tile rela­ti­ons­hip struc­tu­res in the con­text of social groups. This refers to the results of the Web-based sur­vey, in which inter­per­so­nal rela­ti­ons­hips were the result of an inse­cure attach­ment style.

Con­clu­si­ons: Patho­lo­gi­cal Inter­net use was a func­tion of inse­cure attach­ment and limi­ted inter­per­so­nal rela­ti­ons­hips.

Zum voll­stän­di­gen Online-Artikel im Jour­nal of Medi­cal Inter­net Rese­arch: http://www.jmir.org/2017/5/e170/

Eichen­berg, C., Schott, M., Decker, O. & Sin­delar, B. (2017). Attach­ment style and Inter­net addic­tion. Jour­nal of Medi­cal Inter­net Research,m19(5):e170, DOI: 10.2196/jmir.6694.

Christiane Eichenberg & Markus Schott (2016): An Empirical Analysis of Internet Message Boards for Self-Harming Behavior


Much debate sur­rounds the poten­tial effects of self-harm forum use. Argu­ments in favor high­light fac­tors such as pro­vi­ding access to a sup­por­tive com­mu­nity. Howe­ver cri­ti­cal voice high­light­ing poten­tial dan­gers such as forums ser­ving as a plat­form to pro­mote self-harm, clearly domi­nate the debate. Using an online ques­ti­on­naire, the goal of the cur­rent study was to examine soci­ode­mo­gra­phic cha­rac­te­ris­tics, the psy­cho­pa­tho­logy of forum users, moti­ves for par­ti­ci­pa­ting, and sub­jec­tive effects of self-harm forum use. A total of 309 self-harm forum users par­ti­ci­pa­ted in this study. 3 hete­ro­ge­neous user types with dif­fe­ring moti­ves for visit­ing the forum and dif­fe­rent usage effects were iden­ti­fied. The results ques­tion the assump­ti­ons that self-harm forums are a source of harm and point to their pre­do­mi­nantly con­struc­tive and preven­tive func­tions.

Zum voll­stän­di­gen Online-Artikel in Archi­ves of Sui­cide Rese­arch: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13811118.2016.1259597

Eichen­berg, C. & Schott, M. (2016). An Empi­ri­cal Ana­ly­sis of Inter­net Mes­sage Boards for Self-Harming Beha­vior. Archi­ves of Sui­cide Rese­arch, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13811118.2016.1259597.

Christiane Eichenberg, Cornelia Küsel und Brigitte Sindelar (2016): Computerspiele im Kindes- und ­Jugendalter

Geschlechts­spe­zi­fi­sche Unterschiede­ in der Prä­fe­renz von Spiel­gen­res, ­Spiel­an­for­de­run­gen und Spiel­fi­gu­ren und ihre Bedeu­tung für die Kon­zep­tion von ­Serious Games 

Com­pu­ter­spiele erfreuen sich im Kindes- und Jugend­al­ter gro­ßer Beliebt­heit. Es wer­den aktu­elle For­schungs­be­funde zu geschlechts­spe­zi­fi­schen Prä­fe­ren­zen bezüg­lich Spiel­gen­res, Spiel­an­for­de­run­gen und Spiel­fi­gu­ren von Com­pu­ter­spie­le­rin­nen und –spie­lern im Kindes- und Jugend­al­ter zusam­men­ge­fasst mit dem Ziel, sowohl medi­en­kon­zep­tio­nelle als auch ent­wick­lungs­psy­cho­lo­gi­sche Impli­ka­tio­nen für eine spe­zi­elle Form von Com­pu­ter­spie­len, die soge­nann­ten Serious Games, abzu­lei­ten und vor allem kri­tisch zu reflek­tie­ren.

Zum Online-Artikel: http://www.merz-zeitschrift.de/?NAV_ID=11&HEFT_ID=159&RECORD_ID=7283

Eichen­berg, C., Küsel, C. & Sin­delar, B. (2016). Com­pu­ter­spiele im Kindes- und Jugend­al­ter: Geschlechts­spe­zi­fi­sche Unter­schiede in der Prä­fe­renz von Spiel-Genres, Spiel­an­for­de­run­gen und Spiel­fi­gu­ren und ihre Bedeu­tung für die Kon­zep­tion von Serious Games. merz | medien + erzie­hung, Zeit­schrift für Medi­en­päd­ago­gik, 6, 97–109.

Christiane Eichenberg: Unbewusst – Die Lust am freien Sprechen – ‚Psychoanalyse und digitale Medien: Chancen, Möglichkeiten und Risiken internetbasierter psychoanalytischer Behandlungen‘

Die Nut­zung des Inter­nets ist bereits in wei­ten Tei­len unse­rer Gesell­schaft in den täg­li­chen Lebens­ab­läu­fen inte­griert und beein­flusst längst nicht mehr nur soziale Bezie­hun­gen, son­dern auch Berei­che der psy­chi­schen Gesund­heit und Behand­lung. Inwie­weit aber wird die psy­cho­ana­ly­ti­sche Pra­xis von den digi­ta­len Medien beein­flusst? Und wel­che Aus­wir­kun­gen haben soziale Medien auf das Indi­vi­duum aus psy­cho­ana­ly­ti­scher Sicht? Chan­cen, Mög­lich­kei­ten und Risi­ken inter­net­ba­sier­ter psy­cho­the­ra­peu­ti­scher Behand­lun­gen sol­len näher erör­tert wer­den.

Zum voll­stän­di­gen Radio­bei­trag auf Orange 94.0: https://cba.fro.at/340623

Do Patients Look Up Their Therapists Online? An Exploratory Study Among Patients in Psychotherapy

Eichenberg & Sawyer (2016)


Back­ground: The use of the Inter­net as a source of health infor­ma­tion is gro­wing among people who expe­ri­ence men­tal health dif­fi­cul­ties. The increase in Inter­net use has led to ques­ti­ons about online information-seeking beha­vi­ors, for example, how psy­cho­the­ra­pists and pati­ents use the Inter­net to ascer­tain infor­ma­tion about each other. The notion of psy­cho­the­ra­pists see­king infor­ma­tion about their pati­ents online (patient-targeted goog­ling, PTG) has been iden­ti­fied and explo­red. Howe­ver, the idea of pati­ents sear­ching for infor­ma­tion online about their psy­cho­the­ra­pists (therapist-targeted goog­ling, TTG) and the asso­cia­ted moti­ves and effects on the the­ra­peutic rela­ti­ons­hip remain unclear.

Objec­tive: This study inves­ti­ga­ted for­mer and cur­rent German-speaking psy­cho­the­rapy pati­ents’ beha­vior and atti­tu­des rela­ting to TTG. In addi­tion, pati­ents’ methods of infor­ma­tion gathe­ring, moti­ves, and suc­cess in sear­ching for infor­ma­tion were exami­ned. Fur­ther­more, pati­ents’ expe­ri­en­ces and per­cep­ti­ons of PTG were explo­red.

Methods: Over­all, 238 for­mer and cur­rent psy­cho­the­rapy pati­ents respon­ded to a new ques­ti­on­naire spe­ci­fi­cally desi­gned to assess the fre­quency, moti­ves, use, and out­co­mes of TTG as well as expe­ri­en­ces and per­cep­ti­ons of PTG. The study sam­ple was a non­re­pre­sen­ta­tive con­ve­ni­ence sam­ple recrui­ted online via several German-speaking the­rapy plat­forms and self-help forums.

Results: Of the 238 for­mer and cur­rent pati­ents who respon­ded, 106 (44.5%) had obtai­ned infor­ma­tion about their the­ra­pists; most of them (n=85, 80.2%) had used the Inter­net for this. Besi­des curio­sity, moti­ves behind infor­ma­tion sear­ches inclu­ded the desire to get to know the the­ra­pist bet­ter by attemp­t­ing to search for both pro­fes­sio­nal and pri­vate infor­ma­tion. TTG appeared to be asso­cia­ted with pha­ses of the­rapy in which pati­ents felt that pro­gress was not being made. Pati­ents being trea­ted for per­so­na­lity dis­or­ders appear to engage more fre­quently in TTG (rphi = 0.21; P=.004). In gene­ral, howe­ver, infor­ma­tion about the­ra­pists sought for online was often not found. Fur­ther­more, most pati­ents refrai­ned from tel­ling their the­ra­pist about their infor­ma­tion sear­ches.

Con­clu­si­ons: Pati­ents appear to engage in TTG to obtain both pro­fes­sio­nal and pri­vate infor­ma­tion about their psy­cho­the­ra­pists. TTG can be viewed as a form of client-initiated dis­clo­sure. It is the­re­fore important to include TTG as a sub­ject in the­ra­pists’ edu­ca­tion and also to raise awa­ren­ess wit­hin pati­ent edu­ca­tion. This inves­ti­ga­tion pro­vi­des the first fin­dings into TTG to begin debate on this sub­ject.

Zum voll­stän­di­gen Online-Artikel im Jour­nal of Medi­cal Inter­net Rese­arch: http://mental.jmir.org/2016/2/e22/

Eichen­berg, C. & Sawyer, A. (2016). Do Pati­ents Look Up Their The­ra­pists Online? An Explo­ra­tory Study Among Pati­ents in Psy­cho­the­rapy. J Med Inter­net Res, 18 (1):e3. DOI: 10.2196/mental.5169.