Barcelona snapshots

Prof. Benedikt Amann

Benedikt Amann psiquiatra Controversies Psiquiatria Barcelona
Hospital del Mar Research Institute, Barcelona
Ponència El trauma infantil i els trastorns mentals en adults
Data Divendres, 26 d'abril, 2024
Hora 9:15 - 10:00
Taula rodona 2 Aspectes clínics del trauma


During his training as psychiatrist and psychotherapist at the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) of Munich, Germany, he started first research projects in pharmacology in bipolar disorder. After one year research in the Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery UCL in London, UK, and one year at the Bipolar Unit, Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, he was granted with a Miguel Servet contract for neuroimaging research in schizoaffective disorders at the Research Unit FIDMAG in Sant Boi. In 2016 he became head of the Centro Fòrum Research Unit of the Hospital del Mar Research Institute and coordinator of 2 psychiatric Units at the Mental Health Institute Hospital del Mar in Barcelona. After 3 years as Associate Professor at the Autonomous University Barcelona, he started in 2021 as Associate Professor at the University Pompeu Fabra.

He received so far continuous national (ISCIII, PERIS, EMDR Spain) and international (EMDR Europe, Brain&Behaviour Research Foundation, Stanley Medical Research Institute) fundings. During a 2-year intensification by the ISCIII, he was granted in 2020 as PI of Spain with a H2020 European project promoting mental health in small and medium enterprises, MENTUPP, followed in 2024 by a Horizon European project, MENTBEST, which aims to improve mental and physical health in the community. In 2024 he received as Co-PI a further Horizon project, PROSPERH, which aims to improve mental health and musclesceletal disorders at the workplace. In 2022 he was also awarded with a mobility grant by the ISCIII for 6 months as guest professor at the Psychiatric Hospital of the LMU Munich, Germany.

He is member of the editorial board of the Journal of Affective Disorders and since 2006 member of the CIBERSAM. In 2015 he was awarded with the Francine Shapiro award by EMDR Europe, in 2016 with the Vila Saborit award by the Catalan Psychiatric Association and in 2024 he was the first recipient of an award named after him by the Spanish EMDR Association. He was the chair of the EMDR Europe Scientific Research Committee from 2016-2021.

He has published 145 papers in Pubmed index journals so far, with a current h-index of 36 and a total of 3472 citations (Scopus). His current research interest focuses on the prevalence of psychological trauma, PTSD and complex PTSD in mental or comorbid somatic disorders and its treatment with trauma-focused strategies, and on the promotion of mental health in the worksetting and the community.


Psychological trauma is a generic term referring to any stressful life event that causes someone discomfort and at the same time surpasses the individual’s coping resource. It can include experiences of bullying, neglect, physical, psychological, emotional or sexual abuse, or the presence of any traumatic life event such as accidents, disasters, illness diagnosis, mobbing at work or loss of loved one. Although psychological trauma can occur at any point over the life span, when traumatic events are experienced in childhood, these have been shown to have a harmful impact on an array of health conditions with a strong negative neurobiological impact. Trauma during childhood can disrupt normal brain development, affect emotional regulation and interpersonal relationship and lead to maladaptive coping mechanisms. A wealth of data shows that traumatic experiences in childhood are highly prevalent, and can have far-reaching consequences, with numerous studies showing a strong association between psychological trauma and the onset of individual mental disorders. The evidence implicating psychological trauma in a range of mental disorders suggests it could be a transdiagnostic risk factor, whereas in this presentation best current evidence will be highlighted via two recent meta-analysis. These provide solid insight into the role of childhood trauma and mental disorders in adulthood. Traumatization in childhood can hereby increase the risk of various mental disorders later in life, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), complex PTSD, anxiety disorders, unipolar depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Traumatic events contribute also to the severity of the mental disorders and worsen their course of the illness. Furthermore, childhood trauma has a strong negative social impact, favours criminal behaviour and is also considered as a risk factor for somatic disorders, such as cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, or obesity. Therefore, it can be considered as risk factor for mental, psychosocial and somatic health in general. Beyond urgently needed national and international prevention programs for childhood trauma, psychiatric services should offer our patients -within a personalized treatment plan- trauma-focused interventions to at least ease the short- and long-term sequelae of psychological trauma.


  • Arango C, et al (2021). "Risk and protective factors for mental disorders beyond genetics: an evidence-based atlas". World Psychiatry. 2021 Oct;20(3):417-436. doi: 10.1002/wps.20894. PMID: 34505386; PMCID: PMC8429329.
  • Hogg B, <...> Radua J, Amann BL, Moreno-Alcázar A. (2022). "Psychological trauma as a transdiagnostic risk factor for mental disorder: an umbrella meta-analysis". Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2023 Mar;273(2):397-410. doi: 10.1007/s00406-022-01495-5. Epub 2022 Oct 8. PMID: 36208317.
  • Hogg B, Radua J, <...>, Amann BL (2023). "EMDR therapy vs. supportive therapy as adjunctive treatment in trauma-exposed bipolar patients: A randomised controlled trial". Span J Psychiatry Ment Health. 2023 Dec 5:S2950-2853(23)00112-6. doi: 10.1016/j.sjpmh.2023.11.005. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38061553.
  • Valiente-Gómez A, <...> Amann BL. (2017). "EMDR beyond PTSD: A Systematic Literature Review". Front Psychol. 2017 Sep 26;8:1668. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01668. PMID: 29018388; PMCID: PMC5623122.