Barcelona snapshots

Prof. Martin Bohus

Martin Bohus psiquiatra Controversies Psiquiatria Barcelona
Universität Heidelberg, Alemanya
Ponència El trauma des de la perspectiva de la Teràpia Dialèctica Conductual
Data Divendres, 26 d'abril, 2024
Hora 18:00 - 18:45
Taula rodona 3 Intervencions terapèutiques


Martin Bohus received his M.D. at Freiburg Medical School and did his residency in Psychiatry and Neurology at Freiburg Medical School. He made his specialty in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Medicine. From 2003 to 2021, he held the chair of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at Heidelberg University and was Medical Director at the Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim. He received several awards for psychotherapy research. He was a board member of the German Association of Psychiatry DGPPN, Past president of the European Society for the Studies of Personality Disorders (ESSPD), past vice-president of the International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (ISSPD), president of the German Association for DBT. He was president and initiator of the 1st International Congress on Borderline Personality Disorder, Berlin 2010, and in 2012 he was the spokesperson of the Clinical Research Unit "Mechanisms of Disturbed Emotion Processing in BPD."

He is the current president of the European DBT Association (EDBTA).

He is currently working as a senior researcher at the University of Heidelberg and Bochum and as a visiting professor at Havard Medical School, Boston, USA.

He has currently published more than 410 articles and book chapters, mainly on mechanisms of psychotherapy, borderline personality disorders, and PTSD.


Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (cPTSD) is a severe mental disorder in response to traumatic life events. The disorder is characterized by dysfunctional memory processing (e.g. intrusions and flashbacks), severe problems in affect regulation (e.g. intense and maladaptive emotions), negative self-concept (e.g. guilt, shame, and self-hate), problems in social interaction (e.g. mistrust, alienation) and complex dysfunctional behavioral patterns like self-harm, suicide attempts or aggressive outbursts.

DBT-PTSD is a modular, phase-based program specifically tailored to treat complex PTSD related to childhood abuse. To target the core domains, DBT-PTSD merges evidence-based therapeutic strategies: principles and skills of DBT, trauma-specific cognitive and exposure-based techniques, compassion-focused interventions, and behavior change procedures.

The treatment program is designed to be delivered under outpatient (45 weeks) or residential (three months) conditions. Data from two RCTs reveal large effect sizes in all relevant domains (g=1.4) and significant superiority of DBT-PTSD to Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Accordingly, DBT-PTSD currently has strong scientific evidence for the effective treatment of complex PTSD (Bohus et al., 2013; 2019; 2020; Kleindienst et al., 2021).

The presentation will give an overview of the principles, structure, and data of DBT-PTSD.


  • Maercker A, Cloitre M, Bachem R, Schlumpf YR, Khoury B, Hitchcock C, Bohus M. (2022). "Complex post-traumatic stress disorder". Lancet. Jul 2;400(10345):60-72. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00821-2.
  • Kleindienst, N., <...> Bohus, M. (2021) "Treating adults with a dual diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder related to childhood abuse: Results from a randomized clinical trial". J Consult Clin Psychol. 2021 Nov;89 (11):925-936.
  • Bohus, M., et al. (2019). "A Research Programme to Evaluate DBT-PTSD, a Modular Treatment Approach for Complex PTSD after Childhood Abuse". Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation. 6:7
  • Bohus, M., et al. (2020). "Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (DBT-PTSD) Compared With Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) in Complex Presentations of PTSD in Women Survivors of Childhood Abuse: A Randomized Clinical Trial". JAMA Psychiatry, Jul 22;77(12):1235-45.
  • Bohus, M., et al. (2013). "Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder after Childhood Sexual Abuse in Patients With and Without Borderline Personality Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial". Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 22;82 (4):221-233.