Psychosomatic medicine - Psycho-cardiology

The Clinic of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy is headed by Prof. Dr. Christoph Herrmann-Lingen. Its psychocardiological section provides services both in general medicine with internal medical specialization as well as psychotherapy for patients with psychosomatic disorders. For patients with diseases or symptoms involving the cardiovascular system - and for their families - the clinic offers a comprehensive spectrum of talking therapy and medical measures aimed at treating both heart and mind. These are carried out during inpatient treatment at the university clinic, at the patient’s respective ward, outpatient section or in the psychocardiological outpatient clinic.

Heart and mind as one

That an individual’s mental and emotional state plays a role in heart disease has been known since antiquity, and has been the focus of intensive research for the past several decades. Mental well-being affects the heart through a person’s behavior (e.g.  comfort- or binge-eating, smoking to relieve stress) as well as through changes in body-regulating processes (for example increased blood pressure when a person gets angry). People with depression are particularly at risk. Many patients and their loved ones are considerably burdened by heart diseases. In many cases this leads to mental (e.g. anxiety, depression, mental or emotional trauma) or psychosomatic symptoms (e.g. heart pain despite normal blood flow). The treatment of heart disease and its prevention by a healthy lifestyle is always a holistic approach.Our clinic understands its work to be an important supplement to the high-performance biomedical treatment offered at the Heart Center. The Clinic for Psychocardiology is one of the leading institutes in Germany in this area, and participates in many research projects on psychosomatics of cardiovascular diseases. Our own laboratory for psychocardiological basic research, headed by Prof. Dr. Thomas Meyer, was established in 2011.

Our patient care includes extensive physician-patient conversations about the causes and consequences of possible physical and mental disease as well as drug therapy, physical therapy and art therapy. In addition to organ diagnostics, we use differentiated psychometric tests as well as non-invasive psychophysiological tests. The latter allow us to thoroughly investigate an individual’s susceptibility to cardiovascular stress. In accordance with the results of these tests, individual treatment measures can be undertaken, including inpatient or day-patient psychotherapeutic or psychocardiological therapy, outpatient therapy. We also support patients before and after heart transplantation as well as provide counseling or guidance for coping with disease, using external measures such as psychocardiological rehabilitation, outpatient relaxation training, self-help groups for heart disease patients and psychotherapy.


Prof. Dr. Christoph Herrmann-Lingen
Prof. Dr. med. Christoph Herrmann-Lingen
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