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Suggested Contribution & e-training MCT
If you download the MCT material, please consider making a donation ($35/35€ for individuals; $100/100€ for institutions). You may donate online via this link, for more information see here. Your donation will be used to develop and evaluate new (self-help) treatments. Please note that we have developed a certified e-training for the MCT. More information is available at www.uke.de/e-mct.

Metacognitive training for depression (D-MCT) is a new treatment concept for depression. It is conceptualized as a variant of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that adopts a metacognitive perspective to focus on the modification of cognitive biases and dysfunctional beliefs. The training seeks to enable group members to recognize and correct their often automatic and unconscious thought patterns. To this end, D-MCT teaches participants about depressive thought patterns using creative and engaging strategies along with practical examples from daily life. It also targets dysfunctional assumptions about one’s thought processes as well as dysfunctional coping strategies (e.g., social withdrawal, thought suppression, rumination as problem-solving). While the training was inspired by Metacognitive Training (MCT) for Psychosis, it focuses on different (i.e., depression-specific) cognitive biases.

The feasibility and effectiveness of a beta version of the training were confirmed in an open-label pilot study (Jelinek et al., 2013). The training proved to be effective in reducing depressive symptoms at a medium effect size (Cohen’s d between 0.56 and 0.73). Moreover, cognitive biases and rumination were significantly reduced and self-esteem was increased (effect sizes between d = 0.26 and 0.64).

The experience from the pilot study helped to improve the training material. The updated version was compared to health-training in a randomized control trial (funded by the vffr).

All patients also received a standard psychosomatic outpatient treatment program at the RehaCentrum Hamburg. At the end of the treatment, as well as 6 months later at follow-up, symptom improvement was greater in the D-MCT than the health-training group (Jelinek et al., 2016), and change in depression was mediated by a decrease in dysfunctional metacognitive beliefs, particularly ‘need for control’ (Jelinek et al., 2017b). Moreover, analyses of subjective appraisal rating suggest that patient acceptance of D-MCT is high (Jelinek et al., 2017a).

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Core members

  • Prof. Dr. Lena Jelinek
  • Dr. Marit Hauschildt
  • Dr. Brooke Schneider
  • Dr. Judith Peth
  • Prof. Dr. Steffen Moritz

Cooperation partners

  • PD Dr. Sönke Arlt (Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Hamburg)
  • Dr. Anne Runde (Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Hamburg)
  • Irmgard Musyal (RehaCentrum Hamburg, Hamburg)
  • Dr. Gabriela Kuhn (RehaCentrum Hamburg, Hamburg)
  • Dipl.-Psych. Mirja Behrens (RehaCentrum Hamburg, Hamburg)
  • Dipl.-Psych. Mario Broccucci (RehaCentrum Hamburg, Hamburg)
  • Dr. Sandra Leh-Seal (Praxis für Neuropsychologie & Entwicklungsförderung (NEF), Meilen, Zürich, Switzerland)
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Otte (Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité, Berlin)


Hauschildt, M. & Jelinek, L. (2017). Denkverzerrungen verändern mit Hilfe des Metakognitiven Trainings bei Depression und Zwang. NeuroTransmitter, 1, 44-50

Jelinek, L., Moritz, S. & Hauschildt, M. (2017a). Patients’ perspective on treatment with Metacognitive Training for Depression (D-MCT): Results on acceptability. Journal of Affective Disorders, 221, 17-24.

Jelinek, L., Van Quaquebeke, N. & Moritz, S. (2017b). Cognitive and metacognitive mechanisms of change in Metacognitive Training for Depression. Scientific Reports, 7, 3449.

Jelinek, L., Hauschildt, M. & Moritz, S. (2015). Metakognitives Training bei Depression. [Metacognitive Training for Depression]. Weinheim, Germany: Beltz.

Jelinek, L., Hauschildt, M. & Moritz, S. (2016a). Metakognitives Training bei Depression (D-MKT). [Metacognitive Training for Depression (D-MCT)]. In H. Stavemann, KVT Update. Weinheim, Germany: Beltz, 175-200.

Jelinek, L., Hauschildt, M., Wittekind, C. E., Schneider, B. C., Kriston, L. & Moritz, S. (2016b). Efficacy of Metacognitive Training for Depression (D-MCT): A randomized controlled trial. Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics, 85, 231-234. 

Jelinek, L., Kollbeck, K. & Moritz, S. (2016c). Metakognitive Trainings (MKT) in der Psychiatrie am Beispiel von Psychose und Depression [Use of Metacogntitve training (MCT) in Psychiatry: An Example with Psychosis and Depression]. DNP—Der Neurologe und Psychiater (Ausgabe 9/2016).

Jelinek, L. & Moritz, S. (2015). Metakognitives Training bei Depression (D-MKT): Kognitive Verhaltenstherapie und mehr! [Metacognitive training for depression (D-MCT). Cognitive behavioral therapy and more!] InFo Neurologie & Psychiatrie, 17, 38-44.

Jelinek, L., Otte, C., Arlt, S. & Hauschildt, M. (2013). Denkverzerrungen erkennen und korrigieren: Eine Machbarkeitsstudie zum Metakognitiven Training bei Depressionen (D-MKT) [Detecting and altering cognitive biases: a feasibility study on metacognitive training for depression (d-mct)]. Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie, Psychologie &  Psychotherapie, 61, 1–8.