Professor Thorsten Barnhofer is a German Research Foundation Heisenberg-Fellow currently working at the Charité Clinic and the Freie Universität in Berlin. He is also an Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology at the Mood Disorders Center, University of Exeter, UK, an associate teacher at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, as well as an enthusiastic about practicing and teaching meditation. Prior to this, he worked alongside Professor Mark Williams and his team for over eight years, as a researcher, clinician and meditation teacher at the University of Oxford.
His research work ranges from experimental studies investigating the cognitive and biological mechanisms to clinical trials, also focusing on the mechanisms of action and benefits of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), especially when applied on patients suffering from recurrent and chronic emotional disorders. The goal of this treatment is to reduce the risk of relapse and recurrence in patients who suffer from depression, helping them to recognize and disengage from the main distressing mental habits that build up the essence of their susceptibleness. This method combines intensive training in mindfulness and elements from cognitive therapy, and aims to provide a better understanding of the cognitive vulnerabilities underlying recurrent depression, as well as the ways in which the mindfulness approach responds to these.