Welcome to our Blog! We will inform you about psyCH and their upcoming events, give you some insight into students life, inform you about important political changes or post-graduate opportunities in sponsored content and finally keep you up to date with the hottest research being done in psychology!

There’s an App for That – Smartphone Applications for the Treatment of Mental Health Problems

Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat are probably some of the most frequently used Apps in western cultures. But if you think that apps are only here for fun, business and posting pictures that can only be opened once, you may be wrong.

Since 2006, when the first apps were created, many have followed. Including apps that aim to improve our health and well-being. There are apps that serve as fitness guides, help us to eat healthy, convince us to quit smoking or teach us how to meditate.

Not surprisingly, they did not stop here. During the past few years many apps have been designed for people who suffer from psychiatric disorders. These apps aim at treating mental health disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and anxiety and can be used as stand-alone self-help programs or in combination with a classic psychotherapy.

 But do they really work? What are possible advantages and why might they help us? How can clinical psychologists profit from these apps? These and more questions are addressed in an extensive review by Donker et al. (2013) and the answers are briefly summarised below.

What are possible advantages and why might they help us?

There are many different reasons why mental health apps are necessary. First, a lot of people on this planet own a smartphone. Having a therapist on an iPhone certainly improves treatment accessibility around the world. Second, classic psychotherapy is very expensive and sometimes patients are on a waiting list because there are not enough psychotherapists available. Apps are always ready to go and they come with a heavily reduced cost. Third, an app is always by your side. Imagine someone who suffers from panic attacks. Usually, a therapist is not around if panic attacks happen and the patient is forced to endure this situation by himself. Apps however are always at hand and could offer help during the panic attack. Last but not least, psychotherapy and psychiatric disorders are still stigmatized and some people don’t seek help because of that. Using a smartphone application is anonymous and no one needs to know.

Do they work?

In general, studies that were included in the review by Donker et al. (2013) showed promising results and seem to have the potential to be effective. Various apps were able to reduce depressive symptoms, stress, anxiety and substance use. However, these results need to be taken with precaution. Many studies had only few participants and did not report on long-term efficacy. Much more research will be necessary to develop and test evidence-based programs.

Can I see for myself?

Yes, you can. Some of these apps are publically available and not liable for costs.

  • MoodHacker (Depression):
  • PTSD Coach (PTSD):


Author: Eva-Maria Stauffer


Reference: Donker, T., Petrie, K., Proudfoot, J., Clarke, J., Birch, M. R., & Christensen, H. (2013). Smartphones for smarter delivery of mental health programs: a systematic review. Journal of medical Internet research, 15(11).

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Eva-Maria Stauffer, University of Basel, Master in Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience

A quick review on the Internet-based intervention

The Internet was invented through the 60s when the US government launched the "Arpa" project (Advanced Research Projects Agency). The main aim of this program was to strengthen defensive functions (“The Internet |,” n.d.). Nowadays, using the Internet has many advantages and disadvantages. One of the most notable benefits of using the Internet in psychology is the use of the internet for therapeutic intervention.

The online treatment phenomenon is growing and has recently been very much considered in the world. This kind of technology is tied to technologies called E-Therapy and E-counseling, Cyber-Counseling, and Teletherapy (Chakrabarti, 2015). Online treatment is an online intervention which in this type of treatment, the counselor or psychologist connects with the authorities through the Internet, supports the referral or conveys psychological advice. Online treatment can be done by email, Video, Online Chatting, and unguided method (Chakrabarti, 2015). Online treatment can happen in the same way as talking in a conversation or online chat rooms or by late delivery, for example by sending an email. Remote correspondence between a therapist and a referral is not a new issue. Sigmund Freud used the letter to communicate with his patients (“Psychoanalysis: Freud’s theory and the ideas that have followed | Life and style | The Guardian,” n.d.). However, the use of the Internet for self-help purposes in 1982 is for healthcare purposes. Today, there are various mental health services sites that are specialized and somewhat more general.

Several Internet interventions have been developed and tested for common mental disorders, and the evidence to date shows that these treatments often result in similar outcomes as in face-to-face psychotherapy and that they are cost-effective. Internet-based psychological treatments have a relatively short history (Marks, Cavanagh, & Gega, 2007). Nowadays the Internet is widely used by patients and their significant others to seek information about mental health issues. The model of Internet-delivered treatment for which there has been most research activity is Internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy (ICBT) (Andersson, 2009). However, other forms of psychotherapy (e.g., psychodynamic and interpersonal psychotherapies) have also been delivered via the Internet to a much lesser extent. Through the ICBT, subjects login regularly to a website over a specified period to access, read and download online materials arranged within a series of lessons or modules. They receive preparation tasks which they are expected to complete before the next module is available. They also regularly complete computer-administered questionnaires relevant to their presenting problems, which allows a therapist to control the progress, safety and results. Two dimensions which can be used to categorize ICBT are whether it involves therapist contact and whether it aims to treat mental disorders or prevent their development. Internet interventions that involve therapist contact can be further divided into those that involve real-time (synchronous) or delayed (asynchronous) interaction with patients (Andersson & Titov, 2014).

In a short-review, using this technique has its either advantages and disadvantages, below some of these advantages and disadvantages, are shown:


  •  It saves time and money;
  •  Helps people who have a lot of work to do at their free time;
  • Although the therapist and the authorities are deprived of face-to-face contact, the therapist does not affect the cultural, class, and social backgrounds;
  •  It is a good choice for those living in remote areas;
  •  For those with physical limitations, it is a good option;
  • People can easily get information about mental health;
  • It is a good option for those who can not afford the cost of traditional therapists and, on the other hand, need treatment.


  • This method is not effective in highly critical situations and suicide attempt;
  • Those who have severe psychiatric disorders cannot use these services;
  • The therapist is deprived of relevant information such as body language and tone and voice;
  • The formation of trust and confidence is difficult.

Author: Khodami Mohammad Ahsan


Andersson, G. (2009). Using the Internet to provide cognitive behaviour therapy. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47(3), 175–180.

Andersson, G., & Titov, N. (2014). Advantages and limitations of Internet-based interventions for common mental disorders. World Psychiatry, 13(1), 4–11.

Chakrabarti, S. (2015). Usefulness of telepsychiatry: A critical evaluation of videoconferencing-based approaches. World Journal of Psychiatry, 5(3), 286.

Marks, I., Cavanagh, K., & Gega, L. (2007). Hands-on help. Maudsley monograph no. 49. Retrieved from‐on+help.+Maudsley+Monograph+no.+49

Psychoanalysis: Freud’s theory and the ideas that have followed | Life and style | The Guardian. (n.d.). Retrieved February 4, 2019, from

The Internet | (n.d.). Retrieved February 4, 2019, from

Eva-Maria Stauffer, University of Basel, Master in Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience

Introduction to studying psychology in the capital city of Switzerland - Fachschaft Bern

There are plenty of things you don’t know about studying before you dive right into it. Actually it is quite possible that the unknown things prevail. How does studying even work? Will I ever be able to pass the exams? How on earth should I make friends? Don’t worry: You are not the only one. Everyone joins university with similar struggles. Let’s give you a short introduction of how to study psychology in the beautiful city of Berne.

First, the basics. To achieve your degree as a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Berne, you need to gain 180 ECTS. Most of the credits - 120 to be exact - you gain at psychology courses. You attend those courses based on a pre-fixed timetable. Be prepared to acquire broad and fascinating knowledge and learn a lot about many subfields of psychology! The shadow side is that you will have to wait for the master studies to choose in what fields you would like to specialize. The other 60 ECTS, you gain within one or two minor subjects of free choice. As this is still one third of your time, we advise you to choose something that captivates you. While many people choose a related field like social or educational sciences, it is also perfectly fine to choose something completely different. You will have no disadvantage if you do so. There is no such thing as a wrong choice, and if you find yourself unhappy, you can change your minor quite easily.

Many people study psychology. Be prepared to sit in a lecture with over 400 other students. It can be a bit of a challenge to meet new people and make friends among so many people. Sometimes, it may seem as if everyone knows each other except you. Believe us, that’s just not the truth. Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities to meet other people. There are smaller courses with no more than 30 people. You can attend language courses, participate in one of the various programs of the University Sports or visit events organized by the Fachschaft. Among psychology students in Berne, collaboration weighs higher than rivalry. It is common to set up learning groups, exchange summaries and help each other. You can ask people from advanced semesters what to focus on for exams. Usually, if you have a question, you will find an answer. Just be free to ask your fellow students, lecturers or the Fachschaft.

If you decide to take up your psychology study at Berne, we strongly advice you to join the Patenprojekt. Organized by the Fachschaft, it always takes place just before the fall semester begins. Someone who already studies for a year or two shows you and a small group around and introduces you to the psychology studies in Berne. The great thing is that you can kill two birds with one stone: While you learn a lot and have the opportunity to ask questions, you also meet other people in a similar situation as you. And who knows, maybe can make friends right at the start.

Link to the Fachschaft Bern:

Rahel Steuri, University of Bern, Bachelor in Psychology

Improvise, adapt, understand why: Statistics

Believe me, most of us have felt the exact same way you might feel right now. You are in the beginning of your psychology studies and eager to learn everything there is about psychology, just like I was. I was passionate about the way individuals, inhabiting planet earth, think and behave and I was keen to explore the phenomena they bring with them. This is the reason why I chose to study psychology. Eager to plunge into the world of psychology with all its amazing, mind-blowing findings, I began my studies. As a naïve first semesters I, eventually, discovered something odd in the curriculum. In black and white font there it was written: statistics I. Excuse me? Cold sweat ran down my back. Did I miss something? Did I accidentally enrol to another study plan? No, I was enrolled in psychology all right. I remembered the few things I knew about psychology. Classical conditioning, rats, reinforcement, Freud, Oedipus complex and some other things. Where would numbers and figures fit in? I couldn’t believe it and gradually, I began to doubt my choice. I would have thoughts like: Is psychology really the right thing? Should I better choose a subject that won’t incorporate any statistics, or maths in general? Maybe I should just switch it from my major to my minor? But let me tell you something, some of us have followed those suggestions made by our lazy, biased minds, but most of us haven’t. I’m glad I haven’t because now I can reap the rewards. Sure, it was not all fun and games learning the formulas and the lingo, but once I did I found myself understanding much, much more. Reading through a research paper now is very different than when I started my studies. I actually understand what they are trying to say in their results and discussion parts. Statistics is not as amazing and mind blowing as other subjects of psychology, such as neuropsychology or social psychology, but it is a vital tool to not only understand, but also work professionally and successfully within the field of psychology. So, what does statistics give you? A headache, countless hours of procrastination and definitely a deepened understanding of psychology. Without statistics it would be very hard determining whether a finding is important, significant, or whether a person is below or above average. It is necessary. All those mind-blowing findings in psychology wouldn’t be mind-blowing at all because without statistics you couldn’t see where the significance lies. 

Rahel Steuri, University of Bern, Bachelor in Psychology

Presentation of ROCK YOUR LIFE as an opportunity for students

Do you want to contribute to equality of opportunities and educational justice and acquire useful and precious mentoring and leadership experiences at the same time? Then you are exactly at the right place with ROCK YOUR LIFE!

ROCK YOUR LIFE! is a mentoring program that supports pupils in the 8th and 9th school year on their way to apprenticeship and further education. During the course of 1.5 years, participants are accompanied and guided by students or young employees in a close one-to-one mentoring relationship. The aim is to help the adolescents in their transitioning phase from school into apprenticeships on offer, that resonate with their interests and strengths. The mentoring will help the teenagers with practical concerns like preparation of formal applications and the search for the right apprentice position, and moreover offers opportunity and room to explore their own potentials and goals. ROCK YOUR LIFE! mentoring is complemented by a swiss-wide network of companies, through which these partner companies enable first insights into working environments. Since 2013, already over 550 mentoring pairs could be brought together at eight locations in Switzerland. ROCK YOUR LIFE! has a vision of a society, in which social mobility, educational justice and equality of opportunities is reality for everyone. Studies show that young adults, who are voluntarily committed and involved, gain confidence, develop self-initiative and expand their cooperation skills. Students and young employees, who successfully worked as mentors at ROCK YOUR LIFE!, strengthen and improve their self- and social competences, are aware of their liabilities towards society and also the dual educational path, and can make practical use of their mentoring experiences in the later profession as well as in their own applications as an additionally acquired expertise. Learn more about the scopes and possibilities to involve oneself on

Author: Jonas Töngi

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Alina Mari Sartorius, University of Basel, Master in Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience

News in psychology

The good, the bad and the bigly   

It’s been almost 8 years since the replication crisis has plunged psychology into a serious scientific crisis. Ironically, by now, one of the most replicable findings in psychology is that only half of psychological studies can be successfully replicated. While some find themselves either in despair or in denial about this circumstance, I would argue that this is rather a huge opportunity to rethink, renew and complement our methodology. We’re so used to applying alleged gold-standard testing paradigms that originate from the 40-60ies that we’ve gone somewhat blind to the new and amazing construction kit that IT and the virtual world are offering us for conducting observations on a completely new scale.

The internet has connected the world and allows us to go way beyond the confinements of small-scale brick and mortar lab-based psychology experiments. Taken together, it constitutes a package that allows us to put psychological research on a completely new footing. It might provide the evidence we currently still owe, if we only examine WEIRD people in small groups. Now, we can not only conduct field research globally with hundreds of thousands of study participants simultaneously, we can also continuously interact with them; all we have to do is to be bold enough to use the new opportunities and work closely together with different professional groups to make this happen.

Yet, two requirements are central for such a web-based world-wide research endeavour to be truly successful:

1. The whole setup needs to focus on the user experience and benefit of the study subjects. This may well be in the form of “infotainment”, as the typical monetary compensation for tediously boring experimental setups is simply out of question for ultra-large global cohorts.

2. Collecting psychological and thus highly sensitive data on a global scale needs a failsafe forward-looking data protection policy and guaranteed anonymity.

The first point can be addressed by using psychological instruments in the guise of entertaining computer games, as well as to provide individually tailored and understandable feedback to everyone taking part. In addition, the interesting research results drawn from such a project should also be made directly accessible to the general public.

The second point concerns citizen empowerment; provinding them interesting insights about how individuals' minds work. However, it requires an additional independent institution to guarantee data privacy: indeed, the personally identifying data should always be strictly separated from the completely anonymized “content data”. Basically, it's the complete opposite of Facebook and the likes: it must not be possible to turn your data into a business model without your clear consent or without giving you the lion’s share of the earnings.

Advancience is a startup that is based on the COSMOS research project from the University of Basel. We have learned that our research goals require scaling-up psychological studies and that it is easier to achieve if we go down the entrepreneurial road. The Healthbank Cooperative is our strategic partner, which ensures that the data generators themselves own the data and are always in charge of how their data is being used.

Together we’re building a research basis for publicly funded scientists. Get ready to think big: What would you investigate, if you had a cohort of more than 100 k individuals?

Author: Dr. Christian Vogler 

Eva-Maria Stauffer, University of Basel, Master in Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience

On the malleability of opinions and group belonging

These days, and thanks to personalized facebook news feeds, one is constantly confronted to information that fit our pre-conceived opinions. This may lead to a reinforcement of our prior opinions, or it might even render those views more extreme. Here's an interesting account of the malleability of opinions that may help shed light on the growing polarization in the public discourse.

Here's the link:

Cécile Vitali, University of Basel, Master Social, Economic, and Decision Psychology

Coverage of psychotherapeutic care

The Federation of Swiss Psychologists (FSP) has launched a petition. Add your signature to it!

The time has come to act. On 17 November, the FSP launched a petition demanding the coverage of psychotherapeutic care by basic health insurance when prescribed by a doctor. It’s crucial to get as many signatures as possible to prove the necessity of changing the current system (that of delegation).

Mental illnesses and crises are frequent occurrences. Nearly one in every two people suffers from mental illness at least once in their lifetime. Access to ambulatory psychotherapy is fraught with obstacles, resulting in largely inadequate care. The fact of not treating mental illness in time has disastrous consequences.

There is a simple solution to this problem: the psychotherapy carried out by psychologists must also be covered by basic health insurance when prescribed by a doctor.

Sign the petition! You’ll be contributing to greater recognition of the profession of psychologist and better access to care for people suffering from mental illness.

How to sign

  • Online, at (F) or (D)
  • By printing out the petition form (F or D) and filling it out by hand. It will hold around fifteen signatures. When completed, put it in an envelope, stamp the envelope and send it to the address on the document.
  • By ordering ready-stamped petition forms from the FSP (send an email to [email protected]). These will hold five signatures.

Note: anyone can sign a petition, including minors and people who do not have Swiss nationality.

Spread the word!

If every psychology student gets involved, the potential number of signatures is huge. Please share the link to the petition (, with as many people as possible, circulate the explanatory video (in French or German), follow the Facebook page and encourage everyone you know to do the same, send the link to the petition to your contacts on WhatsApp and include it in your email signature. Talk about it with your student friends from other faculties too. If we all work together, we can make things change.

Many thanks in advance for getting involved!

Eva-Maria Stauffer, University of Basel, Master in Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience

Pimp my CV – A guide on how to write your curriculum vitae

Sooner or later we are all faced with the challenge of presenting ourselves as the intelligent, successful, motivated and experienced people we are on one piece of paper: the curriculum vitae. We have summarized some of the most important points for you.

A CV should be tailored to the specific position you are applying for. The goal is to present yourself as the best fitting person for this job. So, do your research, be sure about what they are looking for and adapt your CV accordingly.

Usually a CV is 1-2 pages long. It is advisable to put some effort in design elements so that employers see your motivation for the job. A typical CV consists of the following elements:

Contact information:

Name, address, phone number, email address, professional media (LinkedIn, Xing, …), nationality, and date of birth.


Professional quality is very important. Usually Universities offer free opportunities to get a professional picture, for example at the Long Night of Careers.

Education: list the universities where you have studied, start with the most recent one.  

  • Indicate the duration of your degree
  • Write the title of the degree, specialisation, the name of the University
  • Specify your focus, show them what you’ve learned

Hint: If you had outstanding grades or if a specific project might be interesting for your future employers, make sure to highlight it. If you are applying for an academic position, make sure to include the names of your supervisors (“name-dropping”). If you are applying for a position in a country with a different grading system, translate your grades in words (e.g. “excellent”, “very good”, …).

Professional experience: list relevant experience as bullet points

  • start by specifying the date/duration of employment
  • then the title of the position, the company name and if you think it might help include the names of your supervisors
  • describe your activities, the technical skills you developed and highlight the ones that are of interest for the position

Hint: Show them very clearly what your skills are and where you have acquired them.

Professional training:

If you had the opportunity to do a special training, follow a specific course, attend a summer school or got a relevant certificate, it is important to mention it, this could help you to stand out from the other candidates.

Technical Skills:

Here you will mention all the software that you are able to use. If you like you can state your level.

Publications and Conferences:

If you are applying for an academic position you should mention publications and the attendance at conferences. These kinds of Super-Curricular activities show your enthusiasm for your field of interest.


Mention all the languages that you studied and your level (native/ proficient /conversational/basic, or alternatively: B1, B2, C1, etc.)

Extracurricular interests:

This part is not to be neglected; it can very much positively distinguish you from the other candidates. In this section you can list your activities and hobbies (e.g. association, sports, music, art, volunteering, …) and the quality that you developed through them (organization, supervision, budgeting, …).

References: there are 2 possibilities:

  •  either you mention the references: name, relationship (professor, internship supervisor, …), email, and phone number
  • or you keep the references private at the first stage and simply write “References upon request”. The recruiter will have to contact you first to get your reference contact and you will be able to notify your reference person that he/she might receive an email from this particular company for this specific position.

Finally, make sure to ask someone for proof reading and good luck with your application!


Author: Sonia Lebboukh

Edited by: Cécile Vitali

Cécile Vitali, University of Basel, Master Social, Economic, and Decision Psychology

psyKo 2019

All about psyKo!

PsyKo is a National Congress for the psychology students of Switzerland organized by the psyCH. About 100 psychology students will gather in a big house in Hasliberg Reuti (BE) on the weekend of 26-28 April 2019 to take part in interesting presentations, workshops and trainings. The program is in English (with a few exceptions in French or German).

Why should I go there?

Do you want to enlarge your knowledge of psychology outside of your studies? Do you want to meet psychology students from all over Switzerland? Are you thinking about a career in research? Or do you miss the camp feeling and want to have a fun weekend with your study buddies?

All of the above are valid reasons to participate psyKo! The broad program ensures that everybody finds lectures and workshops they are interested in. Contrary to other psychological congresses, psyKo chooses not to have one specific topic in order to cover a vast majority of different fields of psychology.

With fun welcome games and a party on Saturday night, you will get the chance to meet psychology students from different universities. Have you ever considered studying on a different campus? This is your chance to ask your fellow students all about their university!

Thanks to student lectures you will get the chance to present your bachelor or master thesis and to gather your first congress talk experience.

Another highlight of psyKo Congress are the psyCH trainings given by the psyCH trainers.

That does sound fun… how can I apply?

Applications will be possible between 23 November and 23 December 2018. As the number of seats is limited (100 students + our organization team), you need to show your motivation via a google form and only the 100 selected psychology students will have access to the link for the final registration. This is NOT a first-come, first-served system. Therefore, it is all in your hands! Think about your motivation to attend psyKo 2019 and fill out the google form since the selection will be primarly based on that. The participants will have to pay a participation fee to cover food and logistics.

Great! So we will see you at psyKo 2019 in Hasliberg Reuti (BE)!

Rahel Steuri, University of Bern, Bachelor in Psychology

University: A fantastic new world

University is a world full of wonders. It is a world where people come together in the pursuit of knowledge, passion, science, sports, art, music, friendship and so much more. It is the place where people find their true interest, where they learn how to become who they want to be and hopefully meet some companions along their way. University is the place where people discuss complex problems with excitement and strive to revise their beliefs. It’s also a time during which you can party on a Thursday night without feeling bad because: you are a student.

Of course this new world can be overwhelming at first: you need to learn the rules, you need to learn where you can go, how to get there and how not to get lost. But don’t worry. We got your back and support you with advice from older, wiser and successful students.

The first thing you will probably be worrying about is what every student is worried about: exams! It’s the one occasion where you can show what you can (and also cannot). The most important thing you should do to be effective is buying a calendar; these are cheap and look nice. Make a plan that clearly states when you are going to do what, and how long it will take you. List your tasks, do urgent things first and most importantly: start early to avoid panic studying in the middle of the night. Skip a party, if you have a lot of things to do the next day. There will be many, many more of these. If you have one of those bad Mondays, don’t beat yourself up, take the day off and work on Saturday instead. Go ahead and make that coffee break, but maybe don’t discuss Marxism or how you feel about Donald Trump and his latest tweets for three hours. Don’t stay up till 2:00 am, if you have to get up at 6:30 and of course you can take a weekend off every now and then, but don't fly to Madrid two weeks before your exams.

The second thing you will realise when studying psychology is: there’s so much free time. While you might really enjoy this at the beginning, you might get lost along the way. So get active! University offers all kind of activities: yoga, volleyball, kung fu, sailing, orchestra, theatre, students associations (psyCH maybe?), fraternities and sororities. Whether you want to get politically active, show your talent on a stage or swim across the ocean, your University supports you.

The third most important thing is: you are in an environment where you can try everything, be great at something, fail at another thing and observe where life is taking you. People usually tell you that they had the time of their life when they were at University. Now this might not be true for everyone but this time for sure is unique and we should try to enjoy it while it lasts. University is a world full of opportunities waiting to be grabbed, go ahead and take them. Explore your potential and lead others to new ideas.

And welcome to our world.

Eva-Maria Stauffer, University of Basel, Master in Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience