Prof. Dr. Winfried Rief

Winfried Rief

Head, Professor

Contact information

+49 6421 28-23657 +49 6421 28-28904 rief@staff 1 Gutenbergstraße 18
35032 Marburg
G|01 Institutsgebäude (Room: 03001 resp. +3001)

Research Interests 

  • Role of expectations in mental and physical illnesses
  • Placebo and nocebo effects
  • Perception and coping with physical complaints
  • Somatoform disorders, somatic stress disorder

Curriculum Vitae

  • Education

    Physics, University of Karlsruhe, Germany

    Psychology, University of Trier, Germany
    Degree : Diploma in Psychologie (Dipl.-Psych.)

    University of Konstanz; Dr.rer.soc; Supervisor: Prof. Dr. R. Cohen
    Title of Ph.D. thesis: Visual Information Processing in Chronic Schizophrenics ( a EEG-based study)

    University of Salzburg (Prof. Dr. Urs Baumann); Title: Somatoform Disorders: Multiple somatoform symptoms and hypochondriasis

  • Professional Experience

    Academic appointments

    07/1981 - 06/1982
    Student Assistant in the team of Prof. Dr. Bartussek, University of Trier , Personality Psychology

    07/1982 - 10/1984
    Student Assistant in the team of Prof. Dr. R. Ferstl, University of Trier, Clinical Psychology and Psychophysiology

    11/1984 - 12/1985
    Assistant in the team of Prof. Dr. R. Cohen, University of Konstanz / Psychiatric Hospital Reichenau, Topics: Clinical Psychology, Psychophysiology; Schizophrenia Research

    1991/1992 – 2000
    Lecturer at the University of Salzburg

    01/2001 - present
    Professor of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy (Chair); University of Marburg

    Clinical Appointments

    01/1986 - 09/1987
    Psychologist, Psychiatric Hospital, Krankenhaus Rottenmünster, Rottweil 

    10/1987 - 01/1989
    Psychologist, Psychosomatic Hospital Roseneck. Topics: Eating Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Somatoform Disorders

    02/1989 - 02/2000
    Head of the Psychology Department Roseneck Hospital (affiliated with the Medical Faculty of the University of Munich)

    2001 – present
    Head of the Outpatient Clinic for Psychological Interventions, University of Marburg, Germany; Head of the postgraduate training program in cognitive-behavior therapy

  • Stays Abroad and Awards

    Auckland, New Zealand: Auszeichnung und Einladung als ASB Visiting Professor of the Medical School, University of Auckland, NZ (September – Oktober 2002)

    Harvard University/Harvard Medical School, Boston/Cambridge, USA: Invited Guest Professor, Department of Psychiatric Research, Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Prof.Dr.A. Barsky; 09/2004-01/2005.

    University of California San Diego, Medical School; Einladung von Prof. Dr. J. Dimsdale, M.D., Gastprofessor an der UCSD von 09/2009-01/2010

    Winterthur, 2004: Award of excellent scientific contribution; Biofeedback Foundation of Europe

    Ernennung als Mitglied des Sachverständigenrates für medizinische und pharmazeutische Prüfungsfragen IMPP 01/2006-12/2009

    Ausgewählt zu „Deutschland’s Top Medizinern“ in den Bereichen „Experte für Depression und bipolare Störungen“ und „Experte für Angststörungen“; FOCUS Ärzteliste seit 2011 bis a.w..

    Invited Expert; Expert Conference on „Somatic Presentations of Mental Disorders“ in Bejing (Task: Preparation of classification criteria for ICD-11 and DSM-V); under the auspices of the American Psychiatric Association APA, the National Institute of Health NIH, and the World Health Organization WHO 04/2006

    Co-chair of IASP Task Force on “Chronic Pain Diagnoses in ICD-11”, seit 2012.

    DFG-Fachkollegiat, 11/2011 – 03/2020; Mitglied der DFG-Kommission “Klinische Studien”.

    Distinguished International Affiliate, APA Div. „Health Psychology“

    Distinguished Scientist, ISBM (International Society of Behavioral Medicine), 2014


  • Selected Publications

    1.       ** Petrie, K.J. & Rief, W. (2019). Psychobiological mechanisms of placebo and nocebo effects: Pathways to improve treatments and reduce side effects. Annual Review of Psychology, 70, 12.1–12.27. IF 20.

    2.       ** Rief, W., Bleichhardt, G., Dannehl, K., Euteneuer, F., & Wambach, K. (2018). Comparing the efficacy of CBASP with two versions of CBT for depression in a routine care center: A randomized clinical trial. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (IF 8.9)

    3.       * Glombiewski, J.A., Jeroen, J., Vlaeyen, J., Riecke, J., Holzapfel, S. & Rief, W. (2018). Exposure and CBT for chronic back pain: an RCT on differential efficacy and optimal length of treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 86, 533-545.

    4.       * Henningsen, P., Gundel, H., Kop, W. J., Lowe, B., Martin, A., Rief, W., Rosmalen, J. G. M., Schroder, A., van der Feltz-Cornelis, C., Van den Bergh, O., & Grp, Euronet-Soma. (2018). Persistent Physical Symptoms as Perceptual Dysregulation: A Neuropsychobehavioral Model and Its Clinical Implications. Psychosomatic Medicine, 80(5), 422-431. doi: 10.1097/psy.0000000000000588

    5.       ** Rief, W., Shedden Mora, M., Laferton, J., Auer, C., Petrie, K.J., Salzmann, S., Schedlowski, M.& Moosdorf, R.(2017). Preoperative optimization of patient expectations improves long-term outcome in heart surgery patients: Results of the randomized controlled PSY-HEART trial. BMC Medicine, 15:4. IF 8.0.

    6.      * Rief, W., Burton, C., Frostholm, L., Henningsen, P., Kleinstäuber, M., Kop, W.J., Löwe, B., Martin, A., Malt, U., Rosmalen, J., Schröder, A., Shedden-Mora, M., Toussaint, A., van der Feltz-Cornelis, C. on behalf of the EURONET-SOMA Group. Core outcome domains for clinical trials on somatic symptom disorder, bodily distress disorder and functional somatic syndromes: EURONET-SOMA recommendations. Psychosomatic Medicine 79, 1008-1015.

    7.       ** Rief, W., & Glombiewski, J. A. (2017). The role of expectations in mental disorders and their treatment. World Psychiatry, 16(2), 210-211. doi: 10.1002/wps.20427 (IF 20).

    8.       * Rheker, J., Winkler, A., Doering, B. & Rief, W.(2017). Learning to experience side effects after antidepressant intake – Results from a randomized, controlled, double-blind study. Psychopharmacology, 234, 329-338.

    9.       ** Rief, W., Barsky, A. J., Bingel, U., Doering, B., Schwarting, R., Wöhr, M., & Schweiger, U. (2016). Rethinking psychopharmacotherapy: The role of treatment context and brain plasticity in antidepressant and antipsychotic interventions. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 60, 51-64. doi: IF 8.8.

    10.   ** Schedlowski, M., Enck, P., Rief, W.& Bingel, U. (2015). Neuro-Bio-Behavioral Mechanisms of Placebo and Nocebo Responses: Implications for Clinical Trials and Clinical Practice. Pharmacological Review 67, 697–730.(IF 20)

    11.   ** Treede, R.-D., Rief, W., Barke, A., Aziz, Q., Bennett, M.I., Benoliel, R., Cohen, M., Evers, S., Finnerup, N.B., First, M.B., Giamberardino, M.A., Kaasa, S., Kosek, E., Lavandʼhomme, P., Nicholas, M., Perrot, S., Scholz, J., Schug, S., Smith, B.H., Svensson, P., Vlaeyen, J.W.S., Wang, S.-J. (2015). A classification of chronic pain for ICD-11. Pain 156(6): 1003-7. (IF 5.8)

    12.   ** Rief, W.& Martin, A. (2014). How to use the new DSM-5 diagnosis Somatic Symptom Disorder in research and practice? – A critical evaluation and a proposal for modifications. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 10, 339–67. IF 12.4.

    13.   ** Bingel, U.(for the Placebo Competence Group: U. Bingel, P. Enck, W. Rief, M. Schedlowski) (2014). Avoiding nocebo effects to optimize treatment outcome. JAMA, 312, 693-694 (IF 30).

    14.   ** Enck, P., Bingel, U., Schedlowski, M.& Rief, W.(2013). Minimize, maximize, or personalize? – What to do with the placebo response in medicine? Nature Review Drug Discovery, Vol. 12, 191-204. (IF 47).(Shared authorship of all authors)

    15.   ** Glombiewski, J.A.& Rief, W. (2013). Nonadherence to medication. JAMA, 310, 1505-1506. (letter). IF 30.0

    16.   ** Rief, W. & Glombiewski, J.A. (2012). The hidden effects of blinded, placebo controlled randomized trials: An experimental investigation. Pain 153, 2473-2477.(IF 5.8)

    17.   * Lincoln, T., Lüllmann, E., Mehl, S., Ziegler, M., Rief, W.(2012). Moving from efficacy to effectiveness in cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis: A randomized clinical-practice trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 80, 674-686.

    18.   **Rief, W., Bingel, U., Schedlowski, M. & Enck, P.(2011). Mechanisms involved in placebo and nocebo responses and implications for drug trials. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics 90, 722-726 (IF 6.7).

  • pdf-Download of all  Publications (11/22)

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