Aims and benefits

The aim of ReTreat is to evaluate CA CBT plus problem-solving training with refugees from Afghanistan and Syria. Here, SP2 represents the second step of a multi-step stepped-care approach that will be investigated in the overall project. While SP1 (see SP1) aims to provide an initial understanding of psychological symptoms as a consequence of negative life experiences, within "ReTreat" different therapeutic interventions such as psychoeducation, problem-solving training, meditation and body-based exercises are used across disorders. Subproject 3 (see SP3), on the other hand, uses imagery rescripting to pursue a trauma-focused approach.

In the five-year ReTreat project, a randomized controlled trial is investigating the effectiveness of culturally appropriate cognitive behavioral therapy (CA-CBT) for refugees with trauma sequelae disorders. The treatment consists of 12 sessions that include psychoeducation, social problem-solving training, behavioral activation, yoga, and meditation.

Study procedures

The following timeline illustrates the process of the study and the cultural adaptation of the treatment program. Regular involvement of relevant representatives of the target group (expert panels) allows ideas and suggestions for change to be taken into account directly in the development process.

Formative Research
Literature research, Interviews with key informants
Adaptation of the CA CBT manual
For syrian and afghan refugees
Recruitment and diagnostics
In Marburg, Münster, München and Frankfurt
Implementation of three groups
At each of the sites over a period of three years
Follow-up and publication of results


M.Sc. Schahryar Kananian
+49 69 798 2537

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Abteilung für Klinische Psychologie
Varrentrappstr. 40-42
60486 Frankfurt

Universität Frankfurt


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Stangier, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Abteilung für Klinische Psychologie
Schahryar Kananian, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Abteilung für Klinische Psychologie

Project Duration

Until end 2023