Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Witthöft



2008 Clinical Psychologist (Professional training in cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy 2002 – 2008 at the Centre for Psychological Psychotherapy, University of Heidelberg, Germany)
2007 Doctor Rerum Socialium (equivalent to Ph.D.), Summa Cum Laude, Psychology, University of Mannheim, Germany (Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Josef Bailer, Prof. Dr. Fred Rist, and Prof. Dr. Werner W. Wittmann) Thesis: Attentional Bias, Memory Bias, and Symptom Attribution in Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance and Classical Somatoform Disorders
2001 Diploma in Psychology, University of Mannheim, Germany (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Heinz-Martin Süß).
Thesis: Inhibitory control – An explanatory construct for cognitive aging effects?
2001 Research Assistant "Attention and Working Memory Lab", School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA, USA (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Randall Engle)
1997–2010 Research Assistant in a project on Working Memory Capacity and Intelligence, University of Mannheim, Germany


Academic and Clinical Positions

Since 2014 Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Mainz, Germany
2013-2014 Visiting Professor of Health Psychology, University of Mannheim, Germany
2008-2013 Post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany (Head of department: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hiller)
2011-2012 Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College, London, UK (Supervisor: Dr. James Rubin; Head of department: Prof. Dr. Simon Wessely)
2006-2008 Psychotherapist in the Mannheim Social Phobia Study (SOPHISMA; Supervisor: Dr. Regina Steil)
2002-2007 Research assistant at the Department of Clinical Psychology at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Josef Bailer)
2001-2002 Lectureship in Experimental Psychology at the Department of General Psychology and Methodology, University of Basel, Switzerland (Head of department: Prof. Dr. Klaus Opwis)




2018 Excellent teaching award of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
2018 Excellent teaching award of the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
2012 Research Award of the German Association for Behaviour Therapy (DGVT)
2012 Poster among the Top 11 Poster Selection at the 12th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine, Budapest, Hungary.
Poster: How Many Types of Medically Unexplained Symptoms: one or Many, or Both at the Same Time? A Bifactor Approach to the Latent Structure of Somatic Symptoms
2010 Poster Award (Poster among the Top 15) at the 11th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine, Washington, USA.
Poster: How quick can you forget “tumor”? Health anxiety and the ability to remove illness related information from working memory
2006 Best Young Scientist Award of the Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy Division of the German Psychological Society (DGPs)


Professional Affiliations


  • Association for Psychological Science (APS)
  • German Psychological Society (DGPs; Section Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy)
  • German Society for Behavioural Medicine (DGVM)
  • German Association for Behaviour Therapy (DGVT)


Research Interests


  • Experimental assessment of interoception
  • Relations between interoception, somatic symptom perception, and emotion regulation
  • Processes of emotion regulation and their relationship to mental disorders
  • The affective role of mental imagery in psychopathology
  • Experimental assessment of attention allocation and cognitive-emotional processing
  • Assessment of cognitive biases in psychopathology
  • Social intelligence
  • Structural equation modelling
  • Psychotherapy Research
  • Somatoform disorders
  • Functional somatic syndromes
  • Tactile information processing



In Press

Schnabel, K., Schulz, S., & Witthöft, M. (in press). Emotional Reactivity, Emotion Regulation, and Regulatory Choice in Somatic Symptom Disorder. Psychosomatic Medicine.

Köteles, F., Szemersky, R., Witthöft, M., & Zsuzannsa, D. (in press). An idiographic approach to Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance attributed to Electromagnetic Fields (IEI-EMF) Part I. Environmental, psychosocial and clinical assessment of three individuals with severe IEI-EMF. Heliyon.

Grabli, F. E., Quesque, F., Borg, C., Witthöft, M., Michael, G. A., Lucas, C., Pasquier, F., Lebouvier, T., & Bertoux, M. (in press). Interoception and social cognition in chronic low back pain: a common inference disturbance? An exploratory study. Pain Management.

Hahn, D., Weck, F., Witthöft, M., & Weck, F. (in press). Assessment of Counseling Self-Efficacy: Validation of the German Counselor Activity Self-Efficacy Scales (CASES-R). Frontiers in Psychology.

Hennemann, S., Kuhn, S., Witthöft, M., Jungmann, S. M. (in press). Can an App-Based Symptom Checker Accurately Detect Mental Disorders? A Comparative Study in Psychotherapy Outpatients. Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Slotta, T., Witthöft, M., Gerlach, A. L., & Pohl, A. (in press). The interplay of interoceptive accuracy, facets of interoceptive sensibility, and trait anxiety: A network analysis. Personality and Individual Differences.

Szemerszky, R., Dömötör, Z., Witthöft, M., & Köteles, F. (in press). Modern Health Worries and Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance Attributed to Electromagnetic Fields are Associated with Paranoid Ideation. Journal of Psychosomatic Research.

Sarter, L., Heider, J., Kirchner, L., Schenkel, S., Witthöft, M., Rief, W., & Kleinstäuber, M. (in press). Cognitive and emotional variables predicting treatment outcome of cognitive behavior therapies for patients with medically unexplained symptoms: A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research.