Prof. Dr. Michael Stark

Dr. med., Dr. h.c., Dipl.-Psychologe, professor for social psychiatry.

Prof. Stark is specialist for psychiaty und psychotherapy, psychotherapeutic medicine and psychological psychotherapist.

Basic research and professional practice

Michael Stark studied psychology with a diploma (1977) in Bochum, as well as medicine with a dissertation (1984) in Münster. During his research stay at the Clinical Research Center for the Study of Schizophrenia at Camarillo State Hospital / University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in the late 1970s, he got to know the first behavioral therapy-based psychotherapy approaches for schizophrenic patients, which he then brought back to Germany. He established this approach in the then newly founded psychiatric department at the Quakenbrück hospital, where he worked first as a clinical psychologist, then from 1984 after his graduation at the medical school as an assistant doctor.

In 1985 he was accepted at the Psychiatric and Nervous Clinic of the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg. There, he took over the management of the day clinic with a focus on social psychiatry. After his habilitation on “Experiencing illness and coping with illness from the perspective of schizophrenic patients”, as part of a successful long-term psychotherapy program for schizophrenic patients in the neurological department of Christl. At the Quakenbrück Hospital, he was appointed professor of social psychiatry at the UKE in 1995. He was also involved representing the UKE in the working groups of the authority for psychiatry development planning for Hamburg.

Foundation of the psychiatric department at Asklepios Westklinikum Hamburg in Rissen

In 1999, Prof. Stark left the Eppendorf University Hospital to set up and build up a new psychiatric department at the Asklepios General Hospital in Hamburg clinical director. In this role he was able to implement all equipment with a minimum of environmentally toxic pollution according to building biology criteria. After initially 56 beds and three wards, the department was expanded to include a day clinic in Hamburg-Rissen and was then expended service for the entire district of Altona, including a second day clinic in Altona and a total of 120 beds. In doing so, Prof. Stark consistently implemented the socio-psychiatric and psychotherapeutic approaches that are based on his holistic and appreciative treatment of patients in psychological crises.

The concept of psychoeducation

The therapeutic focus was on informing patients about the possible causes of their illness and the connections with the influencing factors from the direct social and family environment. This procedure became known in Germany under the keyword psychoeducation. Prof. Stark promoted this approach intensively and was a founding member and member of the board of the German Society for Psychoeducation (DGPE) in 2006, whose last congress he organized in March 2013 in Hamburg.

Cooperation with Eastern Europe

In his scientific work, Prof. Stark also included our neighbors in the east, Poland and the Ukraine. In 1989 he co-founded the German-Polish Society for Mental Health (DPGSG), which had set itself the task of commemorating the crimes of the Nazi era against the mentally ill who were moved from German hospitals to Polish hospitals and killed there. Many innovative partnerships between German and Polish clinics emerged from this initiative. Groups of Polish and Ukrainian colleagues were always guests at the “Forum Rehabilitation” congresses, for them a gateway to the West that was rare at the time. For his commitment, Prof. Stark was made an honorary member of the Polish Psychiatric Society and received an honorary doctorate (Dr. h.c.) from the Medical Faculty of the University of Lviv in the Ukraine in 1999.

International scientific congresses

As early as the mid-1980s, Prof. Stark organized the first conferences on psychotherapy for schizophrenic patients at the psychiatric department of the Quakenbrück Hospital, followed by a conference at Eppendorf University Hospital on ecological and environmental psychiatry and then, from the mid-1990s, congresses on the rehabilitation of mentally ill people , from which a series of congresses arose over the next 14 years: the “Rehabilitation Forum – Focal Points of Psychiatry”. In 1998 the World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR) took place in this series. Prof. Stark was elected on the board of directors for the next few years. In the following years, he was also appointed to the scientific congress committees of the World Society for Social Psychiatry (WASP) . He joined the section Conflict Management and Conflict Resolution (CMCS) of the World Association for Psychiatry (WPA) , where he was elected chairman in 2009. To this day he puts together symposia for the section at scientific congresses.

Mental health at work – ways of prevention and rehabilitation

In 2012, Prof. Stark was reappointed to the board of the World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation to take over the management of an international project on the subject of “Mental Health at Work – Ways of Prevention and Rehabilitation”. In particular, he brings in his many years of experience on the subject of stress, which is based on the “vulnerability-stress-disease concept”, which is the basis of the psychotherapeutic approaches for psychiatric patients.

Current and future projects

In June 2013, Prof. Stark handed over the department for psychiatry and psychotherapy in the Asklepios West Clinic to his successor. He then founded the Prof. Stark Institute. The main focus was the development of an integrative diagnostic procedure for patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Here he and his colleague Dr. Christof Ziaja, who as a sports scientist brought his experience in the care of high-performance athletes, developed the stress measurement methods that can map the regulatory ability of the autonomic nervous system.

This is done in two main areas:

The practice of Prof. Stark

In his private practice in Hamburg, Prof. Stark dedicates himself to the individual diagnosis and therapy of psychosomatic stress symptoms, using the holistic Prof. Stark method that has proven itself over many years. After initial careful diagnostics on a physical and psychological level, Prof. Stark offers options for classic individual or group therapy. As part of his holistic approach, the diagnostic and physical therapy of stress symptoms is offered by Dr. Christof Ziaja, sports scientist, who developed the biophysical movement therapy (BBT).

The Prof. Stark Institute

The Prof. Stark Health Competence Center (UG) also offers innovative forms of interaction for people who cannot come to Hamburg,
such as the online TestCenter , as well as the PreventionCenter an innovative information, diagnostic and advisory service for interested individuals and especially for managers and employees of companies and institutions (Company Special) , which is to be further expanded in the next few years. Research, publications and congresses support this social approach.

  • A new 5 star Seal of approval.

we are working on a new project that aims to develop and award seals of approval for companies that are committed to the mental health of their employees. World wide dissemination is planned in cooperation with the WOrld Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR). </ p >

  • Scientific research and publications

Through research, international congresses and publications, the longstanding experience and results of the Prof. Stark method should be further developed and passed on to committed multipliers and experts from psychology, medicine and business in the future . In this way, not only should the individual be supported, but a contribution should also be made to the social debate about the risks and consequences of the increasing psychosomatic stress in everyday life and in the work environment. At the same time, the dialogue about the latest findings on a scientifically sound diagnosis and therapy offer is to be promoted in order to discuss and disseminate new approaches – especially in prevention.

In cooperation with the Leuphana University Lüneburg , research studies on the effectiveness of online therapies were carried out and are still planned.

Close cooperation exists with the Stress Research Center of the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada with Prof. Dr. W. Linden and the Social Psychiatric Department of the Jagellonen University Krakow, Poland with Prof. Dr. A. Cechnicki.

  • Training and supervision in the Prof. Stark method

As part of the Prof-Stark Institute, supervision and further training of psychotherapists in the Prof. Stark method for the diagnosis and therapy of psychosomatic disorders is planned. See also Prof. Stark Akademie

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