Fritz Renner

Group leader


Research interest

  • Effectiveness and mechanisms of psychotherapy for depression
  • Experimental psychopathology research on mechanisms of change in psychological disorders (focus on depression)
  • Imagery based techniques in Cognitive Behavioural Therapies
  • The role of mental imagery in the etiology and maintenance of mental disorders
  • Schema Therapy
  • Single-Case Experimental Designs



  1. Bruijniks, S. J. E., Meeter, M., Lemmens, L., Peeters, F., Cuijpers, P., Renner, F., & Huibers, M. J. (2022). Mechanistic pathways of change in twice weekly versus once weekly sessions of psychotherapy for depression. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 151, 104038.
  2. Heise, M., Werthmann, J., Murphy, F., Tuschen-Caffier, B., & Renner, F. (2022). Imagine How Good That Feels: The Impact of Anticipated Positive Emotions on Motivation for Reward Activities. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 46(4), 704-720.
  3. Bär, H. E., Werthmann, J., Paetsch, A., & Renner, F. (2022). The traces of imagination: early attention bias toward positively imagined stimuli. Psychological Research, .
  4. Renner, F., Werthmann, J., Paetsch, A., Bär, H. E., Heise, M., & Bruijniks, S. J. E. (2021). Prospective mental imagery in depression: Impact on reward processing and reward-motivated behaviour. Clinical Psychology in Europe, 3(2).
  5. Geschwind, N., van Teffelen, M., Hammarberg, E., Arntz, A., Huibers, M. J. H., & Renner, F. (2021). Impact of measurement frequency on self-reported depressive symptoms: An experimental study in a clinical setting. Journal of Affective Disorders Reports, .
  6. Bruijniks, S. J. E., Frank, U., Tuschen-Caffier, B., Werthmann, J., & Renner, F. (2021). Skill Improvement through Learning in Therapy (SKILT): a study protocol for a randomized trial testing the direct effects of cognitive behavioral therapy skill acquisition and role of learning capacity in major depressive disorder. , .
  7. Pellas, J., Renner, F., Ji, J. L., & Damberg, M. (2021). Telephone-based behavioral activation with mental imagery for depression: A pilot randomized clinical trial in isolated older adults during the Covid-19 pandemic. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 37.
  8. Dugue, R., Renner, F., Austermann, M., Tuschen-Caffier, B., & Jacob, G. (2019). Imagery rescripting in individuals with binge-eating behavior: An experimental proof-of-concept study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 52.
  9. Renner, F., Murphy, F. C., Ji, J. L., Manly, T., & Holmes, E. A. (2019). Mental imagery as a “motivational amplifier” to promote activities. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 114.
  10. Renner, F., DeRubeis, R., Arntz, A., Peeters, F. P., Lobbestael, J., & Huibers, M. J. H. (2018). Exploring mechanisms of change in schema therapy for chronic depression. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 58, 97--105.
  11. Renner, F., Kersbergen, I., Field, M., & Werthmann, J. (2018). Dutch courage? Effects of acute alcohol consumption on self-ratings and observer ratings of foreign language skills. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 32.
  12. Schweizer, T., Renner, F., Sun, D., Kleim, B., Holmes, E. A., & Tuschen-Caffier, B. (2018). Psychophysiological reactivity, coping behaviour and intrusive memories upon multisensory Virtual Reality and Script-Driven Imagery analogue trauma: A randomised controlled crossover study. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 59, 42--52.
  13. Renner, F., Ji, J. L., Pictet, A., Holmes, E. A., & Blackwell, S. E. (2017). Effects of Engaging in Repeated Mental Imagery of Future Positive Events on Behavioural Activation in Individuals with Major Depressive Disorder. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 41, 369--380.
  14. Renner, F., Siep, N., Arntz, A., van de Ven, V., Peeters, F. P., Quaedflieg, C. W., & Huibers, M. J. H. (2017). Negative mood-induction modulates default mode network resting-state functional connectivity in chronic depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 208, 590--596.
  15. Renner, F., Arntz, A., Peeters, F. P., Lobbestael, J., & Huibers, M. J. H. (2016). Schema therapy for chronic depression: Results of a multiple single case series. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 51.
  16. Simplicio, D., Renner, F., Blackwell, S. E., Mitchell, H., Stratford, H. J., Watson, P., Myers, N., Nobre, A. C., Lau-Zhu, A., & Holmes, E. A. (2016). An investigation of mental imagery in bipolar disorder: Exploring “the mind's eye”. Bipolar Disorders, 18, 669--683.
  17. Holmes, E. A., Blackwell, S. E., Heyes, S. B., Renner, F., & Raes, F. (2016). Mental Imagery in Depression: Phenomenology, Potential Mechanisms, and Treatment Implications. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 12, 249--280.
  18. Renner, F., Siep, N., Lobbestael, J., Arntz, A., Peeters, F. P., & Huibers, M. J. H. (2015). Neural correlates of self-referential processing and implicit self-associations in chronic depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 186.
  19. Dinger, U., Barrett, M., Zimmermann, J., Schauenburg, H., Wright, A., Renner, F., Zilcha-Mano, S., & Barber, J. (2015). Interpersonal Problems, Dependency, and Self-Criticism in Major Depressive Disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 71.
  20. Renner, F., Bamelis, L., Huibers, M. J. H., Speckens, A., & Arntz, A. (2014). The impact of comorbid depression on recovery from personality disorders and improvements in psychosocial functioning: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 63.
  21. Renner, F., Schwarz, P., Peeters, F. P., & Huibers, M. J. H. (2014). Effects of a best-possible-self mental imagery exercise on mood and dysfunctional attitudes. Psychiatry Research, 215.
  22. Schultze-Lutter, F., Renner, F., Paruch, J., Julkowski, D., Klosterk{ö}tter, J., & Ruhrmann, S. (2014). Self-reported psychotic-like experiences are a poor estimate of clinician-rated attenuated and frank delusions and hallucinations. Psychopathology, 47.
  23. Moradveisi, L., Huibers, M. J. H., Renner, F., & Arntz, A. (2014). The influence of patients' preference/attitude towards psychotherapy and antidepressant medication on the treatment of major depressive disorder. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 45.
  24. Werthmann, J., Renner, F., Roefs, A., Huibers, M. J. H., Plumanns, L., Krott, N., & Jansen, A. (2014). Looking at food in sad mood: Do attention biases lead emotional eaters into overeating after a negative mood induction?. Eating Behaviors, 15, 230--236.
  25. Moradveisi, L., Huibers, M. J. H., Renner, F., Arasteh, M., & Arntz, A. (2013). The influence of comorbid personality disorder on the effects ofbehavioural activation vs. antidepressant medication for major depressive disorder: Results from a randomized trial in Iran. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51.
  26. Moradveisi, L., Huibers, M. J. H., Renner, F., Arasteh, M., & Arntz, A. (2013). Results for behavioural activation are overstated. Authors' reply. British Journal of Psychiatry, 202.
  27. Moradveisi, L., Huibers, M. J. H., Renner, F., Arasteh, M., & Arntz, A. (2013). Behavioural activation v. antidepressant medication for treating depression in Iran: Randomised trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 202.
  28. Renner, F., van Goor, M., Huibers, M. J. H., Arntz, A., Butz, B., & Bernstein, D. (2013). Short-term group schema cognitive-behavioral therapy for young adults with personality disorders and personality disorder features: Associations with changes in symptomatic distress, schemas, schema modes and coping styles. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51.
  29. Renner, F., Penninx, B., Peeters, F. P., Cuijpers, P., & Huibers, M. J. H. (2013). Two-year stability and change of neuroticism and extraversion in treated and untreated persons with depression: Findings from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA). Journal of Affective Disorders, 150.
  30. Renner, F., Lobbestael, J., Peeters, F. P., Arntz, A., & Huibers, M. J. H. (2012). Early maladaptive schemas in depressed patients: Stability and relation with depressive symptoms over the course of treatment. Journal of Affective Disorders, 136.
  31. Renner, F., Jarrett, R., Vittengl, J., Barrett, M., Clark, L., & Thase, M. (2012). Interpersonal problems as predictors of therapeutic alliance and symptom improvement in cognitive therapy for depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 138.
  32. Bamelis, L., Renner, F., Heidkamp, D., & Arntz, A. (2011). Extended schema mode conceptualizations for specific personality disorders: An empirical study. Journal of Personality Disorders, 25.


  1. Heise, M., Werthmann, J., Tuschen-Caffier, B., & Renner, F. (2019). Reward Anticipation as a Potential Mechanism of Motivational Mental Imagery: An Experimental Study [Poster presentation]. WCBCT 2019, Berlin.