The Protect Lab is an interdisciplinary research unit headed by Dr. David Daniel Ebert. We focus on the development, scientific evaluation and delivery of Behavioral Health Technology interventions, with a special focus on mental illness.


Further work focuses on the prevention of mental illness as well as the health economic evaluation of psychosocial interventions. The ProtectLab is a working unit of the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy of the FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg and works in close cooperation with a cluster of national and international research institutes, service providers and public policy representatives.



Online trainings can be used as a self-help tool for both prevention, (occupational) health promotion, and treatment with many benefits:


  • Time and place independence: The programs are accessible around the clock and can be flexibly integrated into the individual daily routine

  • Anonymity: Online-based programs provide the ability to search for low-threshold and anonymous help.

  • Elimination of waiting times: Affected persons can immediately have access to support.

  • Evidence-based methods: proven and successful methods of psychotherapy are used



What evidence is there for internet-based health programs?


There are now over 100 randomized clinical trials of online-based programs that point to the great potential for the prevention and treatment of mental disorders. Overall, recent studies show that patients with mild to moderate mental disorders can be well helped by Internet-based programs. In particular, the areas of anxiety disorders and depression are relatively well researched.


How effective are online-based programs compared to face-to-face psychotherapy?


Cuijpers et al. (2010) compared in a meta-analysis self-help programs with traditional psychotherapy for depression and anxiety disorders. They summarized 21 randomized clinical trials together. They came to the conclusion that classic face-to-face therapies are not superior to assisted self-care programs.


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