Clinical and Health Psychology
P.O. Box 80140
3508 TC Utrecht
Introduction/ ResearchHaving finalized my PhD at King’s College London in the UK, I currently work as an Associate Professor at the department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Utrecht. I am part of the Clinical PsychoPathology Lab chaired by Prof. Paul Boelen. My research focusses on understanding anxiety in adolescents and adults with anorexia nervosa. I conduct studies examining the effect of anxiety processes on symptomatology and daily functioning of people with AN. In particular I investigate how an intolerance for uncertainty, cognitive rigidity and social anxiety contribute to the development, maintenance and pathology of AN.
My ambition is to translate these findings into clinical practice and to develop new treatment strategies targeting anxiety and its maintaining mechanisms for those with AN. I have experience with the design, set up and coordination of cross-sectional and experimental research and large and multicentre clinical interventions in both the UK and the Netherlands. I believe in the value of working in a team, and have various national and international collaborating partners, both academic and clinical institutions. I am part of the Utrecht Research Group Eating Disorders (URGE), a translational research group and strengthening my collaboration with patient associations.
A large part of my time is devoted to teaching and I feel training future researchers and psychologists is important. As the teaching coordinator of the Department of Clinical Psychology at Utrecht University I am part of the department’s daily board and carry the responsibility over the curriculum and allocation of teachers to courses and other teaching activities.
In the last 10 years I have developed various courses at BA and MA levels, and currently coordinate and teach in both the BA and MA program. I am still excited when I meet keen and bright students who are interested in eating disorders research.
I try and be as active as I can in reaching out to those who suffer from eating disorders and their families. With my colleague Jojanneke Bijsterbosch I coordinated the translation and dissemination of a manual for those caring for a loved one with an eating disorder entitled “Samen de Eetstoornis aanpakken: Bewezen effectieve vaardigheden om je kind of partner te ondersteunen”, written by dr. prof. Janet Treasure (KCL, UK). We are currently piloting a training based on this book and researching its feasibility and effectiveness for carers in the Netherlands. I have successfully obtained funding for both the book publishing and the training-related research.
Click here to view my articles on pubmed.