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Personal profile


My research evolves around the prevention and treatment of mental disorders following trauma and adversities in a global context. I have performed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the field of prevention and treatment of posttraumatic stress diorder (PTSD) and other common mental disorders resulting from the experience of extremely negative events, both in the Netherlands as well as in low- and middle income countries.

I am also interested in the aetiology of mental health problems following trauma and adversities, and psychological and biological mechanims involved in the effects of psychological interventions. 

With my research I aim to contribute to the development of effective psychological interventions for both common mental disorders as well as more severe mental disorders, that are scalable and appropriate across settings and populations worldwide. My overall aim is to improve availability and access to high-quality psychological and psychosocial interventions for those individuals who are most in need of them, wherever in the world they may be.

Overview of current projects:


I teach the following VU courses:

Cross-cultural and Global Mental Health (Master programme Clinical Psychology)

Political violence and the human condition (University Minor Peace and Conflict Studies) 

Moreover, I am a guest lecturer in many other courses of VU colleagues and I am chair of the Exam Subcommittee Psychology of the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences

Ancillary activities

  • International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) | Chicago | President | 2022-11-14 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

User created Keywords

  • Trauma
  • Common mental disorders
  • Prevention
  • Global mental health
  • Low-intensity interventions


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