Join the UU Alumni Network in Sydney for a special lecture delivered by UU associate professor Elske Salemink, recipient of the UU-USyd Collaboration Awards in 2019. After the lecture and discussion entitled "Look at the bright side of life: The role of interpretation bias in anxiety and wellbeing" (see abstract below) there will be plenty of opportunity for catching up with fellow alumni over some refreshments. We look forward to seeing you in the afternoon of Wednesday March 18th.
Sydney - Lecture with associate professor Elske Salemink
Elske Salemink is Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology at Utrecht University since 2018. She studied Mental Health Science at Maastricht University and graduated cum laude. Then she started as a Ph.D student at Utrecht University focusing on the causal role of interpretive bias in anxiety and graduated in 2008. She then worked as an Assistant Professor in Developmental Psychology, University of Amsterdam.
Her main research interests are understanding the development, maintenance, and treatment of anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, and depression. She is interested in biases in information processing such as attentional and interpretive bias, implicit associations and also the ability to control such processes. She examines
1) how these processes drive symptoms,
2) how they impact upon treatment success and
3) how we can change these processes to help individuals overcome their problems.
Her research has both an experimental and a clinical focus, and is conducted both in adults and in adolescents.
Dr. Salemink received several grants for her research including grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and a grant from the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development.
Dr. Salemink is also a registered cognitive behavior therapist.
The habit of seeing the world through dark or rose-colored glasses is important in understanding the development and maintenance of anxiety problems. Interpretation biases are central to many forms of emotions and behaviours. For instance, anxious individuals tend to interpret situations in threatening ways - a racing heart doesn't just mean you ran up the stairs quickly, it is interpreted as a sign of an impending heart attack. And asking your boss for a raise, isn’t just making you a bit nervous, but is causing bad thoughts, perhaps spawning fears of the boss screaming obscenities and firing you on the spot. Our tendency to interpret these ambiguous events as positive or negative can happen very rapidly and even without our being aware of our interpretation, so it can be difficult to catch these thinking habits — even though a tendency to routinely interpret things in negative ways can make us feel more anxious or sad.
In a special lecture that associate professor Elske Salemink will deliver for the UU Alumni Network in Sydney, she will give an overview of different cognitive processes and how these are tied to one’s emotional responses. She will explain how cognitive processes are related to attention and interpretation, both from a theoretical as well as from a practical point of view. Importantly, she will also present training programs designed to promote healthier thinking patterns for individuals who experience anxiety and other emotional difficulties. These computer-based training programs are designed to directly alter biased ways of thinking, such as the tendency to make threat interpretations. This encourages more flexible thinking styles in everyday life.
Please register for this event via our online activities calendar.