About the department
Anxiety disorders | depressive disorder | post traumatic stress disorder and (complicated) grief | eating disorders | co-morbidity
The department of Clinical Psychology is an ambitious and thriving department within Utrecht University. The department offers teaching in the bachelor and master programs of psychology. We all strive for high-quality and are recognized for teaching excellence. Scientific research is an important part of the Clinical Psychology department. The affiliated academic researchers conduct experimental and clinical research to gain more insight in underlying psychological processes of mental-disorders.
The department of Clinical Psychology is comprised of internationally-regarded academic researchers who are intrigued by diverse questions such as: ‘Why do some people develop a depression, while others do not?’, ‘How can we improve the effectiveness of exposure therapy?’, ‘How do people cope with loss and trauma?’, ‘How does EMDR work?’, 'Which stress control or anxiety makes people decide not to eat?' and ‘How can we use technology to optimize mental health interventions?’. We conduct experimental, clinical, and translational studies to explore these (and related) questions. It is our ultimate aim to gain insight into underlying (neuro) cognitive processes of psychopathology and advance knowledge that informs the development of interventions promoting mental well-being.
Our clinical research covers a wide range of stress-related emotional disorders. With our research we aim to obtain more insight into the processes that underlie and maintain diverse forms of psychopathology, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, prolonged grief disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and co-morbidity. We perform experimental (laboratory) research with healthy populations to obtain more insight into fundamental processes (for instance fear conditioning). Additionally, we have several lines of research with different clinical populations, in collaboration with mental health care organizations such as Arkin, Altrecht and Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group. By conducting research in clinical populations we aim to increase our understanding how treatments for various disorders can be optimized.
Research programmes: Experimental psychology | Clinical psychology: trauma, grief and anxiety disorders
The Clinical Psychology department encompasses two research labs:
- the Clinical Psychology lab and
- the Experimental Psychopathology lab.
The Clinical Psychology lab mainly studies etiology, maintenance factors and multi modal interventions for depression, post traumatic stress disorder, prolonged grief disorder, and co-morbidity.
The Experimental Psychopathology lab studies underlying processes of anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, and eating disorders. The studies are based upon insight from experimental psychology. We collaborate closely with the Altrecht Academic Anxiety and Altrecht Eating Disorders Rintveld centers.
We collaborate with research groups from multiple disciplines, such as computer science, to conduct innovative research on serious gaming and playful interaction. For instance, we use mobile phone app-based ecological momentary assessment (EMA) techniques for in-the-moment behavioural assessments and interventions. In addition, we use virtual reality (VR) techniques to facilitate research of various disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and anxiety disorders.
Our department has a dedicated teaching staff recognized for scholarly excellence. The universities prestigious teacher awards have been granted to (two members of the psychology department.
The Clinical Psychology department is involved in the following study programs: Bachelor of Psychology (currently only taught in Dutch), Master Clinical Psychology (in English and some bi-lingual work groups/skills training) and the two-year Research Master Social and Health Psychology (in English).
We are devoted to high teaching-standards. In our education we integrate scientific knowledge with clinical practice as much as possible, by obtaining input from highly experienced scientist-practitioners working across a wide range of clinical fields. It is our aim to provide students with the most recent insights, to promote critical and innovative thinking, and to provide students with a solid foundation of skills that can be used in their future careers as clinicians, researchers, or in the public health sector.
After obtaining a master degree in Clinical Psychology, students may continue with a 2-year post-graduate training to become a psychotherapist, health care psychologist (in Dutch: Gezondheidszorgpsycholoog) and eventually clinical psychologist (after a 4-year program on top of the health care psychologist training). Several staff members at our department of Clinical Psychology are involved in teaching at a post-graduate level.
The post-graduate training has specific admission requirements and takes place within health care institutions. Students who successfully complete our bachelor and master program are qualified to apply for this post-graduate training. Note that these post-graduate programs are taught in Dutch only.
For more information, please visit: www.rinogroep.nl/GZ (in Dutch)
The department of Clinical Psychology works in close collaboration with other departments at Utrecht University, such as the department of Methodology & Statistics, the department of Experimental Psychology, the Brain Center Rudolf Magnus and the Department of Information and Computing Sciences. Combining knowledge from multiple disciplines enables us to conduct high-quality research. Some of our staff members also work in clinical practice at the Ambulatorium (in Dutch), the outpatient clinic of the faculty of Social Sciences’, where individuals with various problems such as anxiety, depression, grief, stress, and migraine are treated.
Close collaboration with partners in mental health care ensures our department is actively involved in measures to reduce the gap between science and practice.
We also collaborate internationally with researchers of several renowned universities worldwide: the Utrecht University Partners (UUPs). These international research universities conduct high-quality research relating to our research focus areas. Members of the department also regularly attend and present research findings at international congresses and symposia.
More information about international collaboration: http://www.uu.nl/onderzoek/samenwerken/internationale-samenwerking
The staff website includes more detailed information about the individual staff members of the department.