About

Overview

My work is characterised by a focus on the contribution of psychological interventions to the reduction of the disease burden of mental disorders, especially depression and anxiety disorders.

  • A notable and well-known contribution to clinical research is through my meta-analyses and systematic reviews. I have built databases of randomized trials on psychotherapies for depression and anxiety disorders. Since then, these databases are updated every year and now provide a comprehensive overview of psychotherapy research in these fields. This work has resulted in dozens of published papers in high impact journals.
  • I have been a pioneer in research on prevention of the onset of new cases of mental disorders. Prevention of depression is one of the major ways in which psychological interventions can contribute to a reduction of the disease burden of depression. I led several randomised trials in people with subclinical depression in order to prevent the onset of major depressive disorders. The latest trial I led was on prevention of major depression through an internet-based guided self-help intervention, and was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). I am coordinator of the Global Consortium for Depression prevention (https://preventionofdepression.org), and I am (co-) author of >100 papers in Pubmed about this subject; including >5 randomized prevention trials. As leader of the Global Consortium, I also have a leading role in stimulating and mentoring other researchers in examining the possibilities of prevent of depressive disorders.
  • Delivery of psychotherapies through the Internet is another field to which I contributed considerably. Building on my early work on bibliotherapy and other minimal interventions for depression, I was one of the first researchers developing psychological treatments for use through the internet (I received my first grant for a trial on an internet-based psychological treatment in 1998). Since then, I been involved in the development and testing of dozens of internet-based interventions for many target groups since then. I (co-)authored more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journal on internet-based therapies. I was President of the International Society of Research on Internet Interventions (ISRII) from 2007-2009, and have >130 papers on this subject in Pubmed and have been involved in >30 randomized trials in this field.
  • In the last five years I have been involved in the World Mental Health – International College Student initiative, led by Harvard Medical School. As member of the Executive Committee of the WMH-ICS I have been involved in more than 30 papers in international journals about the mental health of college students. Within the WMH-ICS I am responsible for the development of e-health interventions that can be added to the surveys among college students that are at the core of this program.

Visibility

My research is reported in national newspapers and websites several times per year, and sometimes on the national television. My research is also featured in international journals and websites, including the New York Times, the Guardian, NPR news radio, Cosmopolitan, Reuters, Knowledgable, Knowledgable, Psychiatric Annals, the Mental Elf, Psychiatric News, and Psychiatry Weekly.

Keynote lectures

I give on average 8 to 10 keynote lectures on international and national conferences for researchers and clinicians. Some recent examples:

  • 28th European Congress of Psychiatry (virtual), July 6, 2020. Keynote: Online Therapy: Does It Work?
  • 52nd Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Annual Convention, Washington DC, November 16, 2018. Keynote: The Dodo Bird in the digital age; how e-mental health can im-prove prevention and treatment of mental health problems
  • Annual German Congress for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Berlin, March 22 2019. Keynote: Do therapies for depression work through common or specific factors?

And some lectures recorded on YouTube:

Selected Awards (since 2010)

  • 2018: Distinguished Research Career Award from the Society for Psychotherapy Research
  • 2017: Albert Ellis Award for Research
  • 2017: Lifelong Honorary membership of the Dutch Association of Psychologists (NIP) for my contribution to Dutch psychology
  • 2016/2017: Honorary President of the Canadian Psychological Association
  • 2016: Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2012: Senior Societal Impact Award (VUA) for my sustainable impact on society

PhD. Students

Since 2005 I have supervised or co-supervised 43 Ph.D. students, and currently I supervise another 22 PhD students. Three of my PhD students are now professors themselves (prof. Heleen Riper, prof. Filip Smit, prof. Ernst Bohlmeijer).

Selected institutional responsibilities (last 5 years)

  • 2019 – 2021: Lancet commission on depression
  • 2012 – 2019: APA Guideline Development Panel (GPD) for Depressive disorders (American Psychological Association
  • 2020 – 2021: Advisory group of the new WHO Report on Mental Health
  • 2007 – present: Coordinator of the Global Consortium for Depression Prevention
  • 2019 – present: Scientific Advisory Committee of Appalachian Mind Health Initiative, US (PCORI funded study)
  • 2016 – present: Mindfulness and Resilience in Adolescence (MYRIAD) Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)
  • 2018 – present: Steering Committee of the DEPRESSD Registry (Canada)
  • 2015 – present: Scientific Advisory Board of the MYRIAD project (“Mindfulness and Resilience in Adolescence”), Oxford University, Exeter University, UCL, King’s College London (funded by the Wellcome trust)
  • 2017 – present: Advisory Board of the PRIDE project (PRemIum for aDolEscents), aimed at mental health problems in adolescents in India, led by prof. Vikram Patel, Harvard University, funded by the Wellcome Trust
  • 2018 – present: Advisory Board of the NEON project (Narrative Experiences ONline Programme; Personal experience as a recovery resource in psychosis). Led by prof. Mike Slade, funded by the NIHR
  • 2019 – present: International Advisory Board of the Centre of Research Excellence PREMISE CRE (PRevention & Early intervention in Mental Illness and Substance usE), led by prof. Maree Teesson, University of New South Wales, Sydney (National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of the Australian Government)
  • 2018 – present: Translating Evidence-Based Psychological Interventions for Older Adults with Depression and Anxiety into Public and Private Mental Health Settings Using a Stepped Care Framework, Macquarie University, Australia; funded by the NHMRC

Reviewing activities

  • 2018 – present: Associate Editor of “Psychological Bulletin” (impact factor 20.9; Web of Science)
  • 2017 – present: Deputy Editor of “Depression and Anxiety” (impact factor 4.7; Web of Science)
  • Editorial board memberships: (1) British Journal of Psychiatry, (2) Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, (3) Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology; (4) Clinical Psychology Review; (5) Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice; (6) Behaviour Research and Therapy; (7) Clinical Psychology in Europe; (8) Cognitive and Behavioral Practice; (9) Cognitive Therapy and Research; (10) Current Psychiatry Reviews; (11) Cognitive Behaviour Therapy; (12) Evidence-based Mental Health; (13) Psychotherapy Research; (14) Postgraduate Medicine; (15) International Journal of Clinical Health Psychology; (16) PsyCH journal; (17) Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry; (18) Internet Interventions; (19) American Psychologist.
  • Occasional reviewer for many grant agencies in the US, the UK, Europe, The Netherlands and other countries, as well as for scientific journals (I review one to two papers/grants per week