Our research program focuses on the development of theoretical models for understanding the relationships between Attachment, Emotion (Regulation) and Psychopathology. Anxiety-, mood-, eating-, adjustment- and personality disorders belong to the types of psychopathology under study. We investigate the role of various attachment styles and autonomy-connectedness patterns in the development and maintenance of these mental disorders and unwell-being. We examine the role of gender, because of the remarkable unequal sex prevalence in many of the mental disorders under study. The main focus of our research program is on processes of emotion regulation in the relationships between attachment styles and psychopathology. A prominent research topic herein is crying.
The main objectives of research program are: understanding, explaining, developing and testing relevant theoretical models in the aforementioned area, and, where possible, implementing them into clinical practice. Accordingly, several intervention studies belong to the research program, for example studies on the effects of autonomy-targeted interventions; on the effects of increasing diversity-competence of therapists on drop-out and recovery in various Dutch ethnic minorities suffering from depression; the effectiveness of E(motion)-F(ocused) T(reatment). Acknowledging the adaptation problems of current mental health care to the cultural diversity of the client population the research results are additionally aimed to contribute to the increase of cultural competence within mental health care and the development of suitable therapeutic interventions for the largest ethnic minority client groups.