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Changing Challenges into Chances - The psychologist and the future of mental health care

Date & Time

Online Symposium hospital CUF Tejo - GGZ Breburg - GGZ Oost Brabant:
April 12th, 2024, 10:00-13:00 Dutch time, 09:00-12:00 Portuguese time.

On this date, we will be organizing an online symposium with colleagues from hospital CUF Tejo, GGZ Breburg, and GGZ Oost Brabant. The main goal of this symposium is to integrate different international contributions from current psychological interventions and scientific research into a broader view. This shared dialogue may facilitate cross-border collaboration and help us address the challenges of mental healthcare, both now and in the future. We are looking forward to virtually meeting you there.



The three presentations reflect opportunities that have arisen from challenges, each at different stages of development. What can we learn from these innovative and reformulated approaches regarding severe mental disorders?



Online meeting opens



Official welcome Organisation:

Claudia Bandeira de Lima 
Nynke Bodde
Susana Eusebio
Maria João Brito
Maria Inês Martinho
Natasja Mathijssen
Hanneke Niels-Kessels
Charity van Tienen
Marco Torrado
Lars de Vroege



Taking the driving seat - autonomy-connectedness and eating disorders.

by Nicky Bosman, Phd-student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam & GGZ Oost-Brabant, (Sport-)Psychologist at Mental Power Training.


Because of the major role of transdiagnostic factors in causing and keeping eating disorders (Connan et al., 2003; Fairburn et al., 2003; Treasure et al., 2012), we propose to investigate the innovative and gender-sensitive Autonomy-Enhancing Treatment (AET). AET focuses on underlying transdiagnostic AC deficits. Autonomy deficits characterise many psychiatric disorders, including ED symptoms (Bachrach et al., 2013; Bekker et al., 2007; Bekker & Belt, 2006; Bekker & Croon, 2010; van Assen & Bekker, 2009), and are reflected by a strong focus on the needs and wishes of others and a poor ability to acknowledge and communicate one's own needs. AET has recently been established as a(n) (cost- ) effective treatment for anxiety disorders (Kunst et al., 2022,) and autonomy was one of the strongest predictors of recovery from eating disorders in previous research (Kuipers et al., 2017).  

Outcome measures AC, long-term ED symptoms, depressive and anxiety symptoms, self-esteem and quality of life, are assessed every three months. 



 "iTREATOCD: Efficacy of an internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy in obsessive-compulsive disorder”

by Mafalda Machado de Sousa, Clinical Psychologist (Private Practice), Phd-student at Health Sciences Phd program of the University of Minho


Improvement in emotion regulation is an important outcome of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). There has been a growing interest in the use of remote interventions based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) - the gold standard treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), to deal with the barriers associated with face-to-face approaches.

The efficacy of internet-based CBT (iCBT) seems to be similar to face-to-face CBT for several psychiatric conditions, although iCBT has the advantage of being more accessible and requiring less therapist time, which makes it a more cost-effective treatment. The main goal of this study is to design and implement an iCBT program and assess its effectiveness. We expect to understand the impact of such intervention (1) on the reduction of OCD severity, (2) on the ability of OCD patients to regulate their emotions and (3) on the neurobiological underpinnings of emotion regulation processing.



Energyzer: mindfulness by CUF colleague followed by a short break

11:35- 12:05


Staying in or going out? Flexible Assertive Community treatment (FACT): a recovery-based treatment and discharge.

by Eva de Bruijn, Clinical Psychologist Centre for Psychotic Disorders (FACT) at GGZ Breburg, Board member of psychology staff at GGZ Breburg and Phd-student/ science practioner at Tranzo Tilburg University


Flexible assertive community treatment (FACT) is a recovery-based treatment and its manual describes discharge criteria for clients who are recovered. Yet research on discharge is lacking. In this retrospective and observational study, between 2009 and 2019, we explored how sociodemographic, clinical, and treatment factors are associated with planned discharge or no discharge. We included 1734 clients with a psychotic disorder of which 38.5% were discharged after a mutual decision that FACT was no longer necessary. Logistic regression analysis was used to create a discharge profile which was more favorable for discharged clients. They were older at the start of FACT, had lower HoNOS scores, were diagnosed with another psychotic disorder, and had fewer contacts with non-FACT members. Discharge is a part of FACT and is more common than anticipated. While this study provides preliminary answers, further research is necessary to better understand discharge and its associated factors.





Short break






Discussion rounds, in break out rooms    

What chances do we take from this challenges?
Difficulties in implementing new types of treatment.
Resocialisation problems in cliënts with/because of social media, online treatment do or don’t?
Differences between online and offline treatments





Take home messages from discussion rounds

Accredition has been applied for.