NIAS-Lorentz Alexithymia Workshop!


People with high levels of alexithymia display notable difficulties in identifying and describing their emotional feelings (read more). The scientific study of alexithymia is nowadays a booming enterprise across multiple disciplines, including psychology, neuroscience, psychiatry, and psychosomatic medicine.

AER lab members Dalya Samur and Prof. Sander Koole, together with Prof. Olivier Luminet and M.D. Michiko Kano, have organized a NIAS-Lorentz Workshop to bridge the interdisciplinary research in alexithymia, which was held between 1st -4th of May, 2017.

This was the first time in four decades since the construct was first suggested that researchers across the entire field gathered together in a single meeting. For this meeting, the participants came from 13 different countries: Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United State of America.

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Promotion for Jolanda Maas to Asst. Prof.

jolanda-maas-e1432889924929Jolanda Maas has been promoted to Assistant Professor (tenured). She is working at the Amsterdam Emotion Regulation lab since September 2015, and her research is on the emotion-regulatory benefits of nature.

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Chief Editor for C&E

pcemSander Koole and Klaus Rothermund will become the new Chief Editors of Cognition and Emotion (C&E), as of January 2017.

C&E is devoted to the study of emotion, especially to those aspects of emotion related to cognitive processes. The journal aims to bring together work on emotion undertaken by researchers in cognitive, social, clinical, and developmental psychology, psychophysiology, neuropsychology/neuroscience, and cognitive science.

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Paper published

imgresSynchrony in Psychotherapy: A Review and an Integrative Framework for the Therapeutic Alliance

Koole, S. L., & Tschacher, W. (2016). Synchrony in psychotherapy: A review and an integrative framework for understanding the therapeutic aliance. Frontiers in Psychology7, 862. (Full text)

During psychotherapy, patient and therapist tend to spontaneously synchronize their vocal pitch, bodily movements, and even their physiological processes. In the present article, we consider how this pervasive phenomenon may shed new light on the therapeutic relationship– or alliance– and its role within psychotherapy. We first review clinical research on the alliance and the multidisciplinary area of interpersonal synchrony. We then integrate both literatures in the Interpersonal Synchrony (In-Sync) model of psychotherapy. According to the model, the alliance is grounded in the coupling of patient and therapist’s brains. Because brains do not interact directly, movement synchrony may help to establish inter-brain coupling. Inter-brain coupling may provide patient and therapist with access to another’s internal states, which facilitates common understanding and emotional sharing. Over time, these interpersonal exchanges may improve patients’ emotion-regulatory capacities and related therapeutic outcomes. We discuss the empirical assessment of interpersonal synchrony and review preliminary research on synchrony in psychotherapy. Finally, we summarize our main conclusions and consider the broader implications of viewing psychotherapy as the product of two interacting brains.

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Media Appearance

npo_angerLotte Veenstra‘s research on anger management featured on Dutch national television: ‘Dus ik ben… boos’ at NPO2 with philosopher Stine Jensen.

Watch it here

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Visiting Researcher!

Logo_FavIcon_v2In Spring 2016, Amsterdam Emotion Regulation Lab will be hosting two Visiting Researchers.

Yuhei Urano is a Phd student at the University of Tokyo (Japan). He will be visiting us from April to June.

Prof. Dr. Veronika Brandstätter  from University of Zürich (Switzerland) will be visiting us in June/July.

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Excellent Dissertation prize

uni_trier_logoMonischa Chatterjee’s dissertation won an Award for Excellent Dissertations at the University of Trier. We would like to congratulate her!

You can find more information here.

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ERC Proof of Concept!

logo_ercThe European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Proof of Concept grant to Sander Koole for developing an anger management game for hand-held devices (e.g. smartphones and tablets). This new start-up will explore the market and examine the effects scientifically. The 18-month project will be held in collaboration with Prof. Heleen Riper. The research team will consist of a commercial manager, a programmer and a researcher. For general info, the press release is here.

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Visiting Researchers!

Logo_FavIcon_v2 In Fall 2015, Amsterdam Emotion Regulation Lab wil be hosting two Visiting Researchers.

Tobias Maldei, MSc. is a Phd Student at the University of Trier. He is doing a joint degree with VU Amsterdam. During his stay, he will work on intuitive decision-making.

Ringailė Slapšinskaitė, BA. is a recent graduate from Vytautas Magnus University. She received the Erasmus Internship Grant which is given to promising students to develop specific skills within their field. During her stay, she will work on the benefits of attentive reading among people with alexithymia.

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VU chair on ‘Emotion Regulation’

Sander Koole benoemd tot hoogleraar Klinische Psychologie*

Eerste leerstoel bij de nieuwe faculteit der Gedrags- en Bewegingswetenschappen

Sander Koole 140 x 84_tcm108-458284Per 1 juli 2015 is Sander Koole benoemd tot hoogleraar Klinische Psychologie met als opdracht in het bijzonder het onderwerp ‘emotieregulatie’. Deze benoeming is een bevestiging van zijn bijzondere en baanbrekende werk, onder andere als oprichter van het Amsterdam Emotion Regulation Lab.

Het onderzoek van Sander Koole richt zich op de vraag hoe mensen bewust of onbewust hun emoties proberen te controleren. Daarbij onderzoekt hij niet alleen psychologische strategieën zoals positief denken of over je gevoelens praten, maar ook lichamelijke strategieën zoals je lichaamshouding aanpassen, zachte aanraking of een wandeling maken door de natuur.

In 2011 ontving Koole een prestigieuze Consolidator Grant van de European Research Council voor zijn vernieuwende onderzoek naar belichaamde emotieregulatie. Met behulp van deze subsidie richtte Koole het Amsterdam Emotion Regulation Lab op, waar hij met 12 medewerkers onderzoek verricht naar uiteenlopende aspecten van emotieregulatie. “Bijna alle psychologische klachten hebben op de een of andere manier te maken met een verstoorde emotieregulatie”, vertelt Koole. “Door meer inzicht te krijgen in emotieregulatie hopen we mensen beter te kunnen helpen om hun psychologische problemen te overwinnen.”

Sander Koole behaalde zijn Master (cum laude) aan de Universiteit van Groningen en zijn doctorstitel in Psychologie (cum laude) aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen. Sinds 2012 is hij werkzaam bij de afdeling Klinische Psychologie aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam en directeur van het Amsterdam Emotion Regulation Lab.


*Original article is published in VU University website.

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