Prof. Philip Spinhoven, PhD

  • Professor in Clinical Psychology
  • Experimental psychopathology, cognitive behavioural therapy, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, somatoform disorders, personality disorders

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 3377
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen, Instituut Psychologie, Klinische Psychologie
Office Address: Pieter de la Court gebouw
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 2B23
Personal Homepage:

  • Full professor in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychology, Leiden University (1998-present)
  • Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Leiden University (2008-2012)
  • Chair of the Institute of Psychology, Leiden University (2007)
  • Assistant professor at the Department of Psychiatry, Leiden University Medical Center (1991-1998)
  • Associate professor at the Department of Psychiatry, Leiden University Medical Center (1981-1991)
  • PhD., Leiden University (1989)
  • MA., cum laude, Leiden University (1981)

Main research interest

My research focuses on how distant, recent and current stressors interact with cognitive processes (e.g. attention, memory, thought, reasoning), behavioural processes (e.g. approach and avoidance), and biological processes (e.g. brain activation and the HPA-axis). My focus is on anxiety disorders, mood disorders, somatoform disorders and personality disorders. My aim is to understand the complex interplay among cognitive, behavioural and biological processes across these four stress-related disorders. These disorders show a high co-morbidity, similarities in known causative and maintaining factors and in preferred psychological and pharmacological treatments. In investigating transdiagnostic risk factors such as childhood adversities and maintaining mechanisms such as emotion regulation processes across various psychopathologies from different perspectives, my research draws on multiple methodologies (e.g. laboratory cognitive tasks, clinical trials, survey methodology). Click here for a recent overview of the most frequent terms in my research.

PhD Dissertations


  • Drost, J.: Worry and rumination. Underlying processes and transdiagnostic characteristics. (With: A.J.W. van der Does)
  • Molendijk, M.L.: The role of BDNF in depression. Will the neurotrophin hypothesis sparkle on, long after the glitter of the firework is gone. (With: B.M. Elzinga, and B.W.J.H. Penninx)
  • A.L. van Harmelen: Childhood emotional maltreatment: Impact on cognition and the brain. (With: B.M. Elzinga and B.W.J.H. Penninx)
  • A.D.T. Muntingh: Cost-effectiveness of a collaborative stepped care intervention for anxiety disorders in the primary care setting. (With: C. van der Feltz-Cornelis, A.J.L.M. van Balkom and H. van Marwijk)
  • T.M. van den Boogaard: The negotiated approach in the treatment of depressive disorders: The impact on patient-treatment compatibility and outcome. (With: R. Van Dyck and H. Vertommen.) 
  • K. de Jong: A chance for change: Building an outcome monitoring feedback system for outpatient mental health care. (With: W.J. Heiser and M.A. Nugter.) 
  • P. Bakvis: Psychogenic non epileptic seizures. Towards an integration of psychogenic, cognitive and neurobiological aspects. (With: K. Roelofs and F.G. Zitman.)
  • N.Y.L. Oei: Memory function after stress. The effects of acute stress and cortisol on memory and the inhibition of emotional distraction. (With: B.M. Elzinga.)
  • P. Meulenbeek: Prevention and early intervention in panic disorder. The effectiveness of the 'Don't panic course'. (With: W.J.M.J. Cuijpers and A.J.L.M. van Balkom.)
  • J.M. van Peer: To approach or to avoid. Neurobiological mechanisms in social anxiety. (With K. Roelofs.)
  • M.J. Verschuur: Effects of the Medical Investigation Bijlmermeer Aviation Disaster on health perception of residents and rescue workers. (With: F.R. Rosendaal.)
  • A. Dingemans: Binge or control? Assessment of the validity, treatment and underlying mechanisms of Binge Eating Disorder. (With: E.F.van Furth and C.Martijn.)
  • M.S. Tollenaar: Fading memories. The impact of stress hormones on the retrieval of emotional memories. (With: W.T.A.M. Everaerd and B. Elzinga.)
  • N. Slee: Cognitive-behavioural therapy for deliberate self-harm. (With: N.Garnefski and E.Arensman.)
  • R. Haringsma: Never too old to learn. The effectiveness of the Coping with Depression course for elderly. (With: G. Engels.)
  • W. Merens: Manipulating serotonin function in depression. (With: A.J.W. van der Does.)
  • M. Blom: Combination treatment for depressed outpatients. Efficacy and prediction of outcome. (With: R. van Dyck and E. Hoencamp.)
  • A.E. van Giezen: A memory like an elephant. The consistency of memory for emotional events. (With: E. Arensman.)
  • A. Greeven: Hypochondriasis. Diagnostic issues and treatment. (With: A.J.L.M. van Balkom.)
  • T.M. Bean: Assessing the psychological distress and mental health care needs of unaccompanied refugee minors in the Netherlands. (With: L. Eurelings-Bontekoe)
  • C.L.H. Bockting: The rhythm of depression. The course of recurrent depression and prevention of relapse using cognitive therapy. (With: A.H. Schene and M.W. Koeter)
  • M. de Waal: Somatoform disorders in general practice. Epidemiology, treatment and comorbidity with depression and anxiety. (With: W.J.J. Assendelft)
  • I. Arnold: Somatoform disorders in general practice. Epidemiology, treatment and comorbidity with depression and anxiety. (With: W.J.J. Assendelft)
  • J. Giesen-Bloo: Crossing borders. Theory, assessment and treatment in borderline personality disorder. (With: A. Arntz and R. Van Dyck)
  • M. Swinkels: Psychiatric comorbidity in epilepsy. (With: R. Van Dyck.)
  • L. Booij: Experimental Manipulations of Tryptophan: Insight into Depression. (With: AJ.W. van der Does.)
  • I. Kremers: Remembering autobiographical events in borderline personality disorder. (With: R. Van Dyck and A.J.W. van der Does.)
  • L. van Gerwen: Fear of flying: Assessment and treatment issues. (With: R. Van Dyck.)
  • D.B. Oosterbaan: Social Phobia: Cognitive and pharmacological treatment. (With: R. van Dyck and A.J.L.M. van Balkom.)
  • F. Moene: Hypnosis and conversion disorder. (With: C.A.L. Hoogduin and R. van Dyck.)
  • A. Bakker: Psychological and pharmacological treatment in panic disorder. (With: R. van Dyck.)
  • D.C. Cath : Comparative studies in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder. (With: C.A.L. Hoogduin.)
  • V. Kraaij: Depressive symptoms in the elderly Negative life events and buffering factors. (With: C.M.J.G. Maes and N. Garnefski.)
  • J. Kuyk: Pseudo-epileptic seizures. Differential diagnosis and psychological characteristics. (With: R. van Dyck.)
  • E.R.S. Nijenhuis: Somatoform dissociation: Phenomena, measurement, and theoretical issues. (With: R. van Dyck and O. van der Hart.)
  • A.S. van Peski-Oosterbaan: Panic in asthma and non-cardiac chest pain. Implications for cognitive behavioural therapy. (With H.G.M. Rooijmans and A.J.W. van der Does.)
  • M.M. ter Kuile: Treatment of chronic headaches: Factors associated with outcome. (With: H.G.M. Rooijmans.)
  • A.J.L.M. van Balkom: Comparative treatment studies in panic disorder with agoraphobia and obsessive compulsive disorder. (With: R. van Dyck and C.A.L. Hoogduin.)

Selected publications

(For a complete list of journal and book publications click on the tab Published work at the top of this page or visit my personal website: Shown here are some selected first or last author English journal publications during the last ten years): 

  • Spinhoven, P., Penninx, B.W., Hickendorff, M., van Hemert, A.M., Bernstein, D.P. & Elzinga, B.M. (2014). Childhood Trauma Questionnaire: Factor structure, measurement invariance, and validity across emotional disorders. Psychological Assessment, 26, 717-729.
  • Spinhoven, P., Penelo, E., de Rooij, M., Penninx, B. W., & Ormel, J. (2014). Reciprocal effects of stable and temporary components of neuroticism and affective disorders: Results of a longitudinal cohort study. Psychological Medicine, 44, 337-348.
  • Spinhoven, P., Elzinga, B.M., Hovens, J.G.F.M., Roelofs, K., Van Oppen, P., Zitman, F.G., Penninx, B.W.J.H. (2011). Positive and negative life events and personality traits in predicting course of depression and anxiety. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 124, 462-473.
  • Spinhoven, P., Elzinga, B.M., Hovens, J.G.F.M., Roelofs, K., Zitman, F.G., Oppen, P. van, & Penninx, B. W.J.H. Penninx (2010). The specificity of childhood adversities and negative life events across the life span to anxiety and depressive disorders. Journal of Affective Disorders, 126, 103-112. 
  • Slee, N., Garnefski, N., van der Leeden, R., Arensman, E., & Spinhoven, P. (2008). Cognitive-behavioral intervention for self-harm: randomized controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 192, 202-211.
  • Elzinga, B., Roelofs, K., Tollenaar, M.S., Bakvis, P., van Pelt, J., & Spinhoven, P. (2008). Diminished cortisol responsen to psychosocial stress associated with lifetime adverse events. A study among healthy young subjects. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 33, 227-237. 
  • Greeven, A., van Balkom, A.J.L.M., Visser, S., Merkelbach, J.W., van Rood, Y., Van Dyck, R., Van der Does, A.J. W., Zitman, F.G. & Spinhoven, P. (2007). Cognitive behavior therapy and paroxetine in the treatment of hypochondriasis: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164, 91- 99.
  • Roelofs, K. & Spinhoven, P. (2007). Trauma and medically unexplained symptoms. Towards an integration of cognitive and neuro-biological accounts. Clinical Psychology Review, 27, 798-820.
  • Spinhoven, P., Giesen-Bloo, J., Van Dyck, R., Kooiman, K. & Arntz, A. (2007). The therapeutic alliance in schema-focused therapy and transference-focused psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75, 104-115.
  • Spinhoven, P., Bockting, C.L.H., Schene, A.H., Koeter, M.W.J., Wekking, E.M., Williams, J.M.G., & the DELTA Study Group (2006). Autobiographical memory in the euthymic phase of recurrent depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 115, 590-600.
  • Haringsma, R., Engels, G.I., Cuijpers, P., & Spinhoven, P. (2006). Effectiveness of the Coping with Depression (CWD) course for older adults provided by the community-based mental health care system in the Netherlands: a randomized controlled field trial. International Psychogeriatrics, 18, 307-325.

Ancillary Positions

  • Board member Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA) (2003-present)
  • Chairman Research School Experimental Psychopathology (2004- present)
  • Board member St. Valk (2006 – present)
  • Chairman Scientific Advisory Council 'Fonds Psychische Gezondheid' (2007 – present)
  • Chairman Supervisory Board Kenniscentrum Chronische Vermoeidheid (2012-present)
  • Posting to department of Anxiety Disorders of PsyQ (2010-present)
  • Posting to Mental Health Institution Duin en Bollenstreek of Rivierduinien (2013-present) 

Last Modified: 26-07-2016