Understanding onset, recurrence and chronicity of common mental health disorders

As a professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry at Amsterdam University Medical Centers, together with my research team I focus on common mental health disorders (such as depression). I am the director of the Centre for Urban Mental Health at the University of Amsterdam, together with prof. Reinout Wiers.

I study potentially modifiable etiological factors of onset, relapse and chronicity using an interdisciplinary complex systems approach. As a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (UvA-IAS) I studied the use of complexity systems models in order to explore new targets for interventions of depression. Additionally, as a fellow at the World Health Organization (WHO), I studied the possibilities of using technology to increase the accessibility of effective psychological interventions worldwide. Besides, I work as a clinical psychologist at the Amsterdam UMC Department of Psychiatry.

My research program focuses on the following topics:
• Understanding etiological and maintenance factors in depression and related common mental health disorders using a complex systems approach.
• Developing innovative multimodal psychological interventions (i.e. combined with technological devices and pharmacological treatments) and evaluating the effect in RCT’s and micro RCT’s (using ecological momentary assessment and affective networks).
• Increasing accessibility of effective psychological interventions in low and middle income countries using technology.

Interview on complexity with the Mental Elf: ‘Moving beyond simplification: embracing the complexity of mental health.’

Editorial on Claudis work in Lancet Psychiatry:

Kirby, T. (2021). Claudi Bockting: preventing common mental health conditions. The Lancet. Psychiatry8(2), 103. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30562-9

Ongoing projects

Centre of Excellence in Mental Health Sciences (CEMHS): Unravelling new pathways to improve mental health.

The purpose and objective of the interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence in Mental Health Sciences (CEMHS) is to unravel new pathways to improve mental health with interventions and policy making, that take into account the complexity and dynamics of mental health problems and conditions in their environment. For further information, see cemhs.org.

ALIVE Consortium: Advancing treatment for youth suicidality.

ALIVE is a cross-national consortium in Belgium and The Netherlands aiming to improve treatment of suicidality in adolescents and young adults. For more information, see iamalive.info

Centre for Urban Mental Health: From complexity to action.

For complexity projects with the Centre for Urban Mental Health, see the UMH website. For all complexity projects with the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), see the IAS website

HERSTEL-Studie (engl. RECOVERY-Study): Testing Innovations in Relapse Prevention

Patients partially remitted from depression are at increased risk of relapse. In the HERSTEL-study, we aim to further reduce depressive symptoms and risk of relapse using innovative intervention methods. To attain this goal, we compare the efficacy of Preventive Cognitive Therapy combined with a serious computer game intervention to Preventive Cognitive Therapy  alone. This project is conduced with funding from the Hersenstichting. For further information, see www.herstelstudie.nl.

StayFine-App: Relapse Prevention in Adolescents

More than one in five adolescent has to deal with anxiety or a depressive disorder before the age of 21. Even after recovery, the prevalence of relapse is especially high in this age group. To investigate weather it is possible to prevent relapse through ongoing monitoring and momentary app-based interventions, we are continuously running research trials with our eHealth app StayFine. For further information, see www.stayfine.nl.

Selected Publications

Robberegt, S. J., Brouwer, M. E., Kooiman, B. E., Stikkelbroek, Y. A., Nauta, M. H., & Bockting, C. L. (2022). Meta-analysis: Relapse Prevention Strategies for Depression and Anxiety in Remitted Adolescents and Young Adults. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2022.04.014

Bringmann, L. F., Albers, C., Bockting, C., Borsboom, D., Ceulemans, E., Cramer, A., Epskamp, S., Eronen, M. I., Hamaker, E., Kuppens, P., Lutz, W., McNally, R. J., Molenaar, P., Tio, P., Voelkle, M. C., & Wichers, M. (2022). Psychopathological networks: Theory, methods and practice. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 149, 104011. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2021.104011

van der Wal, J. M., van Borkulo, C. D., Deserno, M. K., Breedvelt, J. J. F., Lees, M., Lokman, J. C., Borsboom, D., Denys, D., van Holst, R. J., Smidt, M. P., Stronks, K., Lucassen, P. J., van Weert, J. C. M., Sloot, P. M. A., Bockting, C. L., & Wiers, R. W. (2021). Advancing urban mental health research: from complexity science to actionable targets for intervention. In The Lancet Psychiatry (Vol. 8, Issue 11, pp. 991–1000). Elsevier BV. doi:10.1016/s2215-0366(21)00047-x

Fu, Z., Brouwer, M. E., Kennis, M., Williams, A., Cuijpers, P., Bockting, C. L. H. (2021). Psychological factors for the onset of depression: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMJ Open. 2021 11:e050129. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-050129

Breedvelt J. J. F., Warren F. C., Segal Z., Kuyken W., Bockting C. L. H. Continuation of Antidepressants vs Sequential Psychological Interventions to Prevent Relapse in Depression: An Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online May 19, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.0823

Brouwer, M. E., Molenaar, N. M., Burger, H., Williams, A. D., Albers, C., Lambregtse-van den Berg, M., & Bockting, C. L. H. (2020). Tapering antidepressants while receiving digital Preventive Cognitive Therapy during pregnancy: An experience sampling methodology trial. Frontiers in Psychiatry. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2020.574357

Fu, Z., Burger, H., Arjadi, R., & Bockting, C. L. H. (2020). Effectiveness of digital psychological interventions for mental health problems in low-income and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Psychiatry. 7(10), 851-864. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30256-X

Brouwer, M. E., Williams, A. D., Kennis, M., Fu, Z., Klein, N. S., Cuijpers, P., & Bockting, C. L. H. (2019). Psychological theories of depressive relapse and recurrence: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 74, 101773. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2019.101773

Kennis, M., Gerritsen, L., van Dalen, M., Williams, A., Cuijpers, P., & Bockting, C. L. H. (2020). Prospective biomarkers of major depressive disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Molecular Psychiatry, 25(2), 321-338. doi:10.1038/s41380-019-0585-z

Bockting, C. L. H., Klein, N. S., Elgersma, H. J., van Rijsbergen, G. D., Slofstra, C., Ormel, J., . . . Burger, H. (2018). Effectiveness of preventive cognitive therapy while tapering antidepressants versus maintenance antidepressant treatment versus their combination in prevention of depressive relapse or recurrence (DRD study): A three-group, multicentre, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Psychiatry, 5(5), 401-410. doi:10.1016/s2215-0366(18)30100-7

Siegle, G. J., Cramer, A. O. J., van Eck, N. J., Spinhoven, P., Hollon, S. D., Ormel, J., . . . Bockting, C. L. H. (2019). Where are the breaks in translation from theory to clinical practice (and back) in addressing depression? An empirical graph-theoretic approach. Psychological Medicine, 49(16), 2681-2691. doi:10.1017/s003329171800363x

Arjadi, R., Nauta, M. H., Scholte, W. F., Hollon, S. D., Chowdhary, N., Suryani, A. O., . . . Bockting, C. L. H. (2018). Internet-based behavioural activation with lay counsellor support versus online minimal psychoeducation without support for treatment of depression: A randomised controlled trial in Indonesia. Lancet Psychiatry, 5(9), 707-716. doi:10.1016/s2215-0366(18)30223-2

Bockting, C. L. H., Hollon, S. D., Jarrett, R. B., Kuyken, W., & Dobson, K. (2015). A lifetime approach to major depressive disorder: The contributions of psychological interventions in preventing relapse and recurrence. Clinical Psychology Review, 41, 16-26. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2015.02.003

Slofstra, C., Nauta, M. H., Bringmann, L. F., Klein, N. S., Albers, C. J., Batalas, N., . . . Bockting, C. L. H. (2018). Individual negative affective trajectories can be detected during different depressive relapse prevention strategies. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 87(4), 243-245. doi:10.1159/000489044

Brouwer, M. E., Williams, A. D., van Grinsven, S. E., Cuijpers, P., Lambregtse-van den Berg, M. P., Burger, H., & Bockting, C. L. H. (2018). Offspring outcomes after prenatal interventions for common mental disorders: A meta-analysis. BMC Medicine, 16, 208. doi:10.1186/s12916-018-1192-6

Hayes, A. M., Yasinski, C., Ben Barnes, J., & Bockting, C. L. H. (2015). Network destabilization and transition in depression: New methods for studying the dynamics of therapeutic change. Clinical Psychology Review, 41, 27-39. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2015.06.007

See full bibliography here >>

Institutional Responsibilities

Centre for Urban Mental Health (University of Amsterdam)

Together with professor Reinout Wiers, I am the director of the Centre for Urban Mental Health (UMH), part of the University of Amsterdam. The centre aims to unravel new pathways to improve urban mental health that takes into account the complexities and dynamics of mental health problems and mental health disorders in an urban environment.

To read more about the Centre for Urban Mental Health, visit the UMH-website >>

European Association of Clinical Psychology and Psychological Treatment

To promote innovation in the field of clinical psychology and innovate interventions and to represent clinical psychology in Europe on a policy level, I lead the European Association of Clinical Psychology and Psychological Treatment (EACLIPT) as a president. EACLIPT has the aims to foster research, education and dissemination of scientifically evaluated findings on mental disorders and its treatment. Our efforts resulted in representation of the EACLIPT in the European Parliament in the last years.

To read more about the European Association for Clinical Psychology and Psychological Treatment, visit the EACLIPT-website >>

Policy and Advice

On a national policy level, I am an advisor of the advisory board of the Dutch government (kennisring Raad voor Samenleving) and previously a supervisory board member of a mental health institute (Arkin, Amsterdam). Further, I am a member of the multi-disciplinary clinical guideline committee Depression  for more than a decade.

Download my full curriculum vitae on the right side of this page >> 

Ongoing PhD’s

  • Sangavi Sivananthan (2022 – 2026). Targeting suicidality in young adults: a randomized controlled, pragmatic, multicenter trial evaluating the (cost)-effectiveness of Attachment Based Family Therapy compared to Treatment as usual. Primary supervisor (‘eerste promotor’).
  • Joost Gülpen (2022 – 2026). Targeting partial remission in depression by adding a cognitive remediation to a psychological intervention. Primary supervisor (‘eerste promitor’).
  • Anneke Vuuregge (2022 – 2026). Working out urban stress. Secondary supervisor (‘tweede promotor’).
  • Vera Korenblik (2022 – 2026). The influence of the microbiome on depression in urban youth. Secondary supervisor (‘tweede supervisor’).
  • John (Can) Lokman (2021 – 2025). Primary supervisor (‘eerste promotor’).
  • Nancy Schipper (2020 – 2024). Virtual reality as treatment for depression.
  • Junus van der Wal (2020 – 2024). Unravelling the dynamics of depression in high-risk urban populations using a complex systems approach.
  • Bas Kooiman (2019 – 2023). StayFine: A personalized monitoring and intervention app to prevent relapse of anxiety and depressive disorders in youth and young adults.
  • Jessy Bergamin (2019 – 2023). Psychiatry and autonomy.
  • Caroline Heuschen (2019 – 2023). Suicidality in mental health disorders.
  • Amanda Legemaat (2018 – 2022). Neuropsychological functioning and cognitive remediation in depression and relapse prevention.
  • Suzanne Robberegt (2018 – 2022). StayFine: A personalized monitoring and intervention app to prevent relapse of anxiety and depressive disorders in youth and young adults.

Clinical psychologist

I am a registered clinical psychologist, CBT supervisor, psychotherapist and healthcare psychologist and I am head of training of health care psychologists at Cure & Care Development