Gwen van der Wijk has joined the NSMD Mind-Body Interface team as off January 2023. Her work will focus on examining the contribution of fear and avoidance to the development and maintenance of chronic pain using a network perspective, both at the group and individual level.
Gwen van der Wijk studied Psychology at Utrecht University, followed by a master in Psychology at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. The past four years, she did a PhD at the University of Calgary in Canada, resulting in the thesis ‘Individual brain features of successful treatment of depression’.
“I've generally felt more aligned with emergent views on psychological phenomena, so I love the approach of psychological conditions as complex interactions between symptoms, as it is non-reductive and is able to incorporate the influence of internal and external environmental factors. I'm also thrilled to be exploring variability across and within participants.”
During her PhD, Gwen explored individual variation in brain characteristics related to major depression and anti-depressant treatment, which sparked her interest in and recognition of the importance of individual variation. “I'm especially intrigued by the application of dynamic network models to intensive individual data, which I haven't done before. Though I'm sure it will come with plenty of challenges, I'm excited to see what this combination of approaches can uncover in the field of psychology.”