Science Cafe: Resilience of mind and body

Science Cafe Wageningen, Sept 21, 2022
Resilience of mind and body
Recovering from setbacks in sports and mental health
Resilience is the ability to resist or recover from a negative stressor. Resilience is currently a major
theme in mental and physical health. If we know how to build resilience of mind and body, we may be
able to prevent collapses and overcome setbacks. For instance, (top-)athletes are regularly exposed to
stressors like heavy training sessions, performance pressures, and it is important to determine when
athletes can(not) recover from those stressors. Similarly, for patients struggling with recurring
depressions, it is relevant to understand the mechanisms behind maintaining health and resilience, and
the factors that may play a role in eroding their mental resilience.
In this Science Cafe, our speakers Prof Claudi Bockting and Dr. Ruud den Hartigh will discuss these and
other questions.
Prof. Claudi Bockting is a clinical psychologist and professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry at
Amsterdam University Medical Centers. She is the co-director of the Centre for Urban Mental Health at
the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on common mental health disorders, such as
depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse. She works on the development and testing of
sustainable psychological interventions for depression and relapse. She is pioneering in the use of
complex system methodology for understanding and treating common psychiatric disorders.
Dr. Ruud den Hartigh is an associate professor Talent Development and Creativity in the Faculty of
Behavioural and Social Sciences at the University of Groningen. He is interested in human performance
in sports and other achievement domains, such as the army. Den Hartigh has published many studies in
the last couple of years on the development of talent, the selection of athletes, the dynamics of
momentum, and resilience. He is the project leader of the muldidisciplinary “Resilient Athletes” project,
funded by ZonMw, which centers around the question: how can professional sport players maintain and
improve resilience in order to prevent physical or mental problems?

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