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Prof.dr. Arjan Braam

Arjan Braam

Bijzonder hoogleraar levensbeschouwing en psychiatrie (KSGV-leerstoel)




wetenschappelijk personeel, Leerstoel Humanistisch Geestelijke Verzorging Studies


Arjan Braam (1969), psychiatrist, is based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and is active in the department of emergency psychiatry and head of the residency training program in psychiatry for Altrecht, a major Mental Health Care organization in the region.

He started his career as a researcher in the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA), with a focus on religion and mental health. LASA is carried out in the VU University and Amsterdam University Medical Center. The first studies on religiousness and depression followed a sociological and epidemiological approach. His dissertation (‘Religion and depression in later life, an empirical approach’ 1999) was based on data from LASA and EURODEP, a collaborative program of epidemiological studies into depression in old age. Afterwards, the possibility was obtained to use methods and insights as available in the psychology of religion, such as on God-representation and religious coping. Again, the ongoing LASA study facilitated the proceedings of the research.

In 2012, he received an endowed chair ‘Religion/Life-view and Psychiatry’ at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht.  The chair was initiated by the Knowledge Center for Religion / Lifeview  and Mental Health (‘KSGV’). Other subjects of research include emergency psychiatry, epidemiology of depression, and case reports in clinical psychiatry.

Within the Netherlands, there are close ties with scholars participating in the Dutch Federation on Meaning and Mental Health (contributors: KSGV, CVPPP, Dimence, NVvP). He participates in the scientific board of the European Network of Research on "Religion, Spirituality and Health" (RSH), with international conferences every two years.


Completed PhD projects include the following topics: religious experiences in bipolar disorder (E. Ouwehand), religious delusions in later life (A. Noort), and the ‘religiosity gap’ and religious and spiritual needs of care in mental health care (J. van Nieuw Amerongen Meeuse).

Current PhD projects include for example meaning in life for patients in treatment for personality disorders (A. Steen), and meaning in life as element in recovery for patients with severe mental illness (B. Hallo).

The subject or meaning in life, spirituality and religion in mental health care is also addressed by Master Students in Humanistic studies as well as by trainees in psychiatry or Master Students in specialised psychiatric nursing.

Lidmaatschappen en functies

Psychiater en opleider psychiatrie bij Altrecht geestelijke gezondheidszorg in Utrecht

Bestuurslid KSGV (Kenniscentrum Levensbeschouwing en Geestelijke Volksgezondheid, KSGV)