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Angelien Steen

Angelien Steen (52), psychiatrist / psychotherapist

'I studied medicine first, and philosophy afterwards, due to my interest in philosophical anthropology and philosophy of life. I became a psychiatrist because human interaction and the combination of physical and mental aspects of life are most important in this profession. I conducted research and published the results, but it didn't lead to research of my own. It has always been my dream and ambition to produce something in an intellectual and academic field.

Since 1998 I am working as a psychiatrist / psychotherapist. Recently my focus has been on young people, who struggle with issues of meaningful life and identity. The research will have practical and theoretical implications for treatment of the patients who have personality and sense-making problems. In order to reach this goal I am conducting empirical research, which is based on analysis of questionnaires as well as on the qualitative analysis of the life stories.

The topic of the research was my own choice, but it had to match the research fields of the University of Humanistic Studies. The first supervisor is also a psychiatrist, which makes our cooperation very productive. It is both informative and inspiring to do this at the Graduate School because of the small-scale and tailor-made educational programme, the intensive personal supervision, the peer-group learning, as well as the structure of the PhD project. For somebody who works outside the academic environment it is rewarding to have an educational framework, whereby one is expected to present a thorough research proposal at the end of the first year. And it is possible to combine the Graduate School with a part-time job as psychiatrist'.

Psychiatrist / psychotherapist