Research

Research interests

  • The development of psychological interventions to help individuals life a more meaningful and satisfying life despite life’s limitations (meaning-centered therapy, existential therapy, positive psychology);
  • Research on the experience of meaning in life;
  • Systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses on mental health care in understudied populations such as chronic physical disease and socially disenfranchised individuals;
  • Mental health and health care systems in capitalist societies;
  • Internet therapy and innovative technology in psychotherapy.

 

Current main projects

  • Effectiveness of meaning-centered therapy in chronic pain patients; collaboration with Kingston University;
  • Effectiveness of meaning-centered therapy in cancer patients; collaboration with the Fountain Centre;
  • Effectiveness of meaning-centered therapy in cardiovascular disease patients; collaboration with NHS Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital (RCT);
  • Mental health & public cultural engagement; collaboration with Punk4MentalHealth;
  • Meta-analyses & RCT on grief therapies; collaboration with Portland University.

Curriculum Vitae summary

Name    

Dr Joel Vos, PhD

Degrees

PhD health/medical psychologist, Clinical psychologist MSc, philosopher MA

Work      

-Director Meaning Online Ltd.

-Researcher at Metanoia Institute London

-Chair IMEC International Meaning Conferences London, meaning.org.uk

-Lecturer at several universities in the United Kingdom and abroad, such as the London New School for Psychotherapy and Counselling

-Director PunkifyYourLife Ltd., trustee member charity Punk4MentalHealth

-Consultant EASE Well-Being London

Previous employment

-Reader (i.e. Associate Professor) in Counselling Psychology; Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Social and psychological Transformation (CREST), University of Roehampton

-Researcher Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam / EMGO Institute, The Netherlands

-Leiden University Medical Centre, The Netherlands

-Erasmus University Medical Centre, The Netherlands

-NOA Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Articles

-72 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals with impact factor >1

-109 presentations at national and international scientific conferences

-30 invited articles in Dutch newspapers and magazines

-Citations: H-index = 14; ca. 1.000.000 citations in public domain

Awards & grants

-2017. TimeOut. ‘One of the 28 best deeds in London in 2017’.

-2008-2017. Seven grants for research on meaning, approx. £1.500.000

-2013. Most talented Dutch young philosopher, 2013, Brandstof.

-2006. Leo Polak Award for the Best Research on the Humanisation of Society.

-2005, 2006. 1st and 2nd prize Serge Heederik Philosophy Award

-2005. Best Author Interreligious Dialogues, Platform Interreligious Dialogue

Academic career (selection)

-2013-…  Reader in Counselling Psychology, University of Roehampton, UK

-2010-… Lecturer London New School for Psychotherapy & Counselling, UK

-2010-2013 Post-doc researcher, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam & Leiden University Medical Centre, the Netherlands

-2007-2011. Lecturer at Centre for Child & Family Studies, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

-2005-2017. Psychological therapy & counselling, Psychology Practice Vos, Leiden, the Netherlands.

-2005-2011 PhD Psychology, University of Leiden, Faculty of Medicine, the Netherlands

-2001-2005. Psychological assessor. NOA Foundation / Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

-2000-2003. Research assistant. Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Education (selection)

2008-2017. Leadership courses at the Universities of Leiden, Amsterdam (NL), Virginia and Illinois (USA)

2011-2012. Transactional Analysis, Amsterdam (NL).

2009-2010. Group therapy, RINO Amsterdam (NL).

2008-2009. Existential psychotherapy & counselling, Turnhout University, Belgium.

2005-2008. Specialist methods and statistics courses at Essex Summer School (UK), Leiden and Utrecht universities (NL)

2005-2007. Contextual (relational & family) therapy, Leren Over Leven (NL).

1998-2006. Master Philosophy of Social Sciences, University of Leiden (cum laude)

2004-2005. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, RINO Amsterdam (NL).

1998-2005. Master Clinical & Health Psychology, University of Leiden (cum laude)

1998-2005. Master in Social & Organisational (Economic) Psychology, University of

Leiden (completed all modules, no thesis)

References (selection)

– Chapters

  1. Vos, J. (2018). Phenomenological-existential therapies: a review of its empirical evidence. In: Van Deurzen, E. (ed.) World Handbook of Existential Therapies. Sage.   
  1. Vos, J. (2018). Death and meaning: how to live a meaningful life in the face of death. In: Iverach, Curing the dread of death.
  2. Vos, J. & Adams, M. (2018). Challenges and new developments: meaning and existential-phenomenological therapy. In: Van Deurzen, E. (ed.) World Handbook of Existential Therapies. Sage.   
  1. Vos, J. (2016). Working with meaning in life in mental health care: a systematic literaturereview and meta-analyses of the practices and effectiveness of meaning-centered therapies. In: Russo-Netzer, P., Schulenberg, S. E., & Batthyany, A. (Eds.) Meaning in positive and existential psychotherapy. Springer: New York.
  1. Vos, J. (2016). Working with meaning in life in individuals with a chronic or life-threateningdisease: a review of its relevance and the effectiveness of meaning-centered therapies. In:Russo-Netzer, P., Schulenberg, S. E., & Batthyany, A. (Eds.) Meaning in positive and existential psychotherapy. Springer: New York.
  1. Van der Spek, N., Jansen, F., Holtmaat, K., Vos, J., Breitbart, W., van Uden-Kraan, C. F., … & Verdonck-de Leeuw, I. M. Cost-utility analysis of meaning-centered group psychotherapy for cancer survivors.In: Van der Spek, N. (2016). Meaning-centered group psychotherapy for cancer survivors: development, efficacy and cost-utility. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
  1. Craig, M., Vos, J., Cooper, M., & Correia, E. A. (2016). Existential psychotherapies. In: Cain,David J. (Ed); Keenan, Kevin (Ed); Rubin, Shawn (Ed). (2016). Humanistic psychotherapies:Handbook of research and practice, 2nd ed., , (pp. 283-317). Washington, DC, US:American Psychological Association, xviii.
  1. Vos, J., Glas, G., ten Ham, B. H., Hulsbergen, M., & Bohlmeijer, E. (2014). Existentiele angst. In: Bohlmeijer et al. (eds). Transdiagnostische factoren-theorie en praktijk., 313-334.

 

– International refereed journals (selection)

  1. Van der Spek, N., Vos, J., van Uden-Kraan, C. F., Breitbart, W., Cuijpers, P., Holtmaat, K., … & Verdonck-de Leeuw, I. M. (2017). Efficacy of meaning-centered group psychotherapy for cancer survivors: a randomized controlled trial. Psychological Medicine, 1-12. 4*
  2. Vos, J. & Vitali, D. (2017). Psychological treatments supporting clients to live a meaningful life: a meta-analysis of the effects of meaning-centered therapies on quality-of-life and psychological-stress. Journal of palliative and supportive care. (accepted)     4*
  3. Vos, J. (2017). Meaning in life: a panel discussion on competences. Journal of Constructivist Psychology. (accepted)     2*
  1. Van Bruggen, V., Vos, J. et al (2017). The Existential Concerns Questionnaire (ECQ) Development and Initial Validation of a New Existential Anxiety Scale in a Nonclinical and Clinical Sample. Journal of Clinical Psychology.  4*
  1. Vos, J. (2017). Meaning matters: a systematic review of evidence for meaning-centered practices. Journal of Existential Positive Psychology. (accepted)    2*
  1. Vos, J. & Steffen, E. (2017). Evidence-based meaning-centered competences: thematic analyses of a joint conference statement. Journal of Constructivist Psychology. (invited) 2*
  2. Vos, J. (2017). The structure of the top 50 articles in psychotherapy and counselling: a systematic literature review of their conceptual components. Universal Journal of Psychology. (invited)   3*
  1. Van Bruggen, V., Vos, J., Westerhof, G., Bohlmeijer, E., & Glas, G. (2015). Systematic review of existential anxiety instruments. Journal of humanistic psychology, 55(2), 173-201. 3*
  2. Vos, J., Craig, M., & Cooper, M. (2015). Existential therapies: a meta-analysis of their effects on psychological outcomes. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 83(1), 115. 4*

     11.Van der Spek, N., Vos, J., van Uden-Kraan, C. F., Breitbart, W., Cuijpers, P.,

          Knipscheer-Kuipers, K., … & Verdonck-de Leeuw, I. M. (2014). Effectiveness and cost-

          effectiveness of meaning-centered group psychotherapy in cancer survivors:

          protocol of a randomized controlled trial. BMC psychiatry, 14(1), 22.  2*

     12.Van der Spek, N., Vos, J., van Uden-Kraan, C. F., Breitbart, W., Tollenaar, R. A.,

         Cuijpers, P., & Verdonck-de Leeuw, I. M. (2013). Meaning making in cancer survivors:

         a focus group study. PLoS One, 8(9), e76089.2*

  1. Vos, J., Cooper, M., Correia, E., & Craig, M. (2015). Existential therapies: A review of their scientific foundations and efficacy. Existential Analysis, 26(1), 49-70. 2*
  2. Spek, N., Uden‐Kraan, C. F., Vos, J., Breitbart, W., Tollenaar, R. A., Asperen, C. J., … & Verdonck‐de Leeuw, I. M. (2014). Meaning‐centered group psychotherapy in cancer survivors: a feasibility study. Psycho‐Oncology, 23(7), 827-831. 3*
  3. Spek, N. D., Vos, J., Van Uden-Kraan, C. F., Knipscheer-Kuipers, K., Willemsen, V., Breitbart, W., … & Verdonck-de Leeuw, I. M. (2014). Meaning-Centered Group Psychotherapy for Cancer Survivors. Psycho-Oncology. 3*
  4. Vos, J., Menko, F. H., Oosterwijk, J. C., Asperen, C. J., Stiggelbout, A. M., & Tibben, A. (2013). Genetic counseling does not fulfill the counselees’ need for certainty in hereditary breast/ovarian cancer families: an explorative assessment. Psycho‐Oncology, 22(5), 1167-1176. 3*
  5. Vos, J., Craig, M., & Cooper, M. (2013). Existential Interventions in Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Psycho-oncology, 22, 73-74. 4*
  6. Vos, J., Breitbart, W. Meaning and existential givens in the lives of cancer-patients: a philosophical perspective on psycho-oncology. Palliative & Supportive Care. 3*
  7. Van der Spek, N, Vos, J, Van Uden-kraan, CF, Breitbart, W, Tollenaar, RAEM, Cuijpers, P, Verdonck-de Leeuw, IM. Meaning-making in Dutch cancer survivors: a focus group study. Psycho-Oncology. 3*
  8. Vos, J., Van Asperen C.J., Oosterwijk J., Menko, F., Tibben, A. (2012). The counselees’ self-reported wish for psychological help in genetic counseling for hereditary breast/ovarian cancer: not only psychopathology matters. Psycho-Oncology. 4*
  9. Vos,J., Menko,F.H. Oosterwijk,J.C., Gomez-Garcia,E.B., van Asperen,C.J., Collee,M., Stiggelbout,A.M., Tibben,A. (2012). Genetic counseling as fulfillment of the cancer-patient’s need for certainty: Description of perceived certainty, need for certainty and reactions to unfulfilled need for certainty in a prospective study in BRCA1/2-probands. Psycho-Oncology. 4*
  10. Vos,J., Oosterwijk,J.C., Gomez-Garcia,E.B., Menko,F., van Asperen,C., Stiggelbout,A.M., Tibben,A. (2012). Explaining the short-term impact of DNA-testing: the counselees’ perception matters, the actual BRCA1/2-result does not. Patient Educ Couns: 86(2), 239-251. 4*
  11. Den Heijer,M., Vos, J., Seynaeve,C., Vanheusden,K., Duivenvoorden,H., Bartels,C., Menke-Pluijmers,M.B.E., Tibben,A. (2012). The impact of social and personal resources on psychological distress in women at risk for hereditary breast cancer. Psycho-Oncology,21(2):153-160. 3*
  12. Den Heijer, M., Seynaeve, C., Vanheusden, K., Duivenvoorden, H.J., Vos, J., Bartels, C.C.M., Menke-Pluymers, M.B.E.; Tibben, A. (2012). The contribution of self-esteem and self-concept in psychological distress in women at risk of hereditary breast cancer. Psycho-Oncology. 3*
  13. Vos, J., Stoel, R., Oosterwijk, J. C., Gomez-Garcia, E. B., Menko, F., van Asperen, C. J., Jansen, A. M., Stiggelbout, A., and Tibben, A. (2012). Opening the psychological black box in genetic counseling: the psychological impact of DNA-testing is predicted by the counsellees’ perception, the medical Impact by the DNA-test result. Psycho-Oncology, 21(1):29-41. 4*
  14. Vos,J., Menko,F., Oosterwijk,J.C., Gomez-Garcia,E.B., van Asperen,C., Stiggelbout,A., Tibben,A.(2011). A counselee-oriented perspective on risk-communication in genetic-counseling: explaining the inaccuracy of the counselees’ risk-perception. Genet Med,13:800-811. 4*
  15. Vos, J., Jansen, A.M., Menko, F, Van Asperen, C.J., Stiggelbout, A.M., Tibben, A. (2010) A whisper-game perspective on the family communication of DNA-test results; a retrospective study on the communication process of DNA-test results between genetic-counsellor, proband and relatives. Familial Cancer, 10:87-96. 4*
  16. Vos, J., Jansen, A.M. Menko, F., Van Asperen, C.J., Stiggelbout, A.M., Tibben, A. (2011). Family communication matters: the impact of telling relatives about unclassified-variants and uninformative results depends on the proband’s communication and the relatives’ subjective perception. Genet Med, 13: 333-341. 3*
  17. Vos, J., Gomez-Garcia, E. B., Oosterwijk, J. C., Menko, F., Jansen, A. M., van Asperen, C. J., Stiggelbout, A., and Tibben, A. (2011). Perceiving cancer-risks and heredity-likelihood in genetic-counseling: the analysis of the counselees’ recollections and interpretations of BRCA1/2-test results. Clin Genet, 79(3):207-218. 3*
  18. Vos, J., Verdonck-de Leeuw, I. (2011). Four perspectives on bridging the worlds of cancer‐patients and everyday life: a theoretical review. Psycho-Oncology, 20(S1). 2*
  19. Vos, J., Van Asperen, C.J., Wijnen, J, Stiggelbout, A, Tibben, A. (2009). Disentangling the Babylonian speech confusion in genetic counselling, an analysis of the reliability and validity of the nomenclature for non-pathogenic DNA-test results in BRCA1/2. Genet Med, 11(10):742-749. 2*
  1. Vos, J., Otten, W., ,Asperen, C.J. van, Jansen, A., Menko, F., Tibben, A. (2008). The counselees’ view of an Unclassified variant in BRCA1/2: recall, interpretation and impact on life. Psycho-Oncology. 17: 822-830. 4*
  2. Vos, J. & Passchier, J. (2003). Diminishment of the impact of migraine in real life: an observational study in the Dutch Association of Migraine Patients. Headache: June: 822-830. 3*