About us

We are GRIP, a Group of interdisciplinary researchers in the field of social and cognitive Rehabilitation and Innovation in Psychiatry. We are ambitious. First and foremost, we strive to improve the recovery and wellbeing of people with serious mental health problems. We develop and test new interventions, and we test and evaluate the effects of existing interventions that have been proven to work for other groups with similar problems and goals. We study fundamental factors that may have an impact on the recovery process of people with serious mental health problems and how to translate these findings to clinical practice. But we don’t stop there. Once our research supports the clinical utility of an intervention, we study how these interventions can best be implemented in routine clinical practice. We developed a professional training program for those people who are interested in the interventions we study. Finally, our definition of innovation reaches beyond the academic interpretation, we initiate and contribute to social innovation projects and evaluate these projects to learn from them and to be able to share experiences. In all our projects, we aim to work together closely with service users, family members, staff and researcher collaborators, to make sure we ask the right questions, develop tools that people are waiting for, and bridge the gap between science and clinical practice. We are based in the Groningen area in the north of the Netherlands, and are associated with both clinical and educational institutes. We support both clinical and research internships, and highly value the cross-fertilization between students, service users and staff.

The Grip Team:

Senior Researchers

Dr. L. (Lisette) van der Meer studied cognitive neuropsychology at the University of Groningen and McGill University in Montreal Canada. In 2011, she received her PhD in cognitive neuropsychiatry on the topic “the emotional self in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder”. Upon completing her PhD, she started working as a senior researcher at the department of Psychiatric Rehabilition at Lentis Psychiatric Institute, where she set up a research group focusing upon (social) cognitive rehabilitation research in people with a severe mental illness. Since 2019 she works as an assistant professor at the department of clinical and developmental neuropsychology, from which she continues her research. In keeping her employment at Lentis, she aims to sustain the connection between research, education and clinical practice.  

Dr. Charlotte Wunderink is a professor of social inclusion of people with severe mental illness at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen. She also manages the clinical long stay and rehabilitation facilities, as well as the supported housing facilities of Lentis Psychiatric Institute. She studied neurolinguistics at the University of Groningen and completed her bachelor of Nursing at the Northern University of Applied Sciences in Leeuwarden.  She aquired her PhD at the Medical Department of the University of Groningen, which focused on the developments in supported housing in the Netherlands. Furthermore, she studied deinstitutionalization and rehabilitation in Dutch supported housing. To date, she values the combination of her work as a manager with research and innovation in clinical practice.

Dr. Leonie Bais studied psychology and received her PhD in cognitive neuropsychiatry at the University of Groningen. She wrote her thesis about the treatment effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. She works at Lentis Psychiatric Institute in Zuidlaren as a senior researcher and contributes to the research projects on cognitive adaptation training and cognitive remediation training. In addition, she supervises students who work as psychology interns at Lentis. Another initiative she is working on, is the development of a new restaurant at Lentis, in which people with poor job prospects can learn occupational skills, such that they can work on their social recovery. Together with volunteers, she upcycles old materials into new furtinure, and grows vegetables in the garden of the restaurant. 

Dr. Ellen Meijer studied sociology at the University of Groningen. She obtained her PhD at VU University,  on the topic of ‘Family Group Conferencing in psychiatry’. She combined her Phd project with working as a teacher at the bachelor Social Work (Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen). Currently she still works at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, as a teacher and researcher at both the bachelor and master ‘Social Work’. She is responsible for coordinating the minor ‘Mental Health Care’ and the graduation profile ‘Mental Health agogic worker’ (uitstroomprofiel GGz-agoog).

Dr. Ellie van Setten is a senior researcher at Lentis psychiatric institute in Zuidlaren (NL) and the Rob Giel research center of the University Medical Center Groningen. She has an interdisciplinary background in the behavioral sciences and wrote her dissertation about the neurocognitive profiles of advanced readers with dyslexia. She is currently involved in several research projects with a recovery focus, including CAT, WINST and TiM. She also supervises master theses and she is a CAT-trainer. Next to her academic background, Ellie has lived-experience, both as a client and as a relative, that she uses in her research and to advocate for people with a disability. Ellie’s main research interests are: Personal Recovery, Stigma, Self-Disclosure and Identity. Apart from work, Ellie likes writing, web and interior design, drinking tea and quality time with family and friends.

PhD Candidates

Michelle van Dam, Msc. studied clinical psychology at the University of Groningen. After graduation in 2016, she started working as a PhD student at department of rehabilitation of Lentis Psychiatric Institute. In her PhD project she studies the effectiveness and implementation of Cognitive Adaptation Training (CAT) in people with severe mental illness in long-term inpatient treatment facilities. In line with her research interest to bridge the gap between science and real-world practices, she also worked as a psychologist in outpatient care during her PhD. Since 2021, besides her research, she works as a psychologist at an inpatient treatment facility for elderly people with SMI.  

Anika Poppe, MSc. obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Groningen. After completing her studies, she started working as a (neuro-)psychologist in a neurological rehabilitation center in Germany and discovered her passion for helping people with cognitive impairments. In 2019, Anika joined the GRIP research group as a PhD candidate at Lentis Psychiatric Institute and the Department of Clinical and Developmental Neuropsychology at the University of Groningen. In her PhD project, Anika will investigate whether cognitive remediation training combined with non-invasive brain stimulation can improve cognitive and, thereby, daily functioning in people with severe mental illness and in other clinical populations. In her free time, Anika can be found doing yoga and playing the piano.  

Elske Kronemeijer, MSc. is a doctoral researcher working on the digital This is Me-project, which aims to promote personal recovery of people with severe mental illness. Topics of interest for this project are self-identity and existential wellbeing. Elske completed a master in clinical and health psychology in Leuven and holds a degree in philosophy. She also brings to this project her experience with clinical work as a psychologist with elderly people with (mild) cognitive impairments and at an ambulatory mental healthcare service. In addition to giving the project a firm scientific ground, she is also interested in applying the creative input of different stakeholders and disciplines. Besides her work she can be found in Groningen (caring for her plants or sipping coffee with her friends) or cycling through Europe.

Cinical Psychologist in Training

Irma Nijkamp is a psychotherapist training to become a clinical psychologist at Lentis Zuidlaren. In her research she is concerned with the Dutch translation of the Cognitive Assessment Interview (CAI). The CAI is a semi structured interview to evaluate the impact of cognitive problems on daily life for people with a severe mental illness. In her research she looks at both the psychometric qualities of the CAI and the clinical value. This is being researched by comparing the outcomes of the CAI with neuropsychological tests, as well as asking psychologists training to become GZ-psychologists what treatment advice they’ll give based on the outcome of the CAI. Also, focus groups will be utilized to evaluate how multiple service users experience the CAI.


Dr. Diana C. Esquivel Franco studied psychology in Mexico at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and after that, she did a Ph.D. in Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences at the University of Groningen and Biomedical Sciences at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She worked for a while in the pharmaceutics industry, but discovered that her passion lies in with psychology after all. She then decided to return to university to pursue the master’s degree in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Groningen. She is currently doing an internship at the Lentis Psychiatric Institute in Zuidlaren, where she joined the GRIP research group. She is getting trained in CAT and assists with the execution of tests. She will also guide the clients of Lentis. In her spare time she likes to spend time with her family, cook authentic Mexican food and dance.

Maren Salzwedel, BSc. is currently doing her Masters’ degree in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Groningen. Maren is trained as a speech-therapist and completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Groningen. She is interested in how the fields of speech therapy and psychology overlap in both theory and practice. In her master thesis project, she will investigate if cognitive rehabilitation can help to improve daily functioning in patients neurological disorders. Maren likes to spend her free time in nature and go for walks with her dog Berta.

Tim Brands, BSc. studies his master’s in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Groningen and joined the GRIP research group as part of his master thesis project. The interest of his thesis lies in what components of cognitive remediation facilitate the successful transfer of cognitive improvements to daily life in people with severe mental illnesses. After his master, Tim aims to become a working clinician to gain experience in the field. Next to his work he enjoys sports, mediation and playing music.

Sabeth Everwien, BSc. is a master student in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Groningen and joined the research group as part of her master thesis. In her thesis, she is investigating how emotion regulation, alexithymia, and cognitive control are related to positive and negative self-esteem in people with schizophrenia, people with bipolar disorder, and healthy individuals. In addition to this master program, Sabeth started a master’s in Health and Medical Psychology at Leiden University to expand her knowledge regarding clinical work and preventive measures. In her free time, you can find her reading a good book or on long walks with friends.

Nena Gierveld, BSc. obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology in Groningen, and is currently studying Clinical Neuropsychology. At the moment she is doing an integrated internship at Lentis Zuidlaren, where she does both her clinical internship and her master thesis. In het internship she does partial treatment and administers tests. In her thesis she researches what the clinical value of the Cognitive Assessment Interview (CAI) is. She does this by working with focus groups where she looks at what the use is of the CAI in practice for patients, family and employees. In her spare time, she likes playing board games with friends and being creative.

Alice Rota, BSc. is completing her Master’s degree in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Groningen. After coming across academic research on the long-term psychological effects of psychedelic drugs, she started focusing on their applicability in the context of mental healthcare. Currently, she is conducting a systematic review on how interpersonal trauma affects victims’ self-narrative, and whether psychedelics could ameliorate the negative consequences that arise from the impact. Alice believes psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy holds great potential, and wishes to keep investigating this treatment path.

Demetra Korogiannou, BSc. is a master’s student in Clinical Neuropsychology in the University of Groningen and is currently working on her master’s thesis. Her thesis will address the relationship between treatment fidelity of Cognitive Adaptation Training (CAT) and the effectiveness of the intervention, when it is delivered in inpatients with a diagnosis of severe mental illness. After her master’s, Demetra is planning to follow the master’s program in the philosophy department of the University of Groningen, which will give her a better insight on philosophical concepts specific on the discipline of psychology. In her spare time, Demetra likes to take long walks in nature, with friends, coffee, and have deep conversations that usually lead nowhere!

Famke Eggink, Bsc. Studies clinical neuropsychology at the university of Groningen, where she previously finished her bachelors in biology; behavioural and neurological sciences. Within GRIP she is writing her masterthesis, under supervision of Anika Poppe, about the HEADSETT project. Here she will assist in giving cognitive remediation training and write about the multiple factors that contribute to the decline of cognitive and daily functioning of people with severe psychiatric conditions. In here spare time you can find her dancing at festivals, playing football, painting or enjoying nature.

Teun Hermans is currently finishing his degree in sport-sciences at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen. Teun is doing an internship under the supervision of Leonie Bais at the ART department of Lentis at the Dennenoord site in Zuidlaren. His graduation project at Lentis will consist of an investigation of how a healthy and active lifestyle could be implemented in the treatments of clients in the ART department. The ultimate goal of his project is to improve the general health of clients with a serious psychological condition. In addition to his education, Teun works as a freelancer in the sales industry. He also enjoys sports (especially fitness and kickboxing), but also watching sports, good food, festivals and other social activities.

Leonie Linnenkemper, BSc. aquired her Bachelor degree in Psychology at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen with her BA thesis on the topic of threat perception and moral conviction in the context of COVID-19. Currently, she is pursuing her Master’s degree in Clinical Neuropsychology and is planning on graduating next summer. For her master project “A Scoping Review of Identity Based Intervention for the treatment of Severe mental illness” she is working together with the GRIP research group. In the future she is planning on following an apprenticeship program in order to become a therapist. In her free time she enjoys to play tennis and being outside.

George Chatzopoulos, BSc. acquired his bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Groningen, with a focus on Cognitive Neuroscience and Clinical Neuropsychology. He is in the process of completing his MSc in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Groningen. As part of his master’s thesis with the topic of “A Scoping Review of Identity Based Intervention for the treatment of Traumatic Brain Injuries and Intellectual Disabilities”, he is working with the GRIP research group on the “This is Me Project”. Furthermore, he plans to follow an academic research route that will be focusing on the psychopharmacological treatment of neurodegenerative disorders with a focus on the application serotonergic agents in the treatment of the aforementioned patient group. Additionally, he is also working as a language instructor at Berlitz Inc. In his free time, he enjoys teaching Iyengar and Hatha yoga, with the addition of scuba diving at various locations around Europe.