ARQ helps with shocking events and psychotrauma and has been caring for people with complex psychotrauma symptoms since 1973. They offer people and organisations customised care, advice and share knowledge. ARQ has all psychotrauma expertise under one roof and is therefore unique in the world.

Programme chairs

Sahar Shirzad

Sahar Shirzad is a program maker, writer and legal professional with a specialization in human rights. As a critical thinker, she is constantly working on translating topics within social justice in a creative way to a wide audience. As founder of the Refugee Millennials, she created a platform for former refugees who have been living in the Netherlands for more than 20 years. Through personal stories, she puts humanity at the center of polarizing subjects such as the failing refugee policy. She currently develops programs as a freelancer and is an activist for human rights. She is co-founder of the Afghan Azadi movement and Azadi collective

Jan-Wilke Reerds, MBA.

Jan-Wilke Reerds is Chair of the Board of Directors of ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre. He started as a psychotherapist at Stichting Centrum’45 in 1986. In 2001 he became Chair of the Board of Directors of Stichting Centrum’45.
From that position he took the initiative in 2007 to start ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre. He felt the social responsibility to strengthen cooperation on the subject of psychotrauma in the Netherlands.

Prof. dr. Miranda Olff

Professor dr. Miranda Olff is leading the Centre for Psychological Trauma at the department of Psychiatry at the Amsterdam UMC (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam and is Director of Research at the ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre. She has been trained in Corporate Governance and has several committee/advisory board positions (e.g. MH17 disaster foundation). Her research focuses on psychological and biological responses to traumatic stress.

Miranda Olff is founding Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Psychotraumatology (EJPT), an Open Access journal owned by the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS), launched when she was president of ESTSS. She also is a past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS). Miranda Olff is chair of the Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress, a collaborative of traumatic stress societies who joined forces to tackle traumatic stress topics of global importance.

Dr. Athanasios Maras

Dr. Athanasios Maras, trained as psychiatrist and psychotherapist and child and adolescent psychiatrist and psychotherapist at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany, is since September 2021 Medical Director and Chief Physician at ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre. He is more than 30 years actively engaged in clinical innovation and research, highly driven to improve mental health care by implementing scientific findings and new developments into clinical practice. Dr. Maras received several research grants and awards.

The scientific and organising committee

Prof. dr. Paul A. Boelen

Prof. dr. Paul A. Boelen is full professor of clinical psychology at the department of psychology of the faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, at Utrecht University. As one of the ARQ Professors, he is also affiliated with ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre. He also works as a psychotherapist at ARQ Centrum’45. Paul Boelen is licensed supervisor and cognitive behavioral therapist with the Dutch Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy. Most of his research has focused on the phenomenology, correlates, and treatment of prolonged grief and posttraumatic stress following traumatic and non-traumatic losses, in children, families, and adults.

Dr. Annelieke Drogendijk

Dr. Annelieke Drogendijk is director of ARQ centre of Expertise on War, Persecution and Violence and  ARQ International, both departments of ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre in The Netherlands. Her background is in clinical psychology and conducted together with the two multi-disciplinary teams several studies and international projects on the psychosocial consequences of (work-related) traumatic events, war and disasters. She is a consultant and advisor for the Dutch national government with a special focus on the psychosocial impact and dynamics of war and crisis on individuals and society, both from the international MHPSS perspective and the long-lasting psychosocial impact of WW2. Furthermore, under the direction of Annelieke the Dutch Impact Magazine ( and the international peer-reviewed journal Intervention ( are published. Furthermore, she is head of a specialised library and online (information) centre.

Prof. dr. Michel Dückers

Michel Dückers is professor of Crises, Safety and Health at the University of Groningen and ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre. He leads the Research Programme Disasters and Environmental Hazards at the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (Nivel). Michel is an advisor for national and local governments in the event of calamities. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration (Twente University), a PhD in Social and Behavioural Sciences (Utrecht University), and completed his habilitation (post-doctoral dissertation and training) dealing with the relativity of the mental health consequences of disasters (University of Innsbruck). His main areas of research are crisis management, disaster health research, mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), and monitoring and evaluation.

Henriette (Jetske) van Heemstra

Henriette (Jetske) van Heemstra is currently finishing her PHD on optimizing mental health for forced migrants. She conducted several quantitative clinical and cohort studies. She was involved in the development of 7ROSES, a treatment method for increasing self-efficacy. Also, she is working as registered mental health psychologist at ARQ Centrum’45. As a clinician, she mainly provides trauma focussed treatment.

Prof. dr. Trudy Mooren

Trudy Mooren works as a clinical psychologist and systemic therapist at ARQ Centrum’45, and is professor by special appointment at the Department of Clinical Psychology of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Utrecht University. She is head teacher of the postgraduate training for clinical psychologists at the RINO group. She researches the effects of psychotrauma on family relationships, especially in refugee populations, and publishes and presents about her work.

Dr. Onno Sinke

Onno Sinke (Phd) is a historian and specialised in World War II and its aftermath. He wrote his doctoral thesis at the University of Groningen about Radio Oranje (Radio Orange), the radiostation of the Dutch government in exile during WWII. He published several books about WWII, for example about the University of Technology in Delft during the German occupation. From 2017-2022 he was seconded part-time to the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies to conduct research about the so called bersiap period in the beginning of the Indonesian War of Independence. His research was part of the large scale research programme Independence, decolonization, violence and war in Indonesia, 1945-1950. He is currently working as a senior researcher/policy advisor for ARQ Centre of Expertise for War, Persecution and Violence

Caroline Six

Caroline Six is currently director of ARQ National Psychotrauma Center. ARQ supports professionals and their organizations before, during and after distressing events and crises. The focus is on so-called high-risk professions such as first responders, healthcare institutions and threatened elderly, public officers and judges. ARQ also supports the Dutch municipal health services with guidelines, toolkits, research and advice when a disaster occurs.

The common thread in Caroline’s work experience is the psychological support of employees in high-risk professions. After studying Work and Organizational Psychology, she had roles in the application of psychology as a selection advisor for pilots and for the Dutch National Railways, as a management advisor at Hay Group and as a trainer for the MBTI, amongst others. Subsequently she contributed to innovation of mental healthcare for the Ministry of Defense and the Dutch National Police as a program leader, business developer and research manager for 11 years. She now has been working as director for ARQ during the past six years.

Prof. dr. Geert Smid

Geert Smid is a psychiatrist and endowed professor of psychotrauma, loss, and grief, ARQ Centrum’45/ ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre and University of Humanistic Studies, The Netherlands. As a clinician, he has worked with trauma survivors since 2003. In 2011 he obtained his doctorate with the thesis “Deconstructing Delayed Posttraumatic Stress Disorder”. In 2013 he initiated the Day Patient Treatment for Traumatic Grief at ARQ Centrum’45. In collaboration with other experts, he developed several clinical interventions and tools for the diagnosis and treatment of prolonged and traumatic grief, such as the Traumatic Grief Inventory-Self Report Plus (TGI-SR+), the Bereavement and Grief-Cultural Formulation Interview (BG-CFI), and Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy for Prolonged and Traumatic Grief (BEPPTG). He has published extensively in scientific journals and books on the prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of PTSD and prolonged grief, stress sensitization and delivery of evidence-based trauma- and grief-focused care. His current research on PTSD and grief focuses on meaning attribution after loss, epidemiological and cultural aspects, diagnostics, prevention, treatment, palliative care and development of a grief care network.

Prof. dr. Wietse Tol

Wietse A. Tol is Professor of Global Mental Health at the Section of Global Health, Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen; Endowed Professor of Global Mental Health and Social Justice at the VU University Amsterdam and ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre; Adjunct Professor at the Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Senior Advisor with HealthRight International. He holds an MA in Clinical and Health Psychology (Leiden University), a Ph.D. in Public Mental Health (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University. Dr. Tol’s research and practice focus on mental health and psychosocial support interventions for adversity-affected populations in low- and middle-income countries. In particular, his work centers on (integrated) interventions that address mental health and the social determinants of mental health, and he is very interested in understanding how research can lead to improved practice (and vice versa). He regularly consults with UN agencies and (international) non-governmental organizations in the areas of mental health and psychosocial support needs assessment, intervention selection and development, monitoring, and evaluation.