Prof. Gillian Bendelow

Before entering higher education as a mature student, Gillian Bendelow worked in London’s East End as a ward sister and community psychiatric nurse. Gillian has made research contributions to the fields of chronic pain and ‘contested’ illness conditions; mental health and emotional wellbeing; health promotion and lay concepts of health and illness. Core aspects of her substantive interests in pain, emotion and embodiment overlap with other areas of social science, medicine and humanities, and this dialogue is reflected in her current work which is concerned with understanding models of health and illness in contemporary healthcare, with a strong focus on explaining and transcending the often unhelpful divisions and polarisation between ‘the natural’ and ‘the social’, biological and cultural, arts and sciences. Gillian is regularly invited as a keynote/plenary speaker to international academic and policy-oriented events and has received past external research funding from the ESRC, NHS, EU, the Wellcome Trust and cancer charities. She a Trustee for the Foundation for Sociology of Health and Illness and a Member of Advisory Board, Chronic Pain Australia ( 2010- present). She is author of “Pain and Gender” (Pearson Education 2000), “Health Emotion and the Body” (Polity 2009) and co- author of “The Lived Body” (Routledge 1998) as well as many edited books and journal articles.

Book Project: Does emotional pain express itself through the body?

{Co-writing with Prof. Esther Cohen }

Prof. Onno van der Hart

Onno van der Hart, PhD, is a psychologist, adult psychotherapist, trained family therapist and researcher.

He is Emeritus Professor of Psychopathology of Chronic Traumatization at the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and a psychologist/psychotherapist at the Sinai Center for Mental Health, Amstelveen. He is a clinical consultant of the Center for Post-trauma Therapy and Trauma Education, Helsinki and Oulu, Finland. Until recently he was Chief of Research at the Cats-Polm Institute—a research institute in the area of childhood abuse and neglect—in Zeist and a lead psychotherapist, specialized in the treatment of clients with complex trauma-related disorders, at the Mental Health Center Buitenamstel in Amsterdam. He is also a scholar in Pierre Janet Studies. Both nationally and internationally, he is a clinical consultant on diagnosis and treatment of complex trauma-related disorders and he presents lectures and workshops on complex PTSD, dissociative disorders, phase-oriented treatment of chronic traumatization, and formerly he presentend workshops on hypnosis, strategic psychotherapy, and family therapy. Among his clinical and research achievements, he has twice been the recipient of the Milton Erickson Award for Excellence in Scientific writing from the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, three times the Pierre Janet Writing Award for best writing on dissociation from the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), and the Lifetime Achievement Award from ISSTD. Onno van der Hart is a Past-President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), a former Vice-President and Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation and Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH). He has published several books in the area of trauma and dissociation, loss, and bereavement, and over 100 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals (several of which can be found at He has co-authored with Ellert Nijenhuis, PhD, and Kathy Steele, MN, CS, “The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization” (New York/London: W.W. Norton & Co, 2006), which has been, and is in the process of being, translated into several languages including French. With Suzette Boon, PhD, and Kathy Steele, hMN, CS, he wrote “Coping with Trauma-related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists” (New York/London: W.W. Norton & Co, 2011).

Website: Prof. Onno van der Hart

Book Project: How the attitudes towards the sufferer differ?

{Co-writing with Dr. Sandra Kamping }


Martin Löffler

From 2005 to 2011, Martin Löffler studied psychology at the Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck (University of Innsbruck, Austria). During that time he did an internship at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, Department of Cognitive Psychology (Prof. Dr. Pierre Sachse) on the topic of Visual attention and Inattentional Blindness. His diploma thesis was about sleep-dependent offline processing of social cues (Supervisor: Dipl.-Psych. Dr. Stefan Fischer at the Department of Clinical Psychology II, Prof. Dr. Anna Buchheim). Since 2012, Martin is a PhD student at the Department of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, supervised by Prof. Dr. Herta Flor, at the Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim and a member of the DFG-FNR research project „PASCOM“. Besides research on pain and suffering, he is also interested in research on sleep, plasticity and Cognitive Psychology.

Dr. Sandra Kamping

Dr. Sandra Kamping is a psychologist, adult therapist and neuroscientist working in the field of chronic pain. In 2006, she joined the Department of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience working with its scientific director Professor Dr. Herta Flor, at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany. Her main research interest lies in the area of chronic pain comprising a wide range of chronic pain disorders (i.e. chronic back pain, fibromyalgia, chronic widespread pain and phantom limb pain). Specifically, she is interested in how pain can be modulated by emotional and cognitive factors and how our understanding of these factors can increase the effectiveness of psychological therapies for chronic pain

Michael Brunner

Michael studied psychology and philosophy at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria, from 2003 on and graduated in psychology in 2011 at the University of Klagenfurt with a focus on cognitive and clinical psychology. Upon receiving an Erasmus Grant from the European Union, he worked for a year at the Institute of Psychology at the University of Mannheim (2006-2007). During his studies, he did internships at the Otto-Selz Institute for Applied Psychology (University of Mannheim), at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim (Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy), and at Neustart Klagenfurt (probation service). Since 2012, he is a PhD student at the Department of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Herta Flor, at the Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim and a proud member of the DFG-FNR research project „PASCOM“. In addition to pursuing his training in cognitive behavioral therapy at the University of Heidelberg, he does an internship at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim on affective and anxiety disorders. In addition to pain research, he is interested in cognitive psychology, abnormal psychology and psychotherapy.