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Sandra Mulkens

Bijzonder hoogleraar



  • - Anorexia Nervosa
  • - Cognitieve processen en denkfouten
  • - Eetbuistoornis
  • - Executieve functies & cognitieve controle
  • - Interventies / behandeling
  • - Lichaamsbeeld
  • - Obesitas
  • - Vermijdende / restrictieve voedselinname stoornis (ARFID)


I started my scientific career as a PhD student in 1994 at the Faculty of Health Sciences (Maastricht University), investigating fear of blushing as a form of social phobia. In this project I studied some of the maintaining factors of this disorder and treatment possibilities. In November 2000, I defended my PhD dissertation entitled: ‘Red, hot, and scared? Inquiries into fear of blushing’.

Next to the experimental work for my PhD project, I enrolled in a postdoctoral education program to become a cognitive behaviour therapist. For this education, I worked part of my time during the PhD project as a junior therapist at the Maastricht Mental Health Center (Riagg Maastricht). After finishing the behaviour therapy courses and supervision in 1998, I decided to continue my postdoctoral training and to become a psychotherapist. This training was finished in December 2001. After completing this education, one receives an official governmental registration (‘BIG-registratie’. BIG stands for ‘Beroepen in de Individuele Gezondheidszorg’ or ‘Professions within Individual Health Care’). Finally, I also became a Clinical Psychologist (BIG) in 2011.

In 2000, I started working at the Faculty of Psychology (also Maastricht University) with Prof. Dr. Anita Jansen. I also switched topics: from social anxiety disorder to eating disorders, obesity and addiction. I was also interested in Body Dysmorphic Disorder, since this resembles fear of blushing and is also linked to body image disorders such as eating disorders.
In april 2018, I was appointed as an endowed professor of ‘Feeding and Eating disorders’; this chair was installed by SeysCentra, treatment center for children with eating problems (ARFID) and is accomodated (0.4 fte) at the faculty of Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences (FHML) of Maastricht University.

My current research interests are (CBT treatment of) ARFID, obesity (including childhood obesity), bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and body dysmorphic disorder. Furthermore, I conduct research after the reasons for and results of cosmetic surgery and (disturbed) body image.



An up to date list can be found here.


  • “Publication prize for upcoming authors 1995”, Journal ‘De Psycholoog’, for the article: Mulkens, S. (1995). Waarom blozen mensen eigenlijk? De Psycholoog, 30, blz.490-495.
  • “EPP-publication prize academic year 1997-1998” for the article: Mulkens, S., de Jong, P.J., Dobbelaar, A. & Bögels, S.M. (1999). Fear of blushing: Fearful preoccupation irrespective of facial coloration. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 37, 1119-1128.
  • “Prof. Dr. P.E. Boeke prize 1999-2000. Foundation for Postacademic education in Psychotherapy” for the article: Mulkens, S., Bögels, S.M., de Jong, P.J. & Louwers, J. (2001). Fear of blushing: Effects of task concentration training versus exposure in vivo on fear and physiology. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 15, 413-43.
  • Member of Merit Dutch Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (VGCt) (2021).


  • 2004: ZonMW grant (€ 225.000) for the project “Prevention of obesity in youth: training the parents”. PhD candidate: Esther Jansen.
  • 2014: Luik-3 grant in collaboration with 2 FPN colleagues (250k/3): “Healthy day-school of the future; the economic and health impact and legal aspects of day-schools.”
  • 2016: Virenze – FPN grant (funding for 1 PhD candidate) for the project “Tackling binge eating”.
  • 2018: ZonMW – “Kennissynthese” (€50.000): member projectgroup; ‘Food for thought: what do we know about the relation between dietary intake and mental disorders across the lifespan?’
  • 2018: CSC (China Scolarship Council) grant. PhD Candidate: Yi Wu.
  • 2019: VGCt and PAOS fund Grant (€35.000) for developing a blended e-learning module about the (Child-)EDE, the gold standard diagnostic interview for eating disorder psychopathology. Co-applicant: Hermien Elgersma.
  • 2019: SWOL grant (€4.000) for symposium on ARFID.
  • 2019: Grant of EMDR Associations the Netherlands (€5.000) for treatment study on EMDR.
  • 2021: CSC Grant. PhD Candidate: Meihe Xu. Co-applicant: dr. Jessica Alleva.


  • Coordinator practical “Clinical Skills I: Interviewing Skills”; 1st year, Research Master Psychopathology.
  • Supervision of bachelor theses on the topics of eating disorders, obesity, body dysmorphic disorder, and cognitive-behaviour treatment. A bachelor thesis can either be a literature review or be based on a small experiment.
  • Supervision of research for master theses. Students can participate in my ongoing lines of research, or they can come up with their own idea in the field of eating research and BDD research.

Other academic activities

  • Senior member of the research school Experimental Psychopathology (EPP)
  • Member workgroup Zorgstandaard Eetstoornissen, 2015-2017
  • Board member Dutch Academy of eating Disorders (NAE); 2014-2020
  • President Dutch Academy of eating Disorders (NAE); 2020-present
  • Member Dutch steering group for eating disorders care in youth (K-EET): 2019-present
  • Board member Special Interest group Eating Disorders and Obesity for VGCt; 2009-2020
  • Member Scientific Committee Annual Dutch Conference VGCt; 2012-2021
  • Editorial board member journal Gedragstherapie; 2010-2020
  • Co-chair International Conference on Eating Disorders 2023
  • Member Vereniging EMDR Nederland (VEN)
  • Reviewer for: Behaviour Research and Therapy, Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapy, Body Image, Appetite, The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, Netherlands Journal of Psychology, Psychologie en Gezondheid, Maandblad Geestelijke Volksgezondheid, Tijdschrift voor Seksuologie, Tijdschrift Gedragstherapie, ZonMW subsidies, Portugese Research Council..
  • Member workgroup for the “Multidisciplinary Guidelines on Obesity” (multidisciplinaire richtlijnwerkgroep Obesitas”; CBO, Utrecht), under the chairmanship of Prof. Dr. Ir. J. Seidell.
  • BIG registration KP (Clinical Psychologist): 2011. BIG-number: 79051433925
  • Full membership (“gewoon lid”) of the Vereniging voor Gedrags- en Cognitieve Therapie (VGCT) since July 1999/ Supervisor VGCT: 2005
  • BIG-registration Psychotherapist: 2001. BIG-number: 99051433916.
  • BIG-registration GZ-Psycholoog: 2001. BIG-number: 79051433925.