Career Development Strategies E054 From PhD in STEM Towards Clinical Practice in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Dr. Ruud Berkers is currently working as an early-career psychologist at HSK, a mental health care institution with locations across the Netherlands. He uses cognitive-behavioral techniques to treat a wide variety of complaints, including depression, anxiety, ptsd, and burnout.
In a previous stage of his career, he was a cognitive neuroscientist studying human memory, sleep and decision-making, obtaining his PhD at Radboud University Nijmegen and doing a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive & Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany. Prior to that, he studied biology and psychology at Maastricht University, and obtained a Master in Cognitive & Clinical Neurosciences. During the latter program, he gained his first clinical experience working with patients diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition.
From the previous text, it might seem that Ruud’s career went in a straight linear trajectory. However, this is not quite true as his interests have always been broad. During his studies he gained experience in teaching, science journalism, and science policy, along with science and clinical work. At some point during his postdoc, he decided to redirect course and quit his postdoc to work towards a career as a clinical psychologist. He pursued to gain additional education and training, including working in an inpatient clinic specializing in anxiety and compulsive disorders, before landing a job at HSK in the little Dutch city of Ede.