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Sanne Bruijniks

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Institut für Psychologie
Engelbergerstraße 41
D-79085 Freiburg
Abteilung: Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie


My research focuses on psychotherapy for depression: the role of session frequency, mechanisms of change, machine learning to predict therapy outcome, the quality of therapeutic procedures, the role of learning processes, and conducting experiments that disentangle treatment packages to find out how we can improve psychotherapy for depression. I work as a post-doctoral researcher in the experimental psychology lab at the University of Freiburg and as an assistant professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. At this moment, we (at the University of Freiburg) are running a clinical study focused on the direct causal effects of CBT skill acquisition in patients with MDD in collaboration with the Psychotherapeutische Ambulanz:

Website SKILT Studie:





Bruijniks, S. J., DeRubeis, R. J., Lemmens, L. H., Peeters, F., Cuijpers, P., & Huibers, M. J. (2021). The relation between therapy quality, therapy processes and outcomes and identifying for whom therapy quality matters in CBT and IPT for depression. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 103815.

Van Bronswijk, S. C., Bruijniks, S. J., Lorenzo-Luaces, L., Derubeis, R. J., Lemmens, L. H., Peeters, F. P., & Huibers, M. J. (2020). Cross-trial prediction in psychotherapy: External validation of the Personalized Advantage Index using machine learning in two Dutch randomized trials comparing CBT versus IPT for depression. Psychotherapy Research31(1), 78-91.

Bruijniks, S. J., van Grootheest, G., Cuijpers, P., de Kluiver, H., Vinkers, C. H., Peeters, F., ... & Huibers, M. J. (2020). Working memory moderates the relation between the brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) and psychotherapy outcome for depression. Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Bruijniks, S. J., Lemmens, L. H., Hollon, S. D., Peeters, F. P., Cuijpers, P., Arntz, A., ... & Huibers, M.J.H. (2020). The effects of once-versus twice-weekly sessions on psychotherapy outcomes in depressed patients. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 1-9.

Bruijniks, S. J., Peeters, F. P., Strunk, D. R., & Huibers, M. J. (2019). Measuring patients’ acquisition of therapy skills in psychotherapy for depression: Assessing the CCTS-SR and the IPSS-SR. American journal of psychotherapy72(3), 67-74.

Bruijniks, S. J., DeRubeis, R. J., Hollon, S. D., & Huibers, M. J. (2019). The Potential Role of Learning Capacity in Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression: A Systematic Review of the Evidence and Future Directions for Improving Therapeutic Learning. Clinical Psychological Science, 2167702619830391.

Bruijniks, S. J., Los, S. A., & Huibers, M. J. (2019). Direct effects of cognitive therapy skill acquisition on cognitive therapy skill use, idiosyncratic dysfunctional beliefs and emotions in distressed individuals: An experimental study. Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry.

Bruijniks, S. J., Sijbrandij, M., & Huibers, M. J. (2019). The effects of retrieval versus rehearsal of online problem-solving therapy sessions on recall, problem-solving skills and distress in distressed individuals: An experimental study. Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry66, 101485.

Bruijniks, S. J., Sijbrandij, M., Schlinkert, C., & Huibers, M. J. (2018). Isolating therapeutic procedures to investigate mechanisms of change in cognitive behavioral therapy for depression. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology9(4), 2043808718800893.

Bruijniks, S. J., Franx, G., & Huibers, M. J. (2018). The implementation and adherence to evidence-based protocols for psychotherapy for depression: the perspective of therapists in Dutch specialized mental healthcare. BMC psychiatry18(1), 190.

Bruijniks, S. J. E., & Huibers, M. J. H. (2015). FreqMech: de frequentie en werkingsmechanismen van psychotherapie voor depressie. GZ-Psychologie7(6), 12-15.

Bruijniks, S. J., Bosmans, J., Peeters, F. P., Hollon, S. D., van Oppen, P., van den Boogaard, M., ... & Huibers, M. J. (2015). Frequency and change mechanisms of psychotherapy among depressed patients: study protocol for a multicenter randomized trial comparing twice-weekly versus once-weekly sessions of CBT and IPT. BMC psychiatry15(1), 137.



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