Faculty Directory
Katie Aafjes-van Doorn

Aafjes-van Doorn

Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology Psychodynamic Track


Resnick campus - Rousso Building

DClinPsy, University of Oxford, 2012

MSc, University of Oxford, 2009

MSc, Vrije Universiteit, 2005

I am passionate about psychotherapy research and enjoy teaching courses on evidence-based psychodynamic psychotherapy and research design. With my teaching and mentoring of students, I aim to bridge the gap between research and clinical practice and to inspire the new generation of clinicians to continue to engage in psychotherapy research.


My research program focuses on two aspects of psychotherapy research: the therapeutic relationship and professional development. I research different (un) conscious aspects of the therapeutic relationship, including the working alliance, (counter) transference and the real relationship. The research on therapists’ professional development includes facilitative interpersonal skills training, as well as routine outcome monitoring, and deliberate practice. In recent years, I have expanded my research to the teletherapy context, including research on the therapeutic relationship, therapeutic agency, therapeutic presence and teletherapy training.


Most of my previous research has been based on self-report and observer-based measures, including computerized text-analysis of transcribed sessions. Most recently, I am focusing on multi-modal measurements of visual (e.g., facial expression and head motion), voice (e.g., pitch), and speech (text) markers of the patient and therapist obtained from video recordings of teletherapy sessions. Machine learning is especially well-suited to sifting through multi-modal variables and modeling these complex and non-linear dyadic relationships. My current focus is on the development of automatic inference models for the working alliance, and therapists’ interpersonal skills. This is an exciting direction of research, especially because it allows for examinations of the paraverbal and non-verbal aspects the therapeutic relationship, which are crucial in any communication between individuals, but especially in psychotherapy. Most importantly, these computational models will also allow for direct feedback to therapists in the moment of the session, therefore providing a direct usability to the therapist in their clinical work and professional development.


I have published over 60 peer reviewed papers, co-authored several books and books chapters and am a regular speaker at (inter)national conferences. I am also associate editor of Clinical Psychology; Science and Practice.

She currently teaches Evidence-based Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Relational psychodynamic psychotherapy, and Research Methods and Design. In her research lab she focuses on psychodynamic process research, by coding therapeutic interactions between the therapist and patient and change in personality functioning over time. Her research topics include a range of moderators and mediators of therapy change (e.g. defenses, attachment, affect experiencing, reflective functioning), as well as therapist training (integration of research & practice and integration of different therapy models). She applies observer-coding systems, NLP and machine learning algorithms to illuminate the micro interactions and changes within the patient and therapist, during therapist training and treatment sessions. She has co-authored an introductory book on clinical psychology, chapters on process-outcome research and research in clinical psychology and is currently associate editor of the journal Clinical Psychology: Science & Practice.

Web lab page

Dr. Aafjes-van Doorn specializes in psychodynamic psychotherapy research. She has co-authored an introductory book on clinical psychology, chapters on process-outcome research and research in clinical psychology and has written about affect experiencing-in session and video-recording in psychotherapy.


      1. Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Kealy, D., Ogrodniczuk, J., Weber, R., Ehrenthal, J., & Joyce, A. (in press). The relationship between patients' personality traits, the alliance, and change in interpersonal distress in intensive group treatment for personality dysfunction Journal of Personality Disorders.
      2. Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Békés, V., Luo, X., Prout, T. A., & Hoffman, L. (in press). Practicing online during covid-19: Psychodynamic and psychoanalytic therapists’ experiences. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association.
      3. Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Luo, X., Kealy, SD., McCollum, J., Silberschatz, G. (2022). Interpersonal guilt, and the working alliance in psychotherapy: The moderating role of childhood experience. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2784
      4. Aafjes-van Doorn, K. & de Jong, K. (2022). How to make the most of rom: A multitude of clinical decisions and nuances to consider. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, ROM Issue. 78, 2054–2065. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jclp.23438
      5. De Jong, K. & Aafjes-van Doorn, K. (2022). Routine Outcome Monitoring: The need for case examples. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, ROM Issue. 8:1963–1972. https://dx/doi.10.1002/jclp.23441
      6. Aafjes-van Doorn, K. & Meisel*, J.  (2022) Implementing routine outcome monitoring in a psychodynamic training clinic: It’s complicated. Counselling Psychology Quarterly.  Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/09515070.2022.2110451
      7. Kuprian, N., Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Gutterman*, D. & Barber, J.P. (2022). Therapeutic immediacy in psychodynamic psychotherapy for depression: A mixed-method study. Psychotherapy. Advance online publicationhttps://doi.org/10.1037/pst0000452
      8. Békés, V., & Aafjes-van Doorn, K (2022). Patients’ attachment avoidance and their perceived quality of the real relationship predict patients’ attitudes towards telepsychotherapy. Counseling Psychology Quarterly. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/09515070.2022.2075324
      9. Békés, V., Aafjes-van Doorn, K., & Bőthe, B., (2022). Assessing patients’ attitudes towards telepsychotherapy: The development of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology -patient version".  Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2760
      10. Aafjes-van Doorn, K, & Horne*, S. (2022). Beyond treatment modalities: clinical decisions and relational dynamics that facilitate change in group treatments. Clinical Psychology. 78 (8), 1637-1649. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jclp.23396
      11. Békés, V., Aafjes-van Doorn, K., McCollum,J., Prout, T.R., & Hoffman, L 2022).The development of a selfreport scale to assess therapists' acceptance of telepsychotherapy. Clinical Psychology. Advance online publication https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.23289
      12. Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Bar-Sella, A., Zilcha-Mano, S., Luo, X., Silberschatz, G., Kealy, D., McCollum, J.,& Snyder, J. (2022). Within-patient perceptions of alliance and attunement: Associations with progress in psychotherapy. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2737
      13. Aafjes-van Doorn, K., & Prout, T. A. (2022). Changing attitudes toward evidence-based psychodynamic psychotherapy. Psychoanalytic Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/pap0000397
      14. Aafjes-van Doorn, K. (2022). The complexity of teletherapy: Not better or worse, but different. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice.





  1. Aafjes-van Doorn, K., & Prout, T.A. (2021). Changing attitudes towards evidence-based psychodynamic psychotherapy. Psychoanalytic Psychology., 39(3), 217-225. https://doi.org/10.1037/pap0000397
  2. Békés, V., Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Zilcha-Mano, S., Prout, T. A., & Hoffman, M. D. (2021). Psychotherapists’ acceptance of telepsychotherapy during the covid-19 pandemic: A machine learning approach. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. 28(6), 1403-1415. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2682
  3. Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Békés, V., Luo, X (2021). COVID-related traumatic distress in psychotherapy patients during the pandemic: The role of attachment, alliance, and therapeutic agency. Brain Sciences,11, 1288. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11101288
  4. Békés, V., Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Spina, D., Talia, A., Starrs, C. J., & Perry, J. C. The relationship between defense mechanisms and attachment as measured by observer-rated methods in a sample of depressed patients: A pilot study. Frontiers in Psychology, 4152. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.648503
  5. Békés, V., Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Luo, X., Prout, T. A., & Hoffman, M. D. (2021). Psychotherapists' challenges with online therapy during COVID-19: Concerns about connectedness predict therapists’ negative view of online therapy and its perceived efficacy over time. Frontiers in Psychology12, 3036. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.705699
  6. Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Békés, V., Luo, X., Prout, T. A., & Hoffman, L. (2021). What do therapist defense mechanisms have to do with their experience of professional self-doubt and vicarious trauma during the COVID-19 Pandemic? Frontiers in Psychology, 12  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.647503
  7. Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Békés, V., Luo, X., Prout, T. A., & Hoffman, L. (2021). Therapists’ resilience and posttraumatic growth during the covid-19 pandemic. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 14(S1), S165–S173. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/tra0001097   
  8. Aafjes-van Doorn, K, McCollum, J, Kealy, D., Silberschatz, G., & Snyder, J., (2021). Interpersonal and social functioning among psychotherapy patients: The indirect effect of childhood adversity. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 209(10), 747-752. https://doi.org/10.1097/nmd.0000000000001373 
  9. Aafjes-van Doorn, K, McCollum, J, Kealy, D., Silberschatz, G., & Snyder, J., (2021). Perceived adverse parenting in childhood and psychological distress among psychotherapy patients: The mediating role of pathogenic beliefs, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 209(3), 181-187. https://doi.org/10.1097/NMD.0000000000001274
  10. Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Nissen, K. J., & Chen*, Z. (2021). Learning styles in counseling: A scoping review of the empirical evidence. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1080/09515070.2021.1908961
  11. Kufferath-Lin*,T, Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Prout, T. A., & Hoffman, L., (2021). An examination of parent sessions in regulation focused psychotherapy for children, Psychotherapy. 58, 109 -120, https://doi.org/10.1037/pst0000314
  12. Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Kamsteeg, C., Bate, J., & Aafjes., M. (2021). A scoping review of machine learning in psychotherapy research. Psychotherapy Research, 31(1), 92-116. https://doi.org/10.1080/10503307.2020.1808729.

Resnick campus - Rousso Building


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Fall 2021
Advanced Research Seminar
PSC 6539


Evidence-Based Psychody Thrpy
PSC 6486


Psycodynamic Process Rsrch I
PSC 6574


Research Methods Design
PSC 6287


Research Project I
PSC 6915


Research Project II
PSC 6916