Cultural psychologist specialized in research, education and advising in the field of existential and spiritual care with focus on meaning making, ritual, life and death experiences and grief. For more then ten years I have been studying questions of meaning in our society from an interdisciplinary perspective (mostly cultural psychology, ritual studies, worldview/ spirituality studies, philosophy & anthropology). Questions, such as “how is meaning-in-life related to tragic events of loss and suffering, but also moments of joy and empowerment?”, “what are social and cultural expressions of existential concerns and transitions?”, “what are embodied, relational and performative expressions of meaning?” , “what is the meaning of ritual transformation in individual and collective existential transitions, such as from life to death?”, are central in my work.
Recently, I have been studying existential concerns at the start of life: what does our origin mean to us? What is the meaning of our beginning? What does it mean to bring life into the world? By comparing and contrasting existential concerns at birth and death I try to unravel processes of meaning, with specific focus on embodiment and relationality. In the past, I have studied concepts of symbolic immortality (notions of a “postself”), ethics of end-of-life decision-making and the role of secular or personal spirituality. Other research interests are: identity theory, relational and narrative perspectives, ritual as intervention/method used in pastoral care, interdisciplinary research and mixed-methods.