My main research interests are personality disorders (PDs), especially borderline personality disorder (BPD), depression, and anxiety disorders, especially posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), OCD and panic disorder. Using the approach of experimental psychopathology I tested psychological theories of these disorders and contributed to the development of their psychological treatment. The last decade I became more interested in change processes and techniques, especially experiential techniques, like imagery rescripting, which have for a long time been neglected in academic research, but offer powerful methods to bring about change in complex forms of psychopathology. One of my major aims is to connect basis research and clinical work in developing and testing psychological theories and treatments. I also treat anxiety and PD patients, and I view this as essential to connect the areas of basic research with clinical applications.
I was project leader of the multicenter RCT that compared schema therapy (ST) to psychodynamic psychotherapy for BPD patients, and of another multicenter RCT that compared ST to treatment as usual (TAU) and Client Centered Therapy for 6 other PDs. Currently I am together with Dr Joan Farrell PI of the international RCT that compares group-ST to TAU in > 450 BPD patients of sites in 5 countries. I also chaired a Dutch-German collaborative study investigating basic brain and cognitive processes in BPD and their change during treatment that is associated with the international RCT; and two international studies on treatment of PTSD related to trauma experienced in childhood.
Together with professor Jan Henk Kamphuis, Roland Sinnaeve, and Carlijn Wibbelink, I lead the BOOTS trial, a treatment study aiming to develop a method to better match patients with BPD for Schema Therapy or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (personalized medicine). I am co-PI of a study run at the Jellinek Clinic testing whether treatment of PTSD parallel to addiction treatment is superior to sequential treatment. In 2021 a multicenter RCT started on the comparison of group schema therapy to individual schema therapy and treatment as usual for cluster-C personality disorder, of which I am together with Nathan Bachrach the PI. My work has been supported by grants from ZONMW, NWO, ORA, Fonds Psychische Gezondheid, Insurance Company Funds (CZ, SAG), Foundation VCVGZ.
Arnoud Arntz works for one day per week as a registered Clinical Psychologist at ACTP Amsterdam, a mental health care institute, in the context of the academic collaboration that the University of Amsterdam and the the mental health care institue "Hersencentrum" have created. The renumeration goes to the UvA.
He is chair of the executive committee of the postmaster training programs (health psychologist, psychotherapist, and clinical psychologist – mental health care professionals under Dutch law) in Amsterdam, St. PDO (unpaid). He represents this organization in the national association of such post master training programs (vLOGO, unpaid). He was member of and chaired workgroups of Dutch mental health care standard committees (the renumeration went to the UvA). Arnoud Arntz chairs the convention of professors of clinical psychology, that represents the Dutch full professors of Clinical Psychology (unpaid). He is member of a working group of the national taskforce that prepares a proposal for an update of the psychological post-master professions in health care (“APV”) (unpaid).
Arnoud Arntz occasionally provides trainings, workshops and lectures (the renumeration goes to the UvA).