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Prof. dr. Jessie Dezutter

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Jessie completed her Master in Psychology at KU Leuven in 2002, including an Erasmus stay at the University of Nijmegen. She obtained a European Diploma in Advanced Studies in the Psychology of Religion in 2003 (KU Leuven), and her Ph.D in Psychology in 2010 (KU Leuven). She was a post-doctoral fellow of the Flanders Research Foundation (FWO fellow) and joined the lab of Prof. DeLongis at University British Columbia – Canada (3 months, 2013) and the lab of Prof. Granqvist at Stockholm University – Sweden (6 months, 2015). Her research has been recognized with the Margaret Gorman Early Career Award of the APA and the Early Career Award of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion. She has been Associate Editor for the Archive for the Psychology of Religion.

Her current research lines focus on how meaningfulness is related to late life psychological functioning and mental health, how existential givens are experienced at highly advanced age and whether and how existential struggles are related to psychological suffering. She is an advocate for a biopsychosocial-existential approach to elderly care.


Jessie is a first-generation college student.

List of publications

Postdoctoral researchers

PhD students

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Affiliated researchers 

Collaborating researchers

Dr. Ingela Beck (Nursing and Health Sciences - Kristianstad University)

Eva Buelens (Pastoral Theology - KU Leuven)

Lindsy Desmet (Pastoral Theology - KU Leuven)

Prof. dr. Annemie Dillen (Empirical Theology - KU Leuven)

Prof. dr. Gørill Haugan (Nursing - NTNU)

Prof. dr. Patrick L. Hill (Purpose and Aging - Washington University in St. Louis)

Prof. dr. Muireann Irish (Memory and Dementia  - The University of Sydney)

Helena Larsson (Care Sciences - Kristianstad University)

Dr. Suvi-Maria Saarelainen (Practical Theology - University of Eastern Finland)​

Prof. dr. Loren Toussaint (Forgiveness - Luther College)

Prof. dr. Mathieu Vandenbulcke (Geriatrics and Dementia - KU Leuven)

Prof. dr. Siebrecht Vanhooren (Clinical Psychology - KU Leuven)

Prof. dr. Els van Wijngaarden (Care Ethics - University for Humanistic Studies)

Lab Alumni

Mar Gil Álvarez (2021-2023) 

Nadezhda Golovchanova (2017 - 2018) - Currently PhD student at Örebro University Sweden

Dr. Evalyne Thauvoye (2015 - 2019)

Internship trainees

Reanne Morgan Dwyer (2023)

Bella Wurtz (2023)

Alex Sarrouj (2023)

Gresa Gjonaj (2023)

Luna Buntinx (2022)

Laurien Van Laer (2022)

Jorg Lambrechts (2022)

Rilana Martens (2022)

Ben Mues (2020)

Emma Emmerechts (2020)

Louise De Schutter (2020)

Sophie Gouwy (2019)

Guido Doornberg (2018 - 2019)

Lotte Van Looy (2016 - 2017)

Stephanie Hallard (2017)

Hannes Beyens (2017)

Kimberley Bruggeman (2016)

Sand Dunes
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