On the 25th of November, the Willem Nolen prize 2021 was awarded to dr. Jannis Kraiss, assistant professor at the University of Twente. Jannis received the prize for his dissertation Living well with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a severe and often chronic mood disorders, that can have a substantial impact on the patients life and their environment. “The current focus of treatment mainly lies on symptomatic recovery. However, besides clinical recovery, it is also important to strive for the improvement of mental well-being and personal recovery in the treatment of mental disorders”, explains Kraiss.
In the past four years, Jannis dedicated his research on how positive psychology can help patients with bipolar disorder to lead a more meaningful, joyful and engaged life. Kraiss: “I’ve evaluated the effectiveness of a positive psychology treatment for patients with bipolar disorder in a clinical randomized controlled trial. This clinical trial is the first study worldwide that convincingly shows that mental well-being and personal recovery can be improved in bipolar disorders using a positive psychology approach”. Based on his dissertation, the intervention has a good chance to be implemented in the national Dutch guidelines for the treatment of bipolar disorders. This way the treatment will hopefully reach even more bipolar disorder patients.
Since 2013, the Willem Nolen prize has been awarded annually to a person or institution that has conducted groundbreaking research or developed extraordinary initiatives for patients with bipolar disorder and/or their relatives. Kraiss: “It feels as great honor to receive this prize. I am very happy that we could so significantly contribute to the treatment for bipolar disorders with our work”.
The dissertation can be accessed via the following link: https://research.utwente.nl/en/publications/living-well-with-bipolar-disorder-integrating-positive-psychology