Rena Gatzounis

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Rena is a health psychologist, researcher, and teacher, with expertise in learning and cognitive psychology, as well as in the field of pain. Rena received her PhD in 2018 from the University of Leuven (Belgium), where she conducted a series of experiments on the effects of pain on cognition and task performance. She later worked as a Postdoctoral researcher at Maastricht University (The Netherlands), where she studied pain-related avoidance behaviour and ways to prevent its relapse after exposure treatment for chronic pain. Preparing Rena’s path to research was a BA in Psychology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) in 2007, and a Research Master in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience from Maastricht University in 2010. In addition to her academic experience, Rena has also worked as a health content specialist and writer for an evidence-based health app (2021-2023). Currently, Rena teaches psychology at Maastricht University. In her free time, Rena enjoys cooking for – and eating with – her family and friends, knitting, and reading existential novels.


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Exposing how exposure works: expectancy change is crucial for successful exposure treatment


In her debut blog, Rena Gatzounis summarises a study that investigated the mechanisms of threat expectancy, occurrence, and change in relation to exposure therapy for anxiety disorders.

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