I’m Miranda Olff, Professor of Psychiatry, and This is How I Work


Dr. Miranda Olff is Professor (Chair: ‘Neurobiological mechanisms of prevention and treatment in trauma and PTSD’) in the field of psychotrauma. Her research focuses on the psychological and biological responses to (traumatic) stress and (early) interventions. She promotes Open Access and started the European Journal of Psychotraumatology (EJPT). She is the immediate past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), and past president of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS).

Current gig: 1) Head of the Center for Psychological Trauma at the Department of Psychiatry at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam 2) Professor at the Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group (Arq). 3) Editor-in-Chief of the Open Access journal European Journal of Psychotraumatology (EJPT).

Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

One word/phrase that describes your work style: Quick

Current computer/mobile device: MacBook Air and other computers at different workplaces, with all files accessible by Dropbox

What apps/tools/software can you not live without?

MS Office and WhatsApp to message close friends & family. And Rain Radar, useful in Holland..

I ‘preach’ that it is not healthy to be constantly online, on apps, on watches and work 7 days a week, and in fact I am most creative when away from e-media. Now I only need to practice it more. 

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack? 

Reading/reviewing and writing in quiet early hours of the day – avoiding the temptation of email. And having a great team around me both in Amsterdam as for the journal! Being excited about what I do gives me energy and makes me much more efficient.

What’s your workspace set up like?

A glasshouse with a view of the rising sun & fitness equipment (“bike while you write”) and fresh air. Here is two views:

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How do you keep track of things you need to do (any to-do-list apps)? 

E-mail inbox.

What everyday thing can you do better than most people? What’s your secret?

Enjoy my work, organize my calendar efficiently (and being in control of it). And some excitement (I am easily bored)…

What do you listen to while you work?

Nothing when I write, classical music or news radio when doing emails, pop music when my kids are home.

What are you currently reading?

Connie Palmen (best Dutch author)

How do you recharge?

Family, sports and painting! Friends & colleagues all over the world, an international collaborations.

What’s your sleep routine like?

Wind down around 11 pm but waking up depends on the amount of daylight; I love the early spring/summer hours.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Keep it inspiring! Enjoy what you do & do it now.


Miranda Olff





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