About us 2017-08-10T19:56:52+00:00


The war in Syria has been going on for over 5 years and the infrastructure in the country is mostly destroyed. The psychological situation of the people who stayed in Syria has decreased to an absolute low. There is no hope for even minimal support. A lot of people have been torn out of their familiar surroundings by the war and their flight, remained without family and with no hope for any form of material or immaterial support.

At this moment, organizations have been mainly focused on refugees outside Syria and with material support. We, Psychiaters Zonder Grenzen (PZG), have however been focused on providing basic psychological support since the first day more than 5 years ago. We do this with the help of dedicated local workers who have the needed knowledge and background of psychotrauma. In this way, they can give the necessary care to people who are dealing with the direct and indirect consequences of traumatic experiences.

We believe that both knowledge of the background and mutual trust are the most important conditions for the success of our help. And in our opinion, the best time to start with building trust is now, during the war. An important acknowledgement of this trust is the approval we recently received from the local authorities to come and help as NGO in North-East Syria. The local community also provided a suitable accommodation from which we are working hard with ten motivated volunteers.

Nothwithstanding everything PZG has done in the past five years, I believe we can do so much more. That is why educating the people who can carry on my work and sharing knowledge is of the utmost importance

Dr Aram Hasan • President


At 25-05-2012, PZG was established as an initiative by Aram Hasan and in cooperation with Gea Beenakker, Tjeerd Zaaijer and Ton Teunissen.

Drs Aram Hasan

Aram is a psychiatrist, originally from Syria and since 2012 working as trauma specialist at Stichting Centrum ‘45/ Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group. For War Trauma Foundation, he is ‘Middle East advisor’ and gave trainings in Kurdistan (North-Iraq) and Ukraine. He is founder and chairman of the foundation Psychiaters Zonder Grenzen. In addition, he is also founder of the Aram Hasan CoTeam. With CoTeam, he shares his expertise in psychological treatment and diagnostics of refugees, both national as well as in the surrounding countries.


Tjeerd Zaaijer

After studying Dutch Language and Literature with extra courses in Business Economics, Tjeerd has held various corporate and government positions. His last employment was as Head of External Communications at the Rotterdam Harbour. Since 15 years he is now working for his own communications advice bureau ‘Proces Verbaal’. This leaves him with more spare time, that he has decided to spend for social good. In 2000 he met Aram Hasan while teaching higher educated refugees in The Netherlands. This was the start of a strong friendship between the two, and as Tjeerd travelled to crisis areas, his involvement in refugee issues grew ever bigger. In 2012, together with Aram and Gea, Tjeerd founded the Foundation ‘Psychiaters Zonder Grenzen’. This way he hopes to deliver a small but important contribution to the much needed support in Syria, where once civilisation started.

Gea Beenakker

Gea is psychiatric nurse practitioner and has been working at Stichting Centrum ‘45/Arq Psychotrauma since 2000 in the treatment of refugees and as teacher in trauma treatment. In her daily work, she is confronted with the psychosocial problems of refugees in the Netherlands. Her clients made her aware of the taboo of having psychological problems in the countries of origin. It were her clients and colleague Aram who motivated her to establish a foundation to be able to share knowledge and experiences of the effects of traumatic experiences and treatment opportunities. She was also involved, together with Aram, in trainings of PZG in Kurdistan (North-Iraq) and South-East Turkey.


Jorin Blokland

Jorin Blokland is working as psychologist (MSc) and research assistent at Psychotraumacentrum Zuid-Nederland. She is mostly involved in the treatment of refugees (trauma therapy with elements of exposure, NET, CBT) and is doing research in diverse areas of psychotrauma. Jorin has worked for short term periods in The Jungle in France (2015), on Kos (2015), on Lesbos (2015 and 2016) and in Jordan (2016), where she was providing acute help to refugees in refugee camps and coming ashore. She is also involved in the work of a local NGO in Lebanon, where she worked as psychologist with traumatized refugees for some months (2017). She was responsible for the trauma treatment and training of local workers. Jorin has a big heart for the Middle-East and refugees world-wide. She is convinced that PZG has an important task in sharing knowledge and expertise, especially for this population.

Honarary member

Berthold Gersons
Berthold Gersons
Berthold Gersons is emeritus professor of psychiatry at AMC and the University of Amsterdam, and former professor of social psychiatry at UMCU and Utrecht University. Until 2017, he was senior scientific advisor of the Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group and Foundation Centrum ‘45. He is well-known in the area of psychotrauma. He developed the evidence-based BEPP treatment (Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy for PTSD), which is used in several countries. He was involved in the aftermath of big disasters in the Netherlands as advisor, and is still advisor for the MH17 disaster. He made blueprints for the mental health care for both the Ministry of Defense and for the National Police. In addition, he is advisor of the NCTV (National Coordinator Counterterrorism) for protected politicians under threat.

He was member of the editorial board of the Journal of Traumatic Stress, member of the board of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) and of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS), where he was also president from 2005 till 2007. From 2006-2009, he was founder and chairman of the Dutch speaking Society for Psychotrauma (NtVP). From 2005, he was also Faculty Member of the Psychotrauma Masters study at the University of Zürich. He gives trainings in BEPP, both national and international, and treated patients with PTSD. He has around 250 Dutch and international publications on his name.

He became a mentor for Aram Hasan, who he supports with his knowledge and experience in the hope that this will be of use in the areas where Aram and his team help.

Volunteers (events)

Elmeira Kruger
Leila Samoyan
Katelijne van Dijk


Anne van den Ouwelant
Andjanie Bahorie


Together with local aid workers we develop psychosocial education- and treatment programmes for adults, children, and families who have been exposed to war violence, sexual assault, and discrimination.


We train Syrian aid workers in psychosocial diagnostics and treatment, in accordance with the Syrian context, whatever race, religion, sexe, nationality, political background or ethnicity. We have been doing this for 5 years already, from the start of the conflict in North Syria.


The aid workers that we are in contact with from our local chapter in North Syria, are aiding the victims under minimal circumstances. We offer these aid workers advice and support so they can better assist patients, women, and children who suffer from complexe issues.