“Know Thyself” (The Oracle of Delphi)
Who am I?
As a child, I grew up in 6 different countries and learned from an early age to adjust to new environments and to make contact with new people. And I also learned to say goodbye and leave. These early experiences of connecting and separating, of belonging and being an outsider, made a significant impact on my life. I’m continually in awe of how early childhood themes continue to have a meaningful impact on life today.
In 1993 I came to the Netherlands and Amsterdam became a special place to live for me. It was one big adventure setting up my life here as a foreigner, and I couldn’t know back then that Amsterdam would be my home for 24 years. For the first 10 years I worked in the business world.
In 2002 I came in contact with Gestalt, which proved to be a turning point in my life, both personally and professionally. Through Gestalt I learned to connect more deeply with my inner world – and it was a remarkable process of really getting to know myself in a new and more authentic way. I realised I wanted to help others connect more with themselves too, and so began my new path.
In 2006 I set up my practice for Gestalt therapy, beginning with individual therapy and in 2009 I started working with couples. In addition to my therapy practice, I am a consultant, trainer and coach in the field of leadership development and team development within organisations. My work focusses on the world ‘beneath the surface’ of every day interactions and dynamics. (See: beneaththesurface). For the last four years I have developed and facilitated (personal) leadership courses and management team programmes for managers in the Handicap Care sector.
I have always been interested in how people connect and disconnect with both themselves and with others. This dynamic of relating fascinates me. As a Gestalt therapist, I pay attention to how people make contact, which means consciously attending to the relationship between me and my client.
I did my Gestalt therapy training with the Dutch Foundation for Gestalt Therapists (Nederlandse Stichting Gestalt), and Middlesex University in London. I have a recognized diploma (MSc) in Gestalt Psychotherapy and followed additional training in developmental psychology, DSM/pathological diagnosis and Basic Medical Knowledge.
In 2013/14 I followed a professional course for couples therapy at the ‘School voor Relatietherapie’ by Jan Lens and May Michielsen. Elements of the course included, amongst many, EFT: Emotion(ally) Focussed Therapy (Sue Johnson) and Differentiation in relationship (David Schnarch).
In 2016 I attended various professional workshops and courses on the topics of sex and desire in relationships, infidelity, safety and trust. I continue to deepen my own professional development.