When I was very young, singing was my passion. So, I studied classical voice and opera at the Sweelinck Conservatorium, the Amsterdam Academy of Music. In those days I started to wonder what exactly is somebody’s ‘own voice’. I worked as a singer and voice teacher and kept asking myself the same question.
Through this quest I came to the Unitive Psychotherapy Training, a school within the tradition of body oriented psychotherapy. Within a few months, being a therapist had become my second passion.
After my graduation as a Unitive therapist  I came into contact with the Bodynamic Institute, which teaches another variant of body psychotherapy and I also became a Bodynamic therapist and Bodynamic trauma therapist.
From 1994 – 2016 I was the organiser for Bodynamic in the Netherlands. From 2006 – 2016 I have also been a trainer for the Bodynamic Institute.
Since the middle of the nineties I became very active on governance in the field of body psychotherapy, nationally as well as internationally. My last post has been as president of the European Association for Body Psychotherapy [EABP] from 2010 – 2016. I am still a member of several EABP committees, who are involved in the content and the development of the profession and its dissemination, in various ways.
I work as a therapist in my own private practice and I present workshops on my own account and upon invitation in the Netherlands and abroad.
To my understanding, therapy is a process which takes place in the relational field between therapist and client. Within this field we each have a different role, but as people we are equal.
The process and the demands of the client are our focus points. The therapist supports the client in going through this process, which is marked by the demands of the client.
I see a human being as a complex system, in which body and mind take part inseparably. A constant exchange and mutual influencing exist between body and mind. If this exchange is hindered, it is a signal of experiences that have not been digested and worked through properly; it indicates an area worthwhile to pay attention to in the therapeutic process.
The current life of the client is central in the process. Automatic reaction patterns take place, which disturb one’s current existence. Those patterns have developed in the past, that is why we need to look at the past regularly, in order to investigate the function of this pattern and to discover how this function can be served best in the present.
A human being is a social being, who is looking for balance between his/her autonomy and being a part of the environment. Having to serve both aspects often causes tension, which results in automatic reactions.
We do not need to lose those reactions, but we are searching for getting a choice over them and for a broadening the client’s repertoire in how to meet the environment, while the autonomy stays inviolate.
Dutch Association for Body Psychotherapy - NVLP
European Association for Body Psychotherapy - EABP
Foundation Professional Organisation for Body Oriented Psychotherapy - SBLP
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