How I Work

Sometimes, through problems with other people, such as co-workers, friends, partners and/or our children, emotional problems become apparent that we did not think we had. In this way, life offers us a bridge to ourselves. Taking that bridge is not easy, but once it is crossed, new possibilities open up within and outside of ourselves. In my opinion, therapy is there to help us cross that bridge.

Everyday life can present us with many challenges. In the case of expatriates, there is an added dimension: adapting to a new country, culture, work, school and family environment can bring new obstacles and/or aggravation of previous problems, which can lead to psychological disorders, distress or dysregulation. At the same time, we will again resort to strategies that until now, we thought were functional, but under the current circumstances may prove to be dysfunctional.

I work as a cognitive behavioural psychologist and I work with the following problems:

  • Depressive disorders, including chronic depression
  • Anxiety disorders including panic, social anxiety, OCD
  • Post-traumatic Stress disorders
  • Adjustment disorders

I think the decision to seek help from a psychologist (Gz-Psycholoog) can sometimes be difficult to make. Even more difficult is to find such help in a foreign country where you do not speak your mother tongue. My most important goal is to offer Expats the possibility to receive professional psychological treatment in the language they feel comfortable speaking.

It is important to be able to say what we feel to someone who can organise it and give it a name. Sometimes we are surprised to learn that what we feel and what happens to us is classified and can be treated in a specific way. There are different methods of assessment and treatment.

The way of working with these kinds of problems is varied and includes experience in different therapeutic methods, among others, the following:

Therapy Methods

RET With a cognitive-behavioural orientation

The main intervention technique applied is Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT), founded by Dr. Albert Ellis in 1955, which is characterised by its high efficacy. This therapy stresses the importance of the thought-emotion-behaviour triad in the maintenance of psychological problems. It emphasises that it is irrational beliefs, mainly made up of demands and false expectations, that generate most emotional and behavioural problems.

ACT – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

This therapy (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999), seeks to balance (a) the processes of Mindfulness and Acceptance with (b) the processes of Commitment and Behavioural Change in the service of greater psychological Flexibility and commitment to the Values that matter to the person.

EFT – Emotionally Focused Therapy

EFT was originally developed by Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg in the 1980s as a form of couples therapy. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Greenberg based EFT on attachment theory from Bowly (Theory of Attachment) and research on love to understand how to help adults bond and improve relationships. Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) offers a structured, targeted and effective roadmap to help couples achieve safety and emotional connection

CBASP – Cognitive Behavioural Analysis System of Psychotherapy

Therapy model developed by Dr. James P. Mc Collough, Jr., Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University to treat chronic depression.

EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (desensitisation and reprocessing through eye movements)

In this method developed by Francine Shapiro, the eyes are moved in a certain way while traumatic memories are processed. The aim of EMDR is to help you recover from trauma or other stressful life experiences.

Polyvagal Theory

To engage with Poly Vagal Theory (St Porges, 1992) is to engage with the science of safety, the science of feeling safe enough to be connected to ourselves and the world around us. Poly vagal theory provides a physiological and psychological understanding of how and why people move through a continuous cycle of mobilisation, disengagement and commitment. Through the lens of polyvagal theory, Deb Dana offers a method for working with the autonomic nervous system so that in therapy we can learn to shape our experiences of safety and influence our ability to connect.

IOPT – Identity-Oriented Psycho trauma Therapy – In training

IoPT is a constellation method developed by Franz Ruppert 2013, a psychotherapist from Germany. It is also known as “Intention constellation” or “self-encounter” method. The methodology emphasises not the family system but the development of identity. And to the inner splitting or fragmentation that has arisen from early childhood trauma. This method starts from an intention that the person brings to the session and from this, the session develops. In this self-encounter, the person, through the resonance of others on his/her intention, learns to be closer and closer to his/her own identity and to develop the healthiest strategies to be and to live as the person he/she is.

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