Sometimes life can simply be too complicated

On such moments, it can be good to receive professional support. Someone to help you deal with the undoing of the suffocation of feelings blocking enjoyment of daily life.

It is not always a necessity to label our experiences or behaviour. Rather not. What can be helpful, is to be curious about whatever is leading us to respond in certain ways. Every human being has core feelings, they may seem complex and troubling. And often we are aware of the uncomfortable signs our body is using to tell us something might be amiss, like headaches or issues sleeping. Do you recognise some of this and would you allow yourself to receive some help? Feel free to invite me to join you in a careful and precise journey to regain control over your life.

Be ready though, to be challenged. In our sessions I will support you to do real work. With my guidance, you are encouraged to start to pay closer attention to your physical responses to emotions connected to your words. This can be difficult at first, but suddenly you might experience a heartfelt understanding of how tensions and responses were previously automatically hidden from your own awareness. And how they might have impacted your connections to people close to you. Attending to such minute fluctuations in responses will help to get to the core of the problem. This is how, together, we can achieve real and lasting changes.

This way of working is most suitable for adult individuals who are motivated and curious. Therapy is available in English or Dutch.

Specific type of psychotherapy: AB-ISTDP

ISTDP is short for Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy. This type of psychotherapy fits within a psychodynamic framework. The British ISTDP-UK training institute put specific emphasis on the impact of early attachment to relevant care givers, hence: “Attachment-Based ISTDP”.

To feel about

ISTDP quickly gets to the core, because a person’s skilfull unconscious avoidance of pain is skilfully consciously addressed. There are many ways in which we dismiss or negotiate painful experiences in daily life; for instance by speeding up to ‘talk over’ (not about) hot issues, by overthinking, by devalueing our feelings or by staying vague and general; ISTDP invites us to pay attention. Learning to recognise and to let go of such protective mechanisms can be tough at first but is a great aid in accessing underlying feelings. Often the reason for seeking support tends to relate to the manner in which, over time, a person has grown accustomed to the avoidance of feelings in contact with others. In sessions we slow down in order to stay focused and to make space for experiencing such experiences. In a way, this is why it’s called intensive. The experiencing of avoided emotions often helps to connect to older sorrow from earlier moments in life. So it’s a quest that allows you to reflect and think about in between sessions, but more importantly: to feel about.

Body over mind

As an ISTDP-therapist, I simultaneously pay attention to verbal and non-verbal language. Which physical reactions are noticeable in response to what is being shared in words? What does this tell us? By gently paying careful attention to those telltales, we are more able to get to the core of the problem. To enhance the effectiveness of every session, I use a video camera to record and review sessions.

Another way to allow us to get a good understanding of how the body responds to triggers, is to get out of our chairs. This takes away any limitation of movement. Based on years of experience in recreational boxing and martial arts, I offer a form of therapy in which physical responses to (perceived) threats become tangible. This may help to better observe and address tensions as they rise and fall.

“Allowing reponses to remain uncensored and available in therapy often offers a new approach to counteract old automatic pathways. For instance, an emotional ‘freeze’ reaction becomes visible and can be attended to.”