BiographyErik van den Brink is psychiatrist/psychotherapist and mindfulness and compassion trainer with more than 25 years of experience in mental health care.
He studied medicine in Amsterdam and trained and worked in psychiatry in the UK. From his return to the Netherlands in 1995 until 2015 he worked in the mental health services of in the city of Groningen. There he initially led crisis intervention teams, offering ambulant out-patient alternatives to hospital admission, followed by an out-patient service for patients with mood disorders. Since its founding in 2007, he was involved with the Center for Integrative Psychiatry, an innovative mental health clinic integrating complementary methods in mainstream psychiatric care.
He has a broad psychotherapeutic experience and trained in Solution Focused, Acceptance & Commitment and Compassion-Focused Therapies. Grounded in Vipassana and Zen meditation, he became a mindfulness teacher after scholing with leading international teachers in the field. He is particularly interested in methods that empower people’s self-healing capacity. He integrates mindfulness-based and compassion-focused methods in his work (MBSR, MBCT, MBCL and Interpersonal Mindfulness), enabling people to become their own therapist, mentor and coach.
As a psychiatrist/psychotherapist he currently works in private practice in the Groningen area of The Netherlands at MBCL Training & Therapie and at Het Behouden Huys, a psycho-oncology centre for patients with cancer and their families. As a mindfulness and compassion teacher he participates in the Collective of Mindfulness Teachers called De Werkschuur, seeking to make basic and advanced mindfulness courses accessible to a broad clientele.
See also www.mbcl.org and linkedin profile.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
As a trainer and author he collaborates closely with Frits Koster, with whom he developed the the MBCL course as a deepening course for those already familiar with mindfulness practice. They give teacher-training courses, workshops and lectures at Mindfulness Training Institutions across Europe. Their book Compassievol leven, in which they describe theory and practice of the programme, was published in 2012 (Uitgeverij Boom, Amsterdam). In 2013 the German translation appeared (Kösel Verlag, München). The English edition 'Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living - A new training programme to deepen mindfulness with heartfulness', updated with latest scientific data, was published in 2015 (Routledge, London/New York). The Spanish publication is expected by the end of 2016.
"I work from a deep motivation to contribute to the alleviation of suffering and the promotion of well-being, using methods that empower our self-healing capacity, with as many wholesome and as few harmful (side-) effects as possible. As people show similarities as well as differences, in illness and in health, it is important to find the right balance between Evidence-Based Practice and Practice-Based Evidence."
"I love music, visual arts, literature, traveling with my wife, hiking and sailing. Without following a single tradition, I regularly participate in meditation groups and retreats. I find inspiration in transcultural spiritual values and support several projects committed to environmental care, sustainability and common humanity."