I am a psychologist interested in the process of ‘composing and re-composing the self’ in transition and daily life as art, which can be practiced and enriched by contemplative openness to experience and creative agency in shaping it. I developed the Composition Work method and training, based on Dialogical Self Theory (Hermans, 2001) and contemplative traditions. From 2006 I have been working internationally, in Europe, Asia, and North America, giving training and supervision to professionals and groups of people who are interested to practice the art of composing and recomposing one’s self. In my training, coaching, and therapy I put emphasis on embodied emotional awareness and value accessing the implicit and unknown in the self. We need an attitude of ‘not knowing mind’ as a gate to the ‘knowing body’, to include the unspeakable in the democracy of our self. Even though our culture accentuates 'knowing', in my view a ‘not knowing curiosity’ is the edge of growth in any change.
I am an Associate Director at the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition, contributing my specific expertise to the programs, developing the portfolio and new strategic lines. I maintain a private practice in The Netherlands, working mainly for expats who experience major transitions. I have a PhD in psychology of emotions, am an author of publications on Dialogical Self Theory, Composition Work, emotions, and transition published in 5 languages. I am the editor (together with H. Hermans and M.Gonçalves) of ‘Handbook of Dialogical Self Theory and Psychotherapy. Bridging Psychotherapeutic and Cultural Traditions’ (Routledge), and co-author (with H. Hermans) of 'Dialogical Self Theory. Positioning and counter-positioning in globalizing society’(Cambridge University Press).
Education
PhD, 2006, Cardinal Stephan Wyszynsky, Warsaw
MsC in Psychology, 2002, Cardinal Stephan Wyszynsky
Gestalt Therapy Training, 2016, NSG, Amsterdam
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Dialogical Self, emotions, transition, contemplative psychology
Personal Interests
Abstract Art, Zen Aesthetics, Buddhism