Individual therapy

Short-term individual therapy and counseling in Utrecht

Stuck in your life, career and/or relationship? Overwhelmed by ‘negative’ thoughts and feelings? Facing seemingly impossible demands imposed by yourself or others? Now is the time for individual therapy and counseling, to tackle your suffering head on, to get straight to the heart of the matter. What is the core problem? What exactly is holding you back from your goals, such as a better relationship with yourself and others, success and fulfilment?

It’s a myth that people see therapists or counselors just because they have a big problem. Not everyone with a big problem takes this step, which – needlessly – carries considerable social stigma. The real reason is demoralisation: if you’ve been struggling with the same problem for way too long, haven’t made progress and have thus become discouraged, you need external guidance. Contact me now.

The need for inner transformation

Initially, many clients are externally oriented, looking to others in false hope, or pointing a finger at others or external circumstances. Does the solution lie in the outside world and other people? Can others save you? No — the answer lies within. My role is to encourage you to become internally oriented, so that you can find your own inner solutions. I invite you to take full responsibility for your own self-limiting patterns of thought, behaviour and emotion — including those you are not yet fully aware of.

Many clients try to avoid ‘negative’ emotions, such as anxiety and sadness, by suppressing them or trying to fix them in their head, rationally. Both are forms of resistance: inadequate coping strategies that offer only limited, short-term relief. The feelings soon return, often stronger than before. This is the vicious cycle of demoralisation. Real progress begins by doing the exact opposite: staying with and embracing the unpleasant feelings you prefer not to feel. To do this, you need ego-strength: the ability to bear your feelings and develop adequate coping strategies. In individual therapy / counseling with me as guide, sooner or later you realise that nothing in your inner world can ever harm you. On the contrary, each part of you has an underlying positive intention: the ‘negative’ feelings are useful signals trying to tell you about your unmet needs. Instead of rejecting an integral part of yourself, you should develop a loving, caring relationship with whatever is alive within you right now. That’s what ‘integrative’ means

The power of imagination and mindfulness

Einstein said “Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere”. The essence of head and heart work is using the power of your imagination to envision the goal state so that it will materialise: a new way of being, a new relationship with yourself, your thoughts and your feelings. One giant step is simply to become mindfully aware of what is alive right now in your inner world of thoughts, images, emotions and bodily sensations. This calm, embracing awareness – what Eckhart Tolle calls witnessing presence – is hugely liberating. It rapidly empowers you to take control of yourself and your life and to stay in control, to make decisions based on your deepest feelings and needs, to “follow the path with heart” without losing your head. If you’re not yet responsible for your decisions, you need to be. After all, it’s your life and your time.

Goals and motivation

During the intake phase, you set and prioritise clear, realistic personal goals. During the following sessions, you work toward those goals in close cooperation with me. Rather than pushing or pulling, I stand shoulder to shoulder with you on your journey. I guide the process, while you work on the head-and-heart content. You learn, heal and grow on your own terms, at your own pace. I give you self-reflection assignments, tailored to your goals, to work on intuitively and creatively between sessions. Every few sessions, you evaluate recent developments, with feedback from me, and revise your goals if necessary.

A final word: motivation. It’s essential. Clients who are strongly, intrinsically motivated make the most progress.