Experience and inspiration
I have been employed as a neurologist at a medical centre specializing in epilepsy (Kempenhaeghe) since 2005. A wonderful place to mean something for people with this disease. Practising mindfulness and meditation has had its place in my personal life for years. I have been increasingly striving to integrate mindfulness in my working life: both in contact with patients and in contact with my colleagues. I have been training to become a Core Process therapist since 2015. This master course is founded upon principles of mindfulness and compassion towards others and has been a major source of inspiration to me.
Core Process therapy, mindfulness and being a doctor
Core Process therapy requires a great awareness of one’s own internal processes and the ability to handle them, in order to remain present by the other with an open mind. I myself learned to open all of my senses; to actually listen, also to those messages which may not (yet) be spoken out loud. My eyes were opened to the difference it could make to patients if I were able to apply it as a doctor. The intent of being there for the patient in this way may seem simple, but gets rather difficult within the specifics of the doctor-patient relationship. I view Core Process work as an important inspiration in my functioning as a doctor. It has led to more satisfying contacts with my patients and has given me greater opportunities for acting with compassion. In my work as a neurologist I want to transfer this knowledge to doctors and others who have contacts with patients, where and whenever possible.
Working as a Core Process therapist-in-training
Working as a Core Process therapist-in-training is, in addition to being a doctor, a new way for me to establish profound contact with others and being able to help them. Core Process aims to establish ‘presence’ as the most important force behind change and healing. Presence at all feelings, thoughts and emotions. We are often primarily inclined to turn a blind eye towards difficult affairs instead of remaining present. Nevertheless, it is necessary to examine emotions whilst having them in ones presence in order to process them and be able to experience more rest. I have experienced the difficulty of directing one’s attention at painful areas myself. That’s why the presence of another is important. A Core Process therapist (provides for) aims to offer a supportive and kind ‘holding field’, as it were, in which you can begin to meet with and examine difficult parts at your own pace and with a sense of security. Core Process therapy teaches you as a client to apply your own kind and non-judging presence as a support for life experiences – at first in the company of the therapist and finally independently. In my view, this type of therapy, which uses presence (of both the client and the therapist) as its chief therapeutic instrument, can be a very powerful intervention for the benefit of personal growth.
Qualification and certification
I am currently in training to be a Core Process therapist at the Karuna Institute Devon & Middlesex University, London. As a therapist-in-training, I work under continuous professional supervision from this institute.
As a neurologist, I am listed in the BIG registry. I am associated with the Academic Centre for Epileptology Kempenhaeghe, Heeze.
As a doctor and Core Process therapist, I am bound to the ethical codes of my professional organizations, respectively the KNMG/the Dutch Association for Neurology (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Neurologie) and the British association for psychotherapists, the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).