Expat Psychologist

About Doesjka - psychologist in Haarlem


Child Of The World
I spent my formative years in Zeist, South Africa, and wherever my parents’ travels took me. The urge to travel and discover other cultures had been instilled and nurtured before I could walk, and because of this experience I also speak fluent Spanish and English. South America in particular, which I’ve visited several times, has a special place in my heart. My interests are wide and varied and I love learning, which made the choice after High School an extremely difficult one to make. From archaeology to psychology, I was fascinated by it all.

At University
It became psychology. I looked forward to working with people and the thought of journeying into someone’s ‘psyche’ seemed like an equally exciting and interesting prospect. They were good times, with a thriving corporate life and moreover with an unexpected opportunity. I could study philosophy for six months in South America. This taught me not only how to be contemplative but to think creatively as well.

I was mainly preoccupied with the concept of ‘truth’, which not only changes from person to person, but within cultures and time. What was once considered ‘crazy’ 100 years ago, or by another culture, can be viewed as normal today…or vice versa. I still wonder at the versatility of the ‘truth’ that it can be perceived so differently by everyone. And that is where the importance of psychology comes in.

The Perfect Job After Studying
After studying, I worked online with cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, burn-out, depression, PTSS and grief. As a psychologist, fresh from university, it's good to write and have plenty of room for reflection. But it wasn't only helpful for me, this reflection time and the comfort of expressing yourself in your own home and own time, was also great for clients. That's why I still often use the power of written assignments in my treatment.

Path to the now
After 2 years I also started working as a reintegration consultant and a year after that in a hospital, dealing with patients suffering with more profound, psychiatric problems. In 2009 I turned myself into a freelancer to work for two privately run psychologists’ practices and in 2011 I started to run my own practice. In the meantime I specialized in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) EMDR and Mindfulness. Right now I am studying 'The Healing of Drawing' (a 4 year creative therapy study). I like to combine and integrate as many theories and helpful techniques as I can so I can fit them to each individual. I believe more in a personalized approach then a problem-protocol approach.

The Map Is Not The Territory
When you travel you know: the map is not the territory. That feeling of being somewhere, the scenery, the places, the small corners, the hidden pathways—it can’t be captured on a map. This also applies to your inner self. In our conversations, the writing and in the exploration that we do, we make, as it were, a map of your inner world. Ultimately you’re the only one who can look at that map and know what is real and what needs to be done. Your body plays a pivotal role in this. In many cases it tells you a great deal more than you realize. Just as kids who suffer from ‘stomach aches’ when they’re required to do something that they don’t want to do, adults are also prone to the same psychosomatic mechanisms. Over a period of years, you have just learned to ignore it. And that is a shame, because you have a lot to tell yourself.

Still Exploring
I’m unflaggingly curious. And the beauty of my work is that I’m still learning. Every person is unique and every procedure is different. Without exception, it’s inspiring to see what people can do. What every other individual can, you can too!

Keep Moving
In my free time—you’ve guessed it—I travel. I've always been a dancer (from jazz to show, to salsa and Capoeira, now 'Ecstatic Dance') and sometimes I enjoy playing djembé or making macramé jewels and drawing or painting.


If you have questions or would like to know whether Psychologist Haarlem can help call me or email me for an appointment.